My new thing today was conquer a fear.
It is my first failure so far. To be fair, the failure was due to malaria, not backing out. Let’s begin with the fear; I hate blood. Pretty much any blood or pain related idea makes me sick to my stomach and dizzy.
I have tons of stories about passing out because of this fear, much to my boyfriend’s amusement. I think his favorite story is about my 13th birthday when I was allowed to get my ears pierced. It was the girl’s first time piercing someone and she unfortunately had me and my mother in the store. The first ear went fine, but on the second one the back of the earring got jammed in the gun and she made the mistake of saying “oops” out-loud. I went ghost-white and pass out in the piercing chair immediately because I am imagining my whole ear gushing with blood and somehow being ripped from my body leaving me permanently disfigured. Then, my mom seeing that I passed out, helped to wake me up and then passed out on the floor once she knew I was ok (oh yeah, my mom does the same thing). Obviously in the end I was ok, my ear looks perfectly normal – the poor girl probably still isn’t ok however.
So anyway, I pass out frequently. And I admire people who give blood like it’s not taking something vital to their life out of their body where it belongs. I made an appointment, I ate a good meal, I took deep breaths, I stopped the car on the way into town when I felt sick, I found the donation center, I walked though the doors, I accidentally looked over to the area where several people had needles sticking out of their arms, I ducked back around the corner and put my head between my legs, I registered, and I sat down in the screening room where they ask you questions and check your iron levels. And the sweetest lady starting asking me about where I had traveled. Turns out pretty much anywhere in Asia is a malaria risk unless you travel just in the inner cities and only by plane. So I was rejected.
But I decided that I felt good about making it all the way into that clinic full of needles and packages full of blood stacked away. So I would just have to wait for a year and try again. But a least I know I can make it that far and maybe next time it wont be as scary.