My pride and shame in giving blood for the first time since college

July 30, 2022 by Joshua
in Choosing/Decision-Making, Fitness, Habits

I’m proud to have given blood Tuesday. If you haven’t listened to yesterday’s podcast episode with Sebastian Junger, listen to hear his story of receiving ten emergency transmissions leading to his giving blood regularly.

Why ashamed too? Because when the nurse checked me in, filling in my address from my driver’s license, she asked if I’d changed my address. The address in the system showed my freshman year dorm address. The last time I’d given blood was 1988 or 1989.

Why so long? Because after giving blood that time, sitting in the recovery area, my ears started ringing and I started feeling faint. I started to put my head down on the table just in case. Immediately a bunch of nurses jumped to me and ushered me to an area behind some curtains. They said that one person fainting can prompt others to. Then they told me politely I didn’t need to give blood any more.

For over thirty years I told myself since a couple nurses told a seventeen-year-old he didn’t have to come back that I could skip going.

To clarify, the shame isn’t for not giving blood all that time. It’s for knowing I could have at least tried but not acted. It’s for knowing my values and not living by them.

My results

Here’s my blood. I don’t know what will happen to it next, but maybe it will save someone’s life.

To save you a click, here’s Sebastian’s episode, if you wanted motivation right away (it’s an amazing conversation for plenty of other reasons):

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