I forgot that I signed up while I was getting dressed in the morning, and I wore a long sleeved blazer over a tank top (it's about 5 degrees in my office, so wearing long sleeves, even when it is humid and warm, makes sense). I should have taken that as a sign that I was not supposed to give blood that day, but instead, I changed into the stretchy sweater I keep at my desk and went on my merry little way to the blood donation bus.
Before I get into this story, I should mention that I have given blood several times with little or no reaction. I don't want this story to be the reason someone doesn't give blood, because it is an easy, free way to help people, and it only takes a few minutes of your time. Every time you give blood you have the potential of saving three people's life! How's that for 15 minutes of your time? So if you meet the requirements, please try to give at least once. It really isn't that bad.
I passed through all their tests with flying colors, blood pressure-perfect. Blood sugar-perfect. Clotting-perfect. Temperature-perfect. They plugged me in, sucked my blood for a few minutes, and I was on my way. I walked back to my desk feeling somewhat smug and happy that I didn't feel bad at all.
About 15 minutes later, a fuzzy feeling descended on me. I tried eating the Chex Mix they had given me, but it just made me feel nauseous. I was breaking out in a sweat, but I didn't want to take my sweater off, I only had a spaghetti strap tank top on! My manager noticed me having trouble, and brought me a glass of water. I kept getting worse, so he went to go get a worker from the donation bus. By this time, everyone in my department was circled around me, some to catch me if I passed out, and others just to see the show, I guess. That was the moment my body decided it would be a really good idea to get everything in my stomach out.
Not my proudest moment.
Luckily I had a trash can right next to me, or this would be an even more embarrassing story!! The nurse came from the bus, the same one that had praised me 30 minutes ago for being so hardy, and invited me to come donate again as soon as possible. He put ice packs on my neck, gave me more Gatorade, and took me to the Quiet Room where I had to put my feet up. Then people had to come check on me every 3 minutes to make sure I wasn't dead.
Luckily, I didn't die. I did get to go home for the rest of the day, and I'm guessing that I'll get a cool new nickname at work too.
It's going to be a while before I want to give blood again...