|a green sticker for me because I was a newbie|
I eventually went downstairs for my appointment in the mega huge break room (yes, donating blood where people were eating lunch) and sat down and waited. For an hour. Right next to a case of water bottles we were encouraged to drink. And I drank. And drank. And drank. And had to pee so terribly bad, but this won't take too long, right? I'll be fine. I'll just keep drinking this delicious water to calm my nerves and keep me hydrated. I can ignore my beckoning bladder. I'll just dump out some blood and be back at my desk in no time (LOL).
About an hour later, my full bladder and I were called back. I sat in a little makeshift cube and before they could even ask to take my blood pressure, I blurted out I AM SO TERRIFIED RIGHT NOW. That's right, I pulled the pansy card. If I'm going to do this while I am so violently terrified, I need to be coddled a little. She did her thing, my finger was pricked, and surprise! No more anemia! Yay! I guess my love of spinach has paid off.
The nurse then handed me a huge pile of tubes and bags that could hold the blood of an army. I gulped. I got the nervous sweats. My full bladder bellowed. The nervous shakes came back. But I took a deep breath and walked to
Ten minutes later I was done. They took the needle out, unplugged me, and ripped off all kinds of tape which made me a little bummed they hadn't taped the tubes to my eyebrows. If you're going to rip things off my skin, you might as well do it there. They could use a good waxing. But once all the tape had been ripped off my arm (the worse part of giving blood, truly), I laid there and felt great. I wasn't dizzy! I wasn't nauseous! None of those awful side effects I've heard so much about. I'm such a champ! In a few minutes I would grab my cookies and skip back to my desk.
And then the guy who took my blood leaned my seat up so I was sitting upright. At first I was feeling normalish, then ok fine a smidge dizzy. Then whoooaaa why is everyone walking in circles? What's happening? Why.........where.....help........I don't feel good.....lay me down NOW. It felt like all the life in my body was leaking out of a hose, even thought the tubes and bags and wires were gone. I could feel it. I laid down and closed my eyes, hardly aware of anything happening when I heard shouts of "NO! KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN! YOU HAVE TO STAY CONSCIOUS! STAY AWAKE! STAY AWAKE!" And suddenly cold compresses were thrown on my neck and forehead, which was great because I had started sweating out of the blue. And then the nausea banged me on the head like a cartoon character with a frying pan. I looked up at the nearest person in a Red Cross coat and said "I think....I feel like......I think I might throw up..."and suddenly a brown paper lunch bag was thrown over my nose and mouth and someone was telling me BREATHE ok BREATHE ok DEEP BREATH ok COUGH! And magically, I felt like a human again. The nausea was gone. The room stopped spinning. And according to the person with the paper bag, my face had color in it again. I was going to live!
And it was at this point I noticed everyone in a 10 mile radius was standing around me watching. 10 minutes ago I was just the awkward new girl. But now? Now I'm the awkward new girl who is terrified of needles and who is laying on a stretcher in the break room covered in cold compresses with a paper bag over her mouth. It was an introvert's worst nightmare. Not only am I dying, but I'm going to die with PEOPLE LOOKING AT ME. I laid there for awhile and slowly recovered. And then they inched the cot up a little. And I laid there for awhile. And then I sat up a few more inches. Every time I inched up the dizziness poked at me again. And then a kind old man gave me something called a sugar wafer and a bottle of water, and suddenly the world was sparkling and I felt like I could frolic in a field of yellow daisies.
Since I was under strict instruction to not sit up all the way, I managed to grab my water bottle with some strange finagling of my limbs, and then I opened it and tried to bring it to my face and drink it, except I spilled it all over my crotchal area and on the cot. At least it helped with the clamminess I was still dealing with. But then one of the nurses looked at me and whispered "Did you....by chance....relieve yourself on the cot?" "OF COURSE I DID NOT! This is what happens when you try to drink out of a water bottle lying down! I SPILLED!" He chuckled and said "Ok, I was just checking. It's happened a few times with people who react like you after giving blood." Just kill. me. now. Hook that bag back up and take out the rest of my blood. I am dead.
About 30 minutes later I finally stood up and noticed that the water from my spill had gotten my butt and the backs of my thighs soaking wet, which was not helping my case in the least. I downed a bag of teddy grahams, practiced walking around the room, and was officially given the all clear to go back to work. My wet butt and I trudged up the stairs and to the bathroom where I could finally returned nature's call from 2 hours ago because I do those things in the bathroom and not on a cot. And then I went back to my desk where I had 20 minutes left in my day.
You should all give blood. It shouldn't take long, but you might get out of an entire afternoon of work. And you will be able to stay home from the gym guilt-free. And there are cookies. Just maybe consider doing it in a place where your coworkers can't see you. Things might get embarrassing.
But really, how cool is this? I walked in to work yesterday pouty and in an awful mood since James is in North Carolina for the weekend. I ended the day saving a life and celebrating with Chipotle and Netflix.
I might just be crazy enough to do it again.
Depends on how badly I want to get out of working out.