Sharing blood

In the last year I give my blood every three months. For I, for A, for N and again for I. So it happened that as soon as the rules of blood donation allow, I give blood.

Do you remember the children’s movie Visitor from the Future and its main character Alisa? That girl with the big blue eyes. She is a replica of my friend I. To be more concise, I. was the replica of that Alisa until she fell ill. I gave blood.

Imagine an Amazon. A blonde with brown eyes – energetic, active, strong woman who can be feminine, who cooks borscht and bakes cakes for the family, simultaneously earning money at a self-made enterprise and driving a stick shift, because it is more convenient. This is my friend A. She underwent surgery and I again gave blood.

N. is an unfamiliar girl who was in serious condition in intensive care after childbirth. I don’t know her but she is from Crimea and the Crimeans never let their compatriots down. I gave blood.

I only can say that giving blood is not difficult. At all. Because I am a very healthy person. I don’t know much about the indicators but all figures in my medical record are within the normal range, just take it and go to space. I have to write to Elon Musk shortly. Such a healthy body is being wasted and I used to dream of becoming a woman-astronaut in childhood. Or maybe my time’s up?

The calls for help are omnipresent now. Sometimes we react, sometimes we ignore them because this constant “help me” exhausts. Sometimes people ask for money, and we either don’t have free resources or don’t believe that they will go to the addressee, because there is a lot of fraud. And sometimes we indifferently don’t react because it needs our efforts and we already live in the state of constant stress and we don’t have strength, time, energy and will. That’s why we indifferently keep going.

Blood donation is not a whim but sometimes a single way to save a person. Healthy people are few. And even relatively healthy people have many contraindications. Of those who want to give blood, there are many who can’t, because they were ill in childhood, for example, with hepatitis A. Basically, you can’t just come whenever you want and give blood. Because you may have visited a dentist in the last two weeks or made a tattoo three months ago, or ate French fries at the MacDonalds the night before, or drank a healthy yoghurt at night or an unhealthy alcoholic cocktail in the evening after work to relax and relieve stress. Or flew to Africa, took sedatives or antibiotics. There are lots of contraindications even though you genuinely want to help, were not ill in childhood and have needed blood type. You can’t do this and there are many like you.

If exclude some graver factors then recommendations on donation are quite simple. I give blood for the umpteenth time and can share them:

  1. It’s very easy, it takes a little time (the process itself takes five minutes), it doesn’t hurt, medical workers care of you and control the situation.
  2. Don’t ruin yourself consciously – alcohol, smoking, fat and dairy foods – these are not your companions.
  3. You must be healthy. Why? See point 4.
  4. There are the same people around you, they also ruin themselves and if you need help, there won’t be anyone to help.
  5. If you have a rare blood type, see again point 4. There will be no one to save you. I am O-positive, I am so-called mass-market, there’s not so much of me. So can you still think, if not for yourself, then for others?
  6. Sometimes, a healthy person after the donation procedure slightly “drives away”, i.e. loses consciousness. You may be a sturdy man or a sure in your strength woman, but this is not an indicator. It can happen to everyone. That’s it, if you already have this experience or you are scared, the next time you won’t go to give blood and it means minus one, dozen or thousand people. That’s it, we, the blood donors, are decreasing.

To be a blood donor is not difficult, you only have to start care of your health a bit. You don’t need state funds or state program for this. This is only your will and understanding – being healthy is fancy and so easy to achieve if there are will and understanding – the life of another person depends on you personally. And you are also dependent on what the other person with the same blood type as yours ate for dinner yesterday.

Yes, so simple. You depend on whether the guy who works in the office opposite drank a glass of beer on Friday, or the twenty-year-old girl decided to make a tattoo three weeks ago. You depend on them and they on you. If they are responsible, you will live. If you are healthy, they will live. Everything is a piece of cake.

Please, give blood and don’t make it impossible. It may just be that once blood is not enough for you.

Olena Bogatyrenko

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