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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

perspective from the other side of the needle

Okay, I lied.

I know I said I'll revive this blog and pull it out from the depths of where-blogs-go-to-lie, but the reasons not to blog grew longer and longer on my mind-written list. It was the lack of inspiration and motivation, really, more than time to blog. As days go by, I grew more and more apathetic about blogging. Once upon a time I can be found typing in front of a computer narrating away on everything, but now, everytime I opened up Blogger's dashboard, I felt a tugging sensation in my mind, telling me, "Why should I even bother?"

For one thing, I have to remind myself, this might be the only footprints left from my past.

So here I am, willing to try again. Let's try this again, shall we?


I was at the Blood Donor Centre today. Just a very impromptu decision I made, to do my bit for the 'Greater Good'. Oh I'm so noble haha. Not that it was something new, been donating blood rather irregularly over the past few years anyway. Remembered the first time I donated blood, way back in college, together with the PM1 gang. Not much else recalled though, ain't sure did I grit my teeth all throughout or did I thrashed about and screamed at the nurses with burning eyes who were ill-bent on drawing blood out of me. I'm pretty sure the second part was just a dream. I think.

Now that I'm in my final year studying medicine (and seen more than I ever thought I would in my life), it's a kinda strange feeling to know so much more about what was going on during the blood donating process, while donating blood.

I used to think the alcohol wipes they use to clean the skin before they stab me with the giant needle contained some kind of painkiller to numb my skin. I made that part up to reassure myself I guess, trying to psyche myself into believing that it'll be a painless process. Mind you, that needle is BIG okay. Like the size of the drinking straw you suck your milo ais out of the glass through. Alright maybe not that big, but it's still big, kay?

As I lie on the bed with my right arm extended and the nurse wiping ever so thoroughly with the alcohol swabs, I glanced at the soon-to-be-pricked site on my arm with a little hesitance. I know I have prominent veins and the nurses do this all the time, but that tiny delusion I used to held on tightly to convince myself "it's not painful, it's not painful, it's not- .. okay, it might sting a little" is all but dispelled by my 4 years of book-hugging.

"You doing fine there?" the nurse asked out of the blue. I came out of the thoughts in my head, as I noted she was looking up at my face. "Yup" I managed to reply as cheerfully as I could, just before she proceed to bring the needle closer .. and closer .. to my skin .. as my eyes widened.


It's one thing to prick others with a needle. It's another thing to let others prick you. I've lost count of how many unfortunate patients have been on the receiving end of the needle in my hand, yet that did not really harden me much to being pricked myself. There is still the hesitance as the nurse wipe at your skin, the fear as you glance at the needle, and the teeth-gritting as you hear the foreboding words, "Sharp coming".

The pain, of course, was insignificant. It wasn't the amount of pain anticipated that caused the gut shrinking as I see the needle, but more of the anticipation of pain itself. Each time during blood donation, I tried not to look away from the needle but ended up turning my head away anyway. Kinda like a reflex that I couldn't stop. Heh. Let's see if I manage to do that next time.

Just an interesting observation of my own self during the otherwise uneventful 30 minutes of getting blood out of me. Oh, besides the bloke next to me getting his needle accidentally tugged out and have his blood pouring all over the floor. Just kidding haha.


PS - Please donate blood as often as you can. It doesn't hurt much (even so, it's more than worth it), doesn't take much time, and everyone (mostly) can do it. I've personally seen lives being saved by donated blood right in front of my eyes. It's the least and the most one can ever do for another, giving them a chance to live :)