November 23, 2012

My Happy Place

Today I did something I swore I would never do. You see, in 7th grade, I fainted in front of my whole health class and had to be laid on the teachers table while I came to. The cause? We each had to prick our own finger and dab a spot of blood onto a litmus strip. I have no idea why we were doing something like that in middle school. I am sure our teacher had no medical training, and neither did any of us. The most embarrassing part of the experience was that I never actually made it to pricking my finger. I tried getting up the courage but something about seeing my own blood and having to inflict the prick myself just overcame me and I got light-headed, extremely pale and I was out. I swore I would never do anything voluntarily that involved seeing my own blood every again.

Fast forward about 30 years and I found myself today walking into our Church building to give blood, part of an Eagle Scout project for one of the Seniors in our congregation. I suppose I was motivated by such a great cause, but secretly I wanted to overcome the fear I had carried with me all these years. 

And... I survived. Part of it I'm sure was the very helpful staff, the explanation that giving blood is like getting an oil change, the knowledge gained that I had a very good hemoglobin count which made me very proud, the nurse telling me my blood color was "beautiful," and "Dust in the Wind" playing in the background that was somehow strangely very comforting. But perhaps the biggest reason I survived was following the advice of a friend to find my "happy place," which I did. See the picture above.