I donated to one of my favorite charities today and it didn’t cost me anything. Yup, I gave blood. You can, too, even if like me you’re a wimp. Here are my time-tested tricks for survival:
- Drink a lot. I make sure I drink a lot of water for a few days before and then more afterward.
- Tell them you’re a wimp. They’ll treat you extra special.1
- Lie down on the cot backward. Most people have their head above their feet. Not me. I lie flat and have them elevate my feet. I haven’t had an issue with feeling faint since I started doing this.
- Relax when they insert the needle. It probably won’t hurt. They had to stick me twice today2 and I barely felt the first one. Getting the hemoglobin finger prick hurts more. Removing the self-sticky bandages hurts more. Today’s second stick stung a little this time, but still nothing to write home about.3 Apparently, there’s some sort of anticoagulant on/in the needle which can sting a little. You’ll live. ;-)
- Never look at the needle — NEVER!!4
- Once the needle is in, talk to the person drawing your blood. It will keep your mind off the big steel needle jabbed in your arm draining away your life blood. Okay, it’s not that bad, but staying distracted is still a good thing. In fact, I believe this is the best suggestion I have for you. You might even find they’re fun to talk to.
- Brag about it when you’re done. You deserve it!
Do this enough times and you won’t be the wimp you think you are.