#FML

I’m not going to spell out those initials because most people know what they mean. But I will tell you why I’ve titled this piece this way.

Last week I went to give blood. Since it’s the time of Covid and I no longer am employed as a nurse, I’ve wanted to do SOMETHING to help and giving blood is always a good idea, anyway. During this crisis/pandemic, though, it is more needed than ever since so many people are staying home and the ones who aren’t are not donating.

So. I’ve given blood for years and have never had a problem and didn’t anticipate one on this day. Armed with my Kindle, mask, and water bottle, in I went to the donation center at my appointed time.

I’d already filled out the prescreening questions ( 80 of them!) at home via the online link, so I just needed to have my vital signs taken, my blood tested for donate-ability ( not a real word but you know what I mean!) and then I had to be hooked up to the blood letting apparatus.

Easy peasy.

In preparation for the blood draw I always overload on green leafy vegetables for a week before hand – I eat spinach every day as it is, but the week before I double the amount and add in all kinds of goodies like kale ( ugh!) and pomegranate, all high in vitamin K levels, which enrich the blood.

Well, I must have really overloaded myself this time and gotten my blood good and primed. Why, you ask? Let me ‘esplain.

A typical blood draw takes between 15 and 25 minutes. Mine always average about 25.

This one took 5 minutes.

Seriously.

I filled that bag up as fast as I’d ever done before.

If you’re a medico you know what’s coming based just on that fact.

When the tech came to check on me, she said, “Wow. You’re a fast draw-er.” Then she took a look at my face and before you could say “are you okay,” she had me in Trendelenburg position ( head lowered below heart level, feet elevated at least 12 inches above it) and two other techs doused me with ice cold wet rags on my head and around my neck and wrists.

Yup. I was on my way to passing out big time. How did she know? I can only imagine how pale my skin had gone but I do know I was sweating like a puttana in a confessional. My top was saturated, in fact. Those little black dots that signal something is going on were scattered across my vision and this unbelievable wave of nausea engulfed me so badly that I couldn’t speak. If you’ve ever passed out you know that feeling because it’s like no other. Your hearing starts to echo, your vision tunnels in, the tips of your fingers and toes start to tingle and you can hear your heart beating in your head.

After about 15 minutes of hanging upside like a bat, I was righted once again, the blood letting apparatus was removed and the tech did everything she had to do to make sure the draw was complete before removing the needle and bandaging me up with the instructions to take it easy for the rest of the afternoon.

Wise words.

The moral of this little confession, kids? Even though I had a not so great experience, donating blood is one thing you can do to make the world a better place. During the horrible time we find ourselves in right now, we all need to feel like we are doing something useful. Donating blood truly does save a life, and if you can save someone’s life, well, I don’t know about you, but that just makes my day.

I can donate blood again in 8 weeks and plan on doing so.

Maybe next time I won’t eat so much kale, though.

Please consider giving the gift of life. to find out more about blood donation, click here: American Red Cross

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

11 Comments

Filed under #FML

11 responses to “#FML

  1. Jennifer Zander Wilck

    I completely know the feeling! I donated blood all the time when I was in college–the Red Cross came to our campus union. I filled out the forms and donated, no problem. Except no where on the forms did it ask if you were menstruating. And no one ever asked me in person either. So I gave blood that day, left the draw room, made it halfway between the union and the infirmary and started feeling bad. So I I turned back to the union, figuring the blood collecting people would know what to do, and promptly passed out in front of the line of volunteers waiting to give blood. Needless to say, they were not pleased with me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      OMG that’s awful. I don’t seem to remember them ever asking me that, either!!!! Maybe we should make a recommendation…..
      #bethechange

      Like

  2. My husband takes me to donate blood. They won’t take his because of his having been stationed in Germany during the late 80s/early 90s. I love calling him a “mad cow”. He insists it should be “mad bull.” He won’t let me drive myself because I get dizzy and nauseous every single time.

    Some days the blood comes out fine. Other days they give up because it won’t come out… at all. Next time I will try your green leafy vegetable trick.

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  3. How nice of you, Peggy! I gave blood years ago but am not supposed to now, according to my doctor. I’m sure there’s a shortage now, as you said.

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  4. What a terrible experience! I give blood every 8 weeks and never saw anything like that happen (only you, poor Peggy 🙂 . I’m curious – did the phlebotomist have any idea why your blood drew so fast? Was it the things you ate to prepare for it responsible? (too much Vit K I’ve heard can really thin your blood & you can bruise easily (I had that experience). Would be good to know. (I have very thick blood and have to drink 90 oz or more of water a day to keep it thinned, but it still takes about 15 min for me to donate one unit.) Hope you figure out the culprit & have a better experience next time! God bless you for donating!!!

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  5. I’ve had my share of difficult donations too. But I’ve never even come close to passing out. However, I had to give it up because of iron deficiency. I’ve had issues with it all my life and in Canada, I was giving every 56 days. Once, they could only get half a bag…but then told me it would go to a child. So, lemonade! I also have a very rare blood type, which encouraged me to go so often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      OMG I love that!!! My sister in law has the rarest of blood and theblood bank calls her every two months for plasma and blood draws. She is a true hero, like you!

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  6. I am absolutely terrified of needles. I can watch gory movies but if I see a hypodermic come out I have to close my eyes. When I get a blood test or a shot I have to stare at the ceiling and ask them to tell me when it’s over. It doesn’t usually hurt so I don’t know what the issue is. Even reading this makes me queasy. So I’ve never been brave enough to volunteer to donate blood. Congrats on your bravery, Peggy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      Hannah – thanks for your kinds words. I worked as a registered nurse for 175 years, so needled don’t bother me – either in giving shots or getting them! hee hee. But I felt I had to do something during these trying times to help out even just a little. Giving blood is a good way to achieve that goal. Be well. Peg ( and don’t be embarrassed abt the fear of needles, I think most people have it!)

      Like

  7. I replied yesterday, but WP rejected it due to wrong email address. If it’s a duplicate – sorry! What a terrible experience you had! I give blood every 8 weeks and never saw anything like that happen (only you, poor Peggy 🙂 . I’m curious – did the phlebotomist have any idea why your blood drew so fast? Was it the things you ate to prepare for it responsible? (too much Vit K I’ve heard can really thin your blood & you can bruise easily (I had that experience). Hope you figure out the culprit & have a better experience next time! God bless you for donating!!!

    Like

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