DESPITE THE SPECIAL PROMOTIONS THAT ARE OFTEN HELD in different cities of Russia, in our country, the attitude towards donation is still ambiguous. Some become convinced donors for many years, others not only hesitate or feel fear, but also do not understand why their personal participation is needed. Even a simple donation of blood is shrouded in myths , and many have never heard of other types of donations. We asked people who regularly share blood and its components, as well as those who decided to donate bone marrow and kidney, about how it all started and what it means for everyone.
I decided to become a donor because I love helping people – it’s great when someone donates their blood to save the lives of others. I thought about donating more plasma or other components, but now I am taking pills that are incompatible with donation. When I came to donate blood for the first time, I was very afraid. Because of anxiety, she could not eat normally, so she fainted. It seemed that it would be very painful – and it really hurt, but the process itself is much less painful than donating blood from a finger or vein for analysis.
The most difficult thing for me in donation is to psychologically accept that they are taking half a liter of blood. It seems like a lot. But when you see how other people do it, you start thinking: “They didn’t die from this, and I didn’t die, so everything is all right.”
As a donor, I feel that I am helping someone, and I see other caring people who are ready to help. It is important for me to know that there are people who care. I hope someday I will donate blood for typing and be able to become a bone marrow donor; In my opinion, donating your bone marrow to another person is such a “crown” of donation.
The idea of becoming a donor has probably always been in my head. Back in 2010, I saw the “donor” mark on the identity card of an American friend and was very impressed. The decision to donate blood came without much thought. The first time I went with a friend who had already done it, she was refused that day for some reason, but they let me through. I didn’t know much about donation, so I donated what I was told – 450 milliliters of blood.
Before the procedure, I had fears, I was afraid that I would lose consciousness or dizzy, but there were no unwanted effects. Nevertheless, I am not a very successful donor: there have been more taps than tolerances during all this time. The last time, although the necessary indicators were in order, the doctor still advised me not to donate blood. For six months after the previous donation, I did not succeed in replenishing the hemoglobin level, although it usually returned to normal on its own. It happens that healthy people cannot recover for a long time, despite good nutrition, and vice versa – a person does not eat, for example, meat, and hemoglobin is restored quickly. I have been regularly checking hemoglobin levels for a year now, but nothing has changed; it seems to me that the failure is not caused by donation, but by some other processes in the body. This factor can be a reason for rejection, and it is more often faced by women.
When I started donating blood, I didn’t have to change my lifestyle – I didn’t smoke or drink alcohol anyway. The only inconvenience is that I have hay fever and from the year of donation I have only part of the time available. And given that doctors do not recommend donation within five days after menstruation, sometimes it is simply impossible to find the time to go and donate blood. I believe that donation is an easy way to help people, available to almost everyone. I once met a woman who was never allowed to become a donor – but she continued to come to the blood donation center , no longer alone, but with a potential donor. Perhaps I will consider this option if I cannot return to donation myself.
I donate blood not too long ago, but regularly, I already have eleven donations. I have a rare blood group (the fourth with a negative Rh factor), so the idea of donation has ripened for a long time, and a colleague pushed me to it. The first time, as well as the next, everything went pretty easily. The unknown was a little frightening, but I was not alone, and the decision was balanced. In addition, blood transfusion stations usually do not accept primary donors for no reason, but when I called, they answered: “Come at any time,” – it was impossible not to come. Recently, after the tenth donation, I was offered to donate plasma. I want to read about it; I live in Tver, and we have problems with information support. Even not everyone knows their blood type.
The only thing I could not prepare for (but kept this nuance in my head) was the likelihood of losing consciousness in the process. But the fears were not justified, everything went well; our center employs positive people who always smile and distract from bad thoughts. Once I nevertheless lost consciousness after donating blood, only it was my fault – I neglected important rules that time : there was a serious lack of sleep and a poor, hastily cooked breakfast, which led to this result. Several specialists from the center took care of me, and after a couple of minutes I came to my senses.
I would like to say that donation has changed my way of life and thoughts, but it is not so. I live as before, however, I pay attention to my diet and sleep three to four days before donation. I have no bad habits, so I don’t have to fight them. Most of all I am glad that I help people, at least in such a simple way. It does not take much time and, I think, everyone can do it. Sometimes I look at young guys who come to donate blood, and I think: I wonder what percentage of them will do it all the time? Are they aware of what is going on, or are they just willing to try something new? I consciously plan to do this all my life. I really want blood donation to become fashionable and popular. We need to think more often and take care of each other.