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Giving Blood

I finally did it. I have attempted to give blood before, but my temperature was too low so I wasn't allowed to donate that time. It is assumed the low temperature may have been caused by eating too soon before my donation time though it's hard to pinpoint causes for these things. I'm not sure why I have never started donating blood when I was younger, I remember my dad used to give blood every time the blood mobile was in town. I thought I'd blog about my experience so first time donors may know what to expect.

I ate a breakfast of cold cereal and milk. Knowing that usually doesn't last long, I ate a snack before I headed into town to give blood. Thinking back maybe I should have eaten more than a banana and a free bag of popcorn that I got from the bank, but I was planning on eating lunch with Cheesehead when he got done working so I didn't want to fill up.

My appointment was at 12:15 and Cheesehead was supposed to be finished with work at 1. I assumed 45 minutes was plenty of time to give blood. Apparently I should have gotten there a bit earlier since there was a line of people waiting to register when I got there. I got checked in about 15 minutes late, but it wasn't a huge deal or anything. It just meant I may not be done by 1 as planned. Cheesehead doesn't usually get done working right on time anyway so I didn't think I was too worried about it.

This time my iron, my temps, and blood pressure was all good and I was allowed to donate. All of my answers made me an acceptable donor too. There are lots of questions that they ask and it is very important that the questions are answered honestly. This protects the donor and blood recipients as well. I felt really good helping out in this way. One donation can save 3 lives. I guess I never knew that before Gloria told Cheesehead not to be mad at me for not meeting him as planned.

Things started out great, she was able to find a good vein in the arm of choice. I prefer to have blood samples and things taken out of my left arm since I am right handed. That way I don't feel as limited with the usage of my arm later if I wanted to write or crochet or anything.

The blood came out and filled the bag in no time. I was feeling good, maybe I'd get to the store as planned. After giving blood they do keep you for a little while to make sure of how you're doing, check your blood pressure and all of that. I was suddenly feeling ravenously hungry and ready to run. I was cheerful and chatty as usual and anxious to go eat with my sweetie.

Thankfully I was forced to stay for a few minutes because shortly after that I was feeling a bit nauseated, hot, and light headed. (Hmm, somewhat reminiscent of the vaso vegel incident) I fainted briefly. When I came too I was disorientated and did not recognize the floating face over me. I was laid down and I couldn't remember where I was. Was I at the hospital?

I could feel a nice breeze and there was a hmm of a fan in the background. Then it all came back to me. I had given blood. They were very reassuring and I felt at ease. They gave me a cool pack for the back of my neck and I sat up. I started chatting again and wondered aloud why that happened. She said it wasn't uncommon at all for first time donors to have that happen. It's thought to be caused by a drop in blood pressure. Makes sense.

I was feeling much better again. I looked at the clock and saw it was a few minutes after 1. I thought that I should call Cheesehead and let him know I'll be late, where did I put that purse of mine? They offered me some water. You're supposed to double your intake of water and no-caffeinated beverages after giving blood. I said yes please. That water tasted so good, I drank quite a bit right away. It was so nice, refreshing and cold.

I started feeling lightheaded again. Hmm, last time I fainted so I quickly put down my water as they got me laying back down. My phone was ringing. It was Cheesehead's ring. The nurse asked me if I wanted to answer it. I babbled on about how we were going to meet for lunch and he was done with work. She pulled my purse out from under the bed. Oh, right! I showed her the pocket the phone was in and she got it out for me as I requested. I told him where I was and he came to meet me there.

That's when Gloria told him not to be mad at me for not meeting him at work. She told him that they wouldn't let me go, I had just saved three lives and I got dizzy for my efforts. I slowly sat up, put my legs over the side of the bed, and stood up.

She felt much better that I had someone to be with me for a while longer and advised him that he should drive to the restaurant and we come back for my car later. After feeding me a cookie I was feeling much better and we were off for lunch.

I took it easy the rest of the day as advised. She was right, that lunch did help me feel a whole lot better.

I think if I decide to do this again I will eat my lunch BEFORE giving blood and have NO plans for right after. I won't drink so much right away after giving blood either. It was quite an experience. I hope my story helps others to be better prepared for giving blood and avoid my mistakes.

I won't be able to make another whole blood donation for 8 weeks. She didn't think it would happen again, but I should advise them next time that I had a reaction.

Thank you for stopping by. Please leave me a message. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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