You’ll never understand futility like trying to donate platelets and having your donation go to waste.
The whole process of donating platelets is much more intensive than the blood donation process. It can take up to two hours, and it requires you to be quite still.
Despite my best efforts, I failed on this count, causing a vein to be bruised and bringing an end to my useful donation. To my horror, I learned that all of the platelets taken from my body were for nothing. I presume they were discarded.
It’s hard to appreciate the horror I felt. I suppose it would be much worse in degree if you gave a kidney that was accidentally thrown into the garbage, but the feeling is of the same kind.
You’d think this would be an experience of defeat. But while it was pretty close to futile, it wasn’t entirely hopeless.
For one thing, the failed donation exposed me to the feeling of a futile gift. I needed to see and feel that, at least to better understand it. I learned how a donation is done (and what it takes). I learned how important platelets are for certain patients. And I learned how to bounce back from futility: I’m going back in for round 2 this Thursday.