Several weeks ago I scheduled an appointment to donate blood. The blood drive was coming to our small town and the last time there were here I found out I was able to donate. (I received several blood transfusions about 6 1/2 years ago and I wasn't sure how long you had to wait to donate.) My mom is a regular donor and I always thought I would be able to donate blood, just like her. I was a regular plasma donor 15 years ago and just assumed it would be easy for me to donate blood. Not the case. The blood didn't want to come out of my left arm so they tried moving the needle in farther (lots of pain), then that still didn't work, so we tried my right arm. It took a few jiggles and moves with the needle and then it finally started flowing....slow but sure. After having a cookie and some soda, we headed home where I became nauseated and felt icky all evening. Now both of my arms are painful and have huge bruises. So even thought I really wanted to be able to give back I just don't think blood donation is for me. I completely appreciate every single person who donates blood. I saw a lot of my friends there today donating blood, including my husband. I am grateful for everyone who gives of their time and precious blood so that others can live. If it weren't for someone else's blood, I wouldn't be here today. If you have never donated blood, it is worth the shot to see if you are a good candidate. Depending on where you donate, the process can be quite quick. Many communities have local blood drives every few months and larger cities have regular blood donation centers. Some good websites to check out are http://www.redcross.org/ and http://www.givelife.org/.