National blood donor day

So apparently today is National Blood Donor Day, such a great cause.  Some page on facebook was asking people if they’ve given blood.

In honor of this day and that question, I thought I’d share a story with you.

My answer is yes, I have given blood, but no, not recently.

I think giving blood is an excellent thing to do.  It’s badly needed and it’s really quite simple to do.  Those reasons are exactly why, several years ago, I decided to donate while on a trip to FL with my mother and sister.

We were visiting because my grandfather’s health hadn’t been great.  Leaving him and my grandmother to relax at home, my mother, sister, and I went to run some errands and grab lunch at Panera.  In the parking lot right next to Panera was a blood donation van.  I commented that it’s a great thing to do and that maybe I’d do it after lunch while the ran some errands.

After lunch I headed to the van and began the blood donation process.  Easy.  My mother and sister went and did an errand or two.

When I was done, I waited a bit in the van and had a snack.  Soon after my mom/sister returned and I got up to leave.  It had only been a short time since I had finished donating but I felt fine.  The staff didn’t say anything about me needing more rest, so I figured I was fine.

I got up and headed over to a shaded area outside of Panera where I sat with my mother and sis.  My sis got up to go to the bathroom.  While she was gone, my vision started to get a bit fuzzy and I felt myself getting dizzy.  I told my mom I needed water so she went over to the van.  When they heard that, they came out to help me.  By that point my vision had completely clouded over and while I could hear, I couldn’t see.

They told me I needed to get in to the van and that it was probably the heat.  I remember standing up and putting my arm around the nurse (?).  We started walking (slowly) toward the van.  Apparently right as I neared the steps up, I passed out.  By this point my sister had returned and I believe she yelled something along the lines of “save my sister!”.  They had me sniff ammonia which brought me back, right at the base of the stairs.  I then was pseudo carried up the stairs and in to the AC.

I was pale and ended up throwing up, yet I felt OK and knew I’d be fine.  It was definitely harder for my mother and sister than it was for me.

We believe that it was because I didn’t rest long enough but also because it was Florida and it was HOT.

My sister then forbade me from giving blood again.  While I still think it’s a wonderful thing to do, I’m definitely a bit afraid that something similar will happen, so I’ve kept my word to her and have not donated since then.

Maybe one day…


2 thoughts on “National blood donor day

  1. The first time I donated blood I was 18 and in high school–terrible experience which left me with a lot of bruises. But…I keep giving because I’ve known lots of people who have needed transfusions.
    I had my dog donate blood a few times, too–at the emergency vet hospital. Animals need blood during surgery!

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