Monday, November 10, 2008

They Stole My Blood

"My blood was stolen just now."
one of my classmate,
when explaining to Mr Paul on why he was late to class.
Please laugh, it is a joke.
You will get this card when people steal your blood in Japan.
What my poor classmate wanted to say was that he was having blood donation before that, and that was the reason he came late to the class. I have gotten used to this kind of Engrish after living in Japan for a while. That is however, not the main thing in this entry. Not a distance back, I saw a poster saying that there would be a blood donation campaign to be held in my college, but I didn't bother to look at the dates because I wasn't thinking about giving away my blood. That doesn't mean that I'm a selfish person that will never donate his blood. The first and only time I had done it was during my three-month stint in the National Service programme four years ago. I didn't know what made me decided to do it for my first time back then, but I am glad to have done it because I know it could have saved someone's life.
I started watching a hospital drama recently and I noticed that I began to have some interest in medical field. Well, I'm not saying I will quit my current course and switch to a new course, nevertheless, I could now stand watching the gross scenes from the operation theater already. Watching the drama, Iryu - Team Medical Dragon made me realised that human's live is so fragile and it can be taken away anytime; also how vital the blood we donate to the people who undergo surgeries. As we all know, each individual can only receive blood from a certain blood group. That prompted me to participate in the blood donation campaign this time, besides having seen one of my senior, Andrew who had his seventh time in Japan not so long ago. That inspired me and made me think, "Why not I have a go as well this time?"
It seems that nobody is willing to donate their blood.
But I was one of the exception.
Cut the story short, the Japan Red Cross Society of Niigata Prefecture came to my college last Thursday for a blood donation campaign. Upong seeing my friend who I mentioned above having his blood stolen, I wanted to join in as well. Someone up there must have read my mind because I had fifty-minute break before my Japanese class starts. After I was told that it would take around thirty to forty minutes for the whole process of donating blood to be done, I immediately took the form and filled in my particulars, as it was my first time doing a blood donation in Japan. As I'm not a Japanese, they made a double-check from some list to make sure that my origin place (I told them I'm from Kuala Lumpur, because I doubted they will know where Taiping is) is listed as the region which is safe from contagious diseases. Upon seeing my height and weight, the guy asked me whether it is okay if they take 400ml of blood from my body.
I told him back, "Why you so greedy wanna take so much of my blood?"
Anyway, I later proceeded to the awaiting doctor to check on my blood pressure. Again, he told me that my body is in great shape for them to steal my blood. The whole process from filling the form until the check-up by the doctor took just less than fifteen minutes and I walked outside to board the awaiting bus. I am serious, we have to board a bus when we are donating blood in Japan.
The line behind the bus says, "Can you let me steal your blood?"
Told you already I am not bluffing. I got into the bus which can fit four donors at one time and saw three pretty nurses inside, inviting me into the bus with a broad smile on their faces. I felt shy and ran out straight away, but was pulled back by one of them.
The first nurse took 5ml of my blood using a slim needle to have a pre-test first. She asked me whether I know my blood group and I proudly told her that my blood is O-positive, which was confirmed later by the test she did moments ago. One main reason I didn't consider to take a medical course is because I cannot stand to see a large quantity of blood. Ironically, it is alright if it is my own blood. That is why when she was poking the needle into my arm, I looked away.
How the interior of the bus look like, with the two of the three friendly nurses there.
After it was done, I sat on one of the bed and came another nurse holding a big fat needle with her. It was a bit slimmer that the one used during my first time in Malaysia, and I decided not to look away this time. She told me what she was doing for every process, from putting anesthesia up until she took out the needle from my arm. It got done rather faster than I thought initially, because 400ml of my blood was sucked out within six minutes, if you minus the time I was doing something else with the nurse there.
I asked her is it is okay to take pictures inside the bus, and she seemed to be more than happy for me to do it. I guess from her reply, she was telling me to spread this around, and that is exactly what I am doing right now. If you are in a good and healthy condition, try to participate in any blood donation campaign you see. People sometimes give excuse that it is pain to have the fat needle into their arm, but isn't it more painful to see someone passed away due to insufficient of a certain blood group that that person needs urgently especially during a surgery?
I know there are a lot of believes and myths especially among the elderly, that tells you donating blood is not a good thing as it could give you many kinds of complications. But as much as I know, the worse is that you will gain some weight after donating blood, as your appetite will increase to replace the blood you have donated, although it is just temporary. A human body has around five liters of blood, and donating 400ml (that's just 8% of the total amount of blood) of it won't do any harm to you body. Your blood could save the life of someone's loved one.
Free meal to anyone who can guess which test tubes are mine.
A few times when the blood was flowing out of my body, I could feel some pressure as if there is something which is sucking my blood out. The nurse told me that there is indeed a machine that sucks the blood from our vein once in a while to make the process finish faster. Unlike in Malaysia, the bag of blood was placed inside a container that moved the bag of blood slowly in order to avoid the blood from clotting.
While having my blood getting sucked, I did something as usual.
DSC01468 copy
I had that satisfying feeling after I came down form the bus, and having the nurses and medical staff to thank me afterward made me feel that I have contributed something to the society, although it was just a small deed. I proceeded to another desk and was given my blood donation card with a blueberry flavoured cream brown rice snack and a bottle of tea. Unlike Andrew, the snack bar I got this time tasted really good although I only realised it after biting on my second piece.
Speaking of this snack bar, Joann had one of it too when I told her I went for a blood donation earlier. When I told her I was O-positive, guess what did she reply me?
That snack bar tastes really good.
"Eh, isn't that if the blood is positive, it means that person has AIDS?"


Anonymous said...

oh i m positive too!

one prob for girls on donating blood is need to consider bout menstruation...

and yeah
this entry makes me feel like donating blood..^^

mg said...

yeay.. so proud.. u shd've done medicine =P

Kae Vin said...


I felt shy and ran out straight away, but was pulled back by one of them.

I totally doubt that. In my guess you will just run straight in with saying "I wanna be the first"

It got done rather faster than I thought initially, because 400ml of my blood was sucked out within six minutes, if you minus the time I was doing something else with the nurse there.

I took about 10 minutes to donate 450ml. Without machine helping ok?
Somemore mine was just some old lady nurse. lol :P

and my blood-type is O positive too.

lol. Your friend needs to take some extra courses for General Knowledge. :P

Cieri said...


Endoru said...

Haha, I feel honored to make you feel like challenging to get your blood "stolen". You are so tall, did the seat fit you ? *hehe*

pinksterz said...

wah so nice got bus for donation somemore. and nurses. AHEM. XD

okok i guess which tube contains your blood! that one lor!!! *points*

now faster give me my meal treat! :D

Eric Sng said...

lol....the cartoon so cute...

Sheryl0202 said...

bravo! I still dare not try :p

calvin said...

@ ns29:
from what i was told recently, it is rare to have people with negative blood. if you adjust your timing, i'm sure you will be able to donate your blood without ignoring about your cycle ;)

glad that this entry have achieved part of its objective :)

calvin said...

@ michelleg:
ohhh no, two doctors at home is a little bit too many for k n k =P

calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
you know me too well. well, what i can say here is that the opposite thing happened, just like your guess =P

your speed shows that you are attracted to the older species, am i right? xD

you know what, we people who have O type should be automatically given an A1 in Pengetahuan Moral (or is it Pendidikan Moral? whichever is it, as if like i care lol) since we are so kind as our blood can be used by almost anyone living on this planet.

by the way, that friend of mine already gone-case one. unless you are interested to give her extra night class =P

calvin said...

@ cieri:
that is how the brain of an engineering student work xD

calvin said...

@ endoru:
everything came into my mind at the same time, and since i had the time, i went for it. as usual, the seat didn't fit me. one part of my legs were left hanging there like a [insert a suitable noun] lol =D

calvin said...

@ pinksterz:
seriously, the nurses inside that bus were quite cute. too bad for them because i am taken by *ahem* already =)

ok, here is you treat *serve a piece of dorayaki*

calvin said...

@ eric sng:
everything is made to look cute so that people will not feel afraid to donate their blood =)

calvin said...

@ sheryl0202:
why not? you will never know if you don't try ;)

=chuan guan= said...

haha..u went cos u must be fancy about those japanese those av perhaps..haha..just admit it..hahahahhahahahahahahahaa

calvin said...

@=chuan guan=:
yes, you are right. in fact, one of the reason i went for the blood donation is because my friend told us that the nurses there were kawaii.

how can i let go that golden opportunity, right? xD

Innocent^^Guy said...

u know i surely agree with the poster!

Endoru said...

Dangling legs.
Me too actually but amazing to see how they fit every equipment into that car.

calvin said...

@ innocent^^guy:
got picture of real nurses, but you chose to look at the old woman in the poster =.=

calvin said...

@ endoru:
that's because this is japan ;)