i donated blood today! and i didn't die!!! yay!!! (THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOL'S DAY JOKE.)
some of you may remember my first attempt, and this one was much better as far as the blood drawers were concerned. (it was with a different blood donor organization.) i arrived after appropriately eating breakfast AND a mid-morning snack, they got all my info, and then i got in the chair. (my blood pressure was 100/73 and my heart rate was 72...woo!) the needle, which was scary, did NOT hurt as bad as last time, and i believe the reason was because the lady sticking me seemed to be the most experienced one on that particular bus. it still felt weird, since it was a big needle though. throughout the blood letting experience, i felt kind of lightheaded and nauseous, so they got me a huge biohazard bag "just in case" and tipped me back in the chair. they taped the tubing of MY BLOOD TO MY WRIST (i guess that's standard procedure?) but i could FEEL THE WARMTH of MY BLOOD flowing through the tubing, and that was directly causing a large portion of my distress.
so about an ETERNITY later, i was all done. poor phlebotomists, i made one of them tell me how much left of the bag they needed...evidently the magic volume is 610 mLs (or about 2 milk cartons, as my friend L would say). so every few seconds, she would say 550 mL, 560 mL, and etc. i didn't feel the needle go out at all, and sat/laid in the chair for a bit. however, BOTH of my arms and hands were tingling, like the pins-and-needles feeling when you block blood flow to some area of your body. evidently it's normal for one hand to be tingly, but both? weird...
i get up from the chair and move to the front of the bus to the "snack area". i began eating my ritz peanut butter crackers when i proclaimed "i don't feel well, can i lay back down?" someone put their arm around me, we began walking back, and BAM! the next thing i know people are shouting "FRYLIME FRYLIME" in my face. (and oddly, the whole time i just thought i had gone to sleep. it was quite similar to the "i've drank WAAAAY too much nap nap time now" moments. and i dreamt that i was eating delicious food. is it possible to dream while having fainted?) they had laid me out on the FLOOR!!! OF THE BUS!!!
after that incident, they made me sit in the chair thing for about 15 minutes before they let me leave. but after the passing out incident, i honestly felt just fine. (again, quite similar to the "i drank too much let me throw up and OH i feel fine now" moments.) my blood pressure now was 110/70, and my heart rate was 76.
ok, fast forward 2-3 hours, and i'm leaving school. i had just removed the tight arm band thingie, and was thinking that i felt pretty good. i looked at my arm, noticed that the HOLE in my arm was HUUUUGE and that there was a BULGE in it, i think OH CRAP i'm going to have a hematoma in my arm and it's going to be uncontrollable and they're going to amputate, my eyes start swimming, and i sit down on some steps before it was too late. well, i didn't pass out, and i think i made up the arm bulge.
for all of that, i got a coupon for a free scoop of ice cream at one of the BEST ice cream shops in town!!! and a too-big-for-me tshirt, boo. and in 6 weeks i'll find out my blood type, which was a major impetus for my desire to donate blood...that and the whole "help others out" stuff.
so i think that was a major step in conquering and/or overcoming my fear of blood and bleeding and stuff. i really wanted to cry at one point, but i didn't, because H would have called me a pansy. hee hee...so therefore now i make chili...nice.