I can’t donate blood, but you totally should

Picture it: Me, Zach and the blood bank. I finally convinced him to donate blood with me because they were giving out $10 Outback Steakhouse giftcards. I had only donated blood once before at work. The process wasn’t terrible, and I loved the thought that I was helping people will relatively little work (so sue me, I like efficiency). However, I’m a chicken, and I wanted him to be there.

We were separated into little tiny rooms with people who took down our information immediately. I checked to make sure that enough time had passed that it was safe to donate again. I checked all the little boxes to verify that I don’t have any blood borne  diseases. I didn’t know it, but in the other room, Zach found out that because he was born in Germany, he has a tiny, minuscule chance that he has some weird rare blood disease that would basically drop dead at 50, but can’t be detected before. It’s highly, highly unlikely that this will happen (we’re talking a decimal point, multiple, multiple zeroes and a one in this percentage), but it meant he couldn’t donate.

So, he sat down in the lobby, and I sat in the oddly dentist-like chair to have my O+ pumped into tiny vials and a medium-sized bag. All was well. The dude who did my interview asked me if I felt dizzy–nope. Not at all. Was feeling pretty perky, actually.

Let this be a lesson to the masses: Don’t underestimate the power of doing something good on your blood pressure. Temporarily, that is.

I sat down with a Diet Coke (gross, I know), and some of those peanut butter crackers (also gross). I took a couple of sips, and then I felt drowsy. Whatever, it had been a long day of work. I slumped my head onto my fist, and decided to make do. Then, that seemed to be too much work. I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

About 20 seconds later, I realized I was in the floor. Zach was standing over me (boy can hustle), looking at his watch. It’s nice having a trained EMT as a husband. He always knows to time any seizures that may happen during the course of your relationship. I tried to get up, but I was basically told to stay down until my blood pressure rose a bit. You know what’s not fun? Lying on the ground of the blood bank with your feet propped up in a chair in your very favorite new dress. While I was in the floor, a peppy older employee chirped that next time, I should drink juice before donating. Which would be fine, except…the floor. I was lying in the floor.

That’s when I decided that I wouldn’t be donating again. However, I can’t shake the feeling that Ms. Juice-Before was right, and that I had probably done something wrong. I’m not sure that’s accurate, since I tried to be incredibly conscious of the rules, but it’s possible.

Every time we have a blood donation at work, I feel super guilty about not going. I mean, you sit there, you lose some blood, and you leave. It’s like being a Spartan, only with less effort and  less blood. How can that be a bad thing? But still, I’ve said no every time because I’m pretty sure Zach wouldn’t be nearly as sympathetic the second time around.

HOWEVER, donating blood is awesome. You should do it. It saves lives! Just don’t expect to run into me at the blood bank, k?

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4 thoughts on “I can’t donate blood, but you totally should

  1. Don’t worry too much about what happened. I think people just tend to react to blood donations differently. Some people can get up and walk away without assistance, others need a little time. In my case, I can’t really exercise for 2-3 days after I donate blood. I learned that lesson the hard way, and I’ll never forget it. Other people can go running the very next morning without a problem. It just depends.
    I’d say, if you wanted to try it again, definitely prepare. I have low iron levels sometimes, so I’ll go and eat a big roast beef sandwich from Arby’s before I donate. Try something like that or a big, green salad. Just make sure you’re fueled up for the event so there isn’t a big blow to your blood sugar level. And definitely don’t try it during work. We want ya to be able to get home safely if it doesn’t go so well.
    In the end, we’re all different. You tried, that’s all that matters. =)

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