I've been gaining weight in the past 2.5 years of leaving journalism. It's either because the new job gives me more time to snack or due to the fact that getting older equals to slowing metabolism. Whichever the reason, my weight has jumped from the 48 kg during journo days to 58 kg at the moment (insert cringed emoticon here).
Many friends told me that although my cheeks had become rounder, I still looked slim for my frame (1.57 cm). What they failed to see was the love handles around my waist and that there was no gap between my thighs.
Instead of mourning the fact, I thought about what I could do with my new weight. I decided to donate my blood. I've been wanting to do this since high school, but my skinny self never allowed it. During high school, the weight requirement to donate blood was 45 kg, I was one kilogram shy. During university days, the required weight went up to 50 kg, and I was just around 45-46 kg. When I entered the work force, the donors should weight 55 kg, alas I was only 47-48 kg.
After having lunch today, I went to the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI)'s blood donation unit in Senayan City with two colleagues. It's located below En Dining, just go below the stairs and you'll find the direction to the small office.
Since I was a newbie, they tested me for my blood & rhesus type (O, rhesus positive). They also checked my blood pressure, haemoglobin level and of course, my weight. I passed all with flying colors. And then came the moment of truth.
They told me to wash my fore arms up to the elbows. First, they bound my left arm and checked my vein. They were having hard times to locate my vein, because it's too delicate. "We need 350 cc of blood. If somehow the blood stopped during the process, we have to switch the needle to your right arm. Is it okay with you?" the PMI officer asked. I grimaced, but nodded anyway.
One of the PMI officers, a gentle old lady with determination, pushed the huge needle into my left arm. The red liquid soon flowed into the plastic bag. I tried not to stare at the blood, but ended up glancing and feeling dizzy. She gave me a cotton ball with a dab of aromatherapy to ease the headache. But the process was quite quick, at least for me. I spent around 15 minutes for a bag of blood.
One colleague spent around 30 minutes for the process because he had to relocate the needle, due to the misplaced needle by the younger PMI officer. The blood streamed down my colleague's forearm during the needle relocation process. Ouch.
Despite the horror my colleague endured, I had a great time at the blood donation unit. I intend to continue donating my blood as long as my health permits. Insya Allah.