Friday, June 12, 2009
I Came, I Saw, I Conquered
I feel good. In fact, I feel awesome. I beat down my fears and kicked plasma donation and needles in the face! Afterwards, I went across the street to Taco Bell to buy a large drink (had to replace those fluids), and the guy taking my order saw my bandage.
"How'd giving plasma go?"
"It wasn't bad at all."
"I hate that place. I could never do that."
I saw my old self reflected in his answer. I used to say the exact same thing. So I told him, "It was my first time to donate. I did it mainly because I wanted to get over the fear of doing it. And it wasn't bad at all."
He took my order, I filled my cup, and before I walked out, he looked at me and said, "I'm proud of you, man."
Wow. Not only did I conquer my fear, but I've got the emulation of the Taco Bell cashier dude. Can a person feel more esteemed than this? I don't think so.
My thanks to those who have offered prayers in my behalf. I survived. And I'm here to tell my story. I'll be wearing this red bandage around for the next two hours so people will know what I've just been through. I like to think of it (fondly) as my Red Badge of Courage. And now, here's a video -don't press play if you're squeamish. Actually, I challenge you to push play anyway. Face that fear head-on and don't back down. It's a nice feeling.
A little more about the experience:
Last night I didn't sleep too soundly. I kept waking up, after having dreamt I was donating already. I had my alarm set for 7:00, but when 6:40 came, I couldn't stay in bed any longer. I had to do something physical to stop my mind from dwelling on the impending doom.
I showered, had a good breakfast, drank lots of water, and gathered all the documents and ID I would need.
They give you a physical the first time around, and when the nurse talked to me, she asked me about my blood pressure. I told her that I hadn't ever had issues with it in the past.
"Well," she said, "it's a little high this morning. Are you a little tense?"
"You could say that, yes."
"Okay, well we'll monitor that and next time you come in, if it's high, we recommmend seeing a physician about it."
I was thinking, I think high blood pressure at this moment is a sign that my body is in perfect working order. I was facing the ugly fear monster! You expect me to be sitting calmly cross-legged in a Jedi meditation stance? I don't think so, lady. My feet are tapping nervously without me even thinking about it, and we aren't even in the donation room yet! Oh, and instead of a "physician", couldn't I just see a doctor? Just wondering.
Well, they play a movie for us while we sit and pump. I didn't care for the one they played today. It was called "Dirty Work". Trashy, trashy, trashy. And dumb. My friend who donates regularly got to watch Hercules last time. Why didn't I go on that day? Oh well. I used the time to write letters to missionaries. The handwriting is a bit ugly since I only had one hand free to write with.
That's about it. An hour later, I was unhooked, bandaged, paid, and on my way. Not too shabby for a battle of my fears.