I've always wanted to give blood. The first time I tried, I had been in Honduras a few months prior and wasn't allowed to. The next time, I drove to a 9/11 remembrance drive, only to find them packing up and shutting down early. Today, the school I'm substitute teaching at was having one all-day. Finally, my chance! My conference periods were in the morning, so I was happy to give it a go while I didn't have any students. Well, pumping the blood out went great...then it all went very very wrong...
First of all, let it be known that I didn't eat breakfast. That's where I went wrong. I drank half a can of Slim Fast that morning...definitely not enough for blood-draining...that's for sure.
I don't have issues with needles and my veins stick out pretty well, so the actual blood-giving process went great. I pumped my little hand into a fist and drained pretty quickly.
When the needle was taken out that's when I started feeling a little lightheaded.
I remember a lady asking me to hold the gauze to stop the blood, but that's when I blacked out.
Passing out is so weird. I felt like I was dreaming. I could slightly see and hear my surroundings, but I couldn't answer. I woke up to seeing 4 of the blood center employees saying my name over me and feeling 3 ice packs on my chest, one behind my neck and one on my head.
I think I answered them. Then I passed back out again.
All I can say is blacking out is truly one of the strangest feelings I've ever had.
After I woke up the second time, they were making me drink Powerade and eat Chex Mix, just so I'd have something in my system. Chocolate Slim Fast, red Powerade and salty Chex Mix probably isn't the best combination for a nervous stomach.
I was laughing and chatting after that. The students who are giving blood too are in the class I've been subbing in all week. They made fun of me a bit since I completely traumatized them as they were about to give blood!
Then they took my blood pressure again...
I felt a sudden rush of heat and told the employees, "I feel really hot."
Knowing what was inevitable, I told the lady, "I need to get away from the students!"
I was ready to get up and run. No time for that.
I threw up.
Yep, I threw up. Not once. Not twice. But three times.
The lady has quick hands and helped me make it into a bag, which was good...but, still! I'm sitting there, beside two high school football players, in front of teachers and strangers...throwing up.
Then I was wheeled to the nurse's office in a wheelchair. After a little bit of laying around, I decided to come home for the day. That's right, people: They had to call a substitute for the substitute teacher.
Through it all, someone somewhere will need that blood I gave, so I will be wearing my "blood donor" t-shirt with pride tomorrow.