07 March 2015
I'm also proud that prior to this morning's double red apheresis donation, I'd only had one 'incident.' Several years ago, in one of those cozy blood mobiles, I passed out in the middle of a regular donation. It was totally my fault as I had broken my donation day routine. The only thing I'd eaten that day was a yogurt. Of course things were going to go horribly wrong. The best part of that one was when they yanked out the needle, it sent a spray of blood all over my jeans. It looked like I'd just walked off the set of "Friday the 13th Part 83." They've made about that many craptastic sequels to that cinematic screed, right?
That incident didn't spook me and I kept on donating, sans issue until this morning. As far as I know, I did everything right. Good night's sleep. CHECK. Balanced breakfast. CHECK. Lots of liquids. CHECK. Blood pressure. EXCELLENT. So all was in order. My nurse was great. She got the machine primed and in no time, the donation was under way. About 10 minutes in, I felt things get just a little tingly and then very, very hot and I thought, 'Perhaps I should say someth...' and I was out. When I came to, my face was covered in cold towels and I was surrounded by several staffers who were shaking my knees, asking me my name, and saying things like 'Welcome back!' Now why they said that, I have no idea. I heard no one telling me to go towards the light during my brief slumber. I did, though, have the presence of mind to immediately check to see if things had gone awry with my bladder. Delighted to find that things were as dry as the Gobi Desert, I then began responding to the assembled throng. Turns out, when I'm coming out of an event like that, I like to use a really loud voice. Like the kind older people use with people who don't speak English ("If you speak really loudly, it will be easier for them to understand English." - no flaw in that logic, is there?). Frankly, I was mortified. I'd done everything right. And heaven knows, it wasn't that I'm too thin to be giving blood. Quite the opposite, I'm afraid. I kept apologizing because they weren't going to be able to use any of my draw. The staffers were great, assuring me that this happens more than one would think. Still feeling like a tool, once I had it together I headed home.
My sister, the PA, thinks it was nothing more than vasovagal response, which if you asks me sounds like something hideous or to my inner sixth grader, potentially naughty. It's not. Just further proof why it's a good thing I didn't pursue a medical career. You're welcome. In spite of today's hiccup, I shall not be deterred. Vasovagal response or not, I'll keep giving. And if you are able to give blood, so should you!