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.
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.
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.
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