7 Quick Takes: Blood Draw Edition

I have a habit for finding trouble. And for being impulsive. Which sometimes gets me into trouble. I have yet to master that “prudence” virtue…

Here is my latest tale:

— 1 —

How It Began: I had noticed the signs advertising a blood draw in our office building when I came in yesterday morning. I didn’t really think too much of it. But when I was headed outside to enjoy the sun during my lunch, I decided to peek my head in there. Of course, they weren’t busy and one of the nurses saw me and invited me in. The next thing I know, I’m signing in to donate.

— 2 —

Of Not Being Prepared: Of course, I didn’t have my ID on me, so when I went back upstairs to grab my wallet, I let my boss know that I was giving blood. I think I said, “There are vampires downstairs. I’m going to give them all of my blood!”

I returned and had gone through all of their preliminary material to prescreen the people who should NOT donate. It was mostly concerned with things like Hepatitis and HIV. There was nothing which applied to me. I answered only the questions that they asked. I did not volunteer any additional information. I mean, if you tell people that you have a terminal illness, they tend to get a little apprehensive about doing random, unnecessary, invasive medical procedures on you. Especially if there are other, healthy individuals to be had.

— 3 —

Why Do I Do These Things? I can’t really tell you why I was so determined to give blood. I’m not really sure myself. I remember growing up that my mom used to give blood all the time, and I thought that was a great thing to do. You could help out a bunch of people. Working in General Surgery, I know that blood tends to be more in demand in the summer months and that insufficient quantities of blood products in the blood bank can delay surgeries from being performed. So, it’s not something to be taken for granted.

And, I just like to help others.

— 4 —

During the Procedure: There are some things I know.
1. I have 3 genetic hypercoagulabilities. So I tend to bleed slowly and clot the needle. This means that the poor nurse attending to me had to constantly re-position the needle and press on my arm to ensure that the blood flowed well. It kinda hurt to have her press like that the whole time and keep playing with the needle. She was nice and made comments about how I was going to have her fingerprints embossed on my flesh. I told her she could autograph them.

2. I don’t deal well with losing blood. I’m not afraid of the sight of blood or anything like that; I just don’t react well. I get nauseated and light-headed and have been known to pass out. I prayed that this wouldn’t happen.

3. This means that I kept up a string of Hail Marys for the duration of the procedure. And since I was hurting (see #4 for additional reasons), it was hard for me to focus on the actual words of the Hail Mary. This happens a lot. So, I have developed a habit of praying “Half Marys” — just “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners NOW and at the hour of our death. Amen.” It’s all I can manage at times.

4. HOWEVER… Even during the procedure, I could feel myself getting nauseated, colder, and the fingers on the arm that had the big needle in it were going numb, even though I was rolling the little paper cylinder that they give you.

5. I think the other nurse actually called me “slow” to my face. The nurse who was playing with my needle the whole time said I was “very patient”. I like her better.

— 5 —

After the Giving: They directed me over to the corner of the room to grab my juice and cookies. I am still a little bitter that they don’t have sandwiches and T-shirts, too, like the Central Florida Blood Bank does. That’s one classy operation, right there. 🙂 Anywhoo, I was already late getting back to work, so I asked the guy if I could just grab my juice and go. He was a little hesitant, as donors are *supposed* to wait there 10-15 minutes to make sure that they are okay.

I couldn’t wait, so he loaded me up with 2 juices and a package of cookies and hoped audibly that I wouldn’t be found lying in the hallway on the way back to the office.

Pfft! Of course not! I wouldn’t do that!

— 6 —

Catastrophe: I would wait until after I was back at my desk before passing out! Good thing for me that I typically have a lot of presyncope symptoms and can tell when this is happening. So, I had time to get out of my chair and lay down on the floor (and text people, LOL!) first. While I was laying there, I could hear people asking each other, “Is she okay? She’s laying on the floor.” Um. Way to wonder about me instead of coming over to *see* if I’m okay???

Well, this passed soon enough. And my boss got to comment on how white I was. “You are like white-white-white. Whiter than you normally are.” Which is basically transparent. 🙂

I drank both my juices and ate my cookies and eventually I was able to get off the floor and go back to work.

— 7 —

Am I in Trouble? Close to the end of the day, I got an e-mail from a manager in the Public Relations department, asking if I had given blood at the NCAC (my office) that day. Um…. yes? Was I in trouble? For leaving the blood donation site early? For having problems when I got back to my desk?

As it turns out… NO! 🙂 I had won a prize! Apparently, in an effort to get more employees to give blood, they entered everyone in a drawing. So, I won a duffle bag full of U of M swag: an umbrella, a USB fan, a T-shirt, a Frisbee and a travel cold-cup (for my Starbucks, of course). 🙂

Now, that almost makes it all worth it right there!

(If, of course, it wasn’t ALREADY worth it due to the helping save other people’s lives and stuff….)

My life… is always exciting! 🙂 I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Aftermath:
It turns out that I ended up getting nerve damage and had a T-Rex arm (unable to fully straighten it without a lightning bolt of pain from elbow to wrist). Fun times.

God Bless!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary!

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