I arrived at the Red Cross a few minutes early. I wasn't feeling nervous, a little anxious but was prepared for the donation process. I was ushered back to the donor hall, filled out the paperwork, answered a ton of questions, blood tested for iron and off to the comfort of the lounge chair.
Jeff, my phlebotomist, was very funny. He commended me for being a first time donor, we chatted about PCC then he handed me off to Boa because his shift was over. I sat with Boa, chatted about her daughter going to PSU when she told me it was almost over. At that moment I felt a swift change with my mental status. I felt my hands cramping and my eyes could not focus. Then everything went black.
When I woke up a nurse was speaking to me but I could not understand her. She asked me what my name was. I did not know it. She asked me if I knew where I was. I did not. I wasn't scared or panicked, I was almost laughing because I thought to myself, "why the hell don't I know this?"
I started to focus in on my whereabouts - I had cooling pads on my chest and forehead. My shoes were off and my legs were elevated. It hit me!
Did I pass out?
The nurse asked me the same questions and this time I knew the answers.
"I'm pretty sure you went into shock, dear."
"Wow. I didn't think that could happen from donating blood."
"A very small percentage does - your body didn't know what was going on and it didn't like it."
I clonked out for nearly 2 minutes. I faintly remember dreaming of my younger sister Katie - we were singing Journey songs. Don't ask me why. I was in shock.
I laid on the bed, feet elevated, cooling pads doing there thing for 20-25 minutes. I wasn't steady and was starting to get a massive headache. I was given apple juice and strict instructions to sip.
I was wheeled to the waiting area, where I was then instructed before I could leave I needed to drink another glass of apple juice, a glass of water and a package of Oreos. I started in on my overwhelming sugar dinner. I started feeling stronger half way through my Oreos. The nurse assigned a volunteer to sit with me and notify her if I started acting funny.
A nice girl, teenager, Junior in high school doing some volunteer work. After an hour or so I felt well enough to drive. The nurse checked me out, she gave me instructions to go home and Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!! And to eat if I felt like it.
I came home, let Andrew know why I wasn't home at my usual hour. He got me tacos and orange juice. I wasn't feeling well. My legs felt funny and could not get my hands and feet warm. I went to bed. At 3am I was jolted from my sleep by horrible calf and quad cramps. I crawled to the kitchen, started drinking orange juice. After stretching and cursing in the dark, I crawled back into bed. When my alarm went off at 6am I called into work, said I'd be late.
Contacted the Red Cross, was instructed to HYDRATE!! And eat whatever sugar I wanted and take an iron supplement. I've had Subway, a cookie and sipping on a Coca Cola. I don't regret donating. I'm apprehensive to do it again, but I do not regret it.
Holy hell, I look like crap! I'm sure I did go into shock.
Very little bruising - good job Jeff!