THE BLOOD DONATION STORY YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR.

I should tell you I’m not afraid of needles, I don’t faint at the sight of blood or the site of blood.  I am unperturbed by blood unless it is gushing out of my forehead from either side of an axehead.  So when I trekked into my local blood donor clinic, veins held high, ready to give blood and find out my blood type, I was not worried.  My plan was to confirm the results that I got from testing my own blood type at home with an Eldoncard. I would then go home immediately to devour 14 blocks of cheese. People with type B blood you see are the only ones who can eat 14 blocks of cheese without experiencing any gut trouble, according to the book Eat Right For Your Type. I thought I was a B- but I wanted it confirmed so I could continue to eat lots of cheese.

I also wanted to give blood, because I can’t think of a faster or easier way to save a life than by sitting in a chair for 7 minutes and then eating cookies.

As soon as I got to the blood donor clinic I was informed that it would take 8-12 weeks before I was told what my blood type was.  Right there and then, when things started going off script, I should have been spooked.  But I wasn’t. I ploughed forward, shoving my veins at anyone who I thought might want to poke them.

And poke they did.  A nurse asked me if I was O.K. as she positioned a needle over my finger, I said, yup, I’m fine and away we went.  The first poke was to see if I had enough hemoglobin in my blood.  I did.  After answering several questionnaires and declaring I’d never had intimate relations with anyone who had spent time in a Turkish prison, I was ushered into a blood donation chair.

They asked me if I was O.K., I said yup, and they slid a needle into my arm.  Then I just sat there as the bag beside me filled up with my hopefully Type B blood and sloshed around.  I smirked a little with pride as the woman taking my blood told me I was a good bleeder and I should be done in no time. I’ve always been a bit of an overachiever.  I don’t even have to try.  I’m quite amazing.

donating blood

About 7 minutes later my buzzer went off and I was done.  My Phlebotomist removed the needle and asked me how I was.  Fine. I was FINE. Stop asking me that. I’m super tough. I’ve pulled maggots out of a chickens ass.  Seriously, just point me in the direction of the cooki …….  Uh oh.  I’m super thirsty.  I wonder if I should tell anyone I’m suddenly so thirsty I feel like my tongue is made of velcro. Nah.

Huh.  Things seemed weird.  Not fainting weird, just weird.  I decided I’d better let someone know that I think they might have accidentally taken all of my blood.  I wasn’t mad, I just, ya know, wanted a bit back.  Enough to give me the strength to make it to the snack table.   I got the words “I don’t fehleighvmkdmv  …” out of my mouth and in a split second a flurry of nurses were running towards me, tilting my chair back, ramming cold compresses on every inch of my exposed skin and throwing around a lot of medical terms like, “Wow.  She’s really sweating.  Are her eyeballs sweating? I think her eyeballs are sweating.

And they were.

I was now in what felt like an almost upside down position, covered in sweat, wondering if I could telepathically tell anyone I might barf.  Because I didn’t have the energy to form actual words out of my mouth.  Although, being a through and through Canadian I managed to eek out a thank you when one of them put a huge block of ice under my neck.

The nurses circled around me like I was Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree and told me this was perfectly normal and I’d feel better soon.  No.  No, this is not perfectly normal because if it was, no one would ever donate blood ever, on account of the fact that it leads to death.

Were my bowels loosening?  I think my bowels were thinking of loosening.  For the love of all that is holy, please don’t let me be sick to my pants right here next to the snack table.  This is bad.  This is really bad.  I rolled my eyes in a way I thought let everyone around me know I still didn’t feel tip top.

Nobody seemed nearly as worried as I thought they should be.  No one even tried to ask me who my next of kin were. Indeed after 7 minutes or so of sheer hell I was well enough to ask if someone could please find my iPhone, this was a definite Instagram moment.

almost passed out after donating blood

Did I mention one of my sisters came with me and was sitting right across from me giving blood as this all went down?  No?  I might not have mentioned her because as they ushered me to a stretcher (once I stopped drooling), I glanced over  expecting her to be crying into a lace handkerchief and forming a prayer circle. Instead she greeted me with a big smile and a wave.  Like no biggee.  We all die and shit our pants in public every so often.

I didn’t by the way.  Poop in my pants.  I didn’t even faint.  I didn’t throw up.  I just decided I needed to sweat and try to nap profusely.  They wouldn’t let me nap though because every time I closed my eyes some nurse yelled at me to STAY WITH US.  I had saliva running down my chin. I’m not sure where they thought I was going.

I still wasn’t allowed to sit up, and there was great discussion about whether I should actually try to stand as I shifted over to the stretcher.

Can your legs hold you? Do you think your legs will hold you?” 

Lady, my bowels just proved to be as loyal and strong as a German Shepherd,  my legs are gonna be fine.

So onto the stretcher I went, wondering how exactly I ended up here, eyes toward the ceiling, my pint of blood probably lonely and scared in some cooler somewhere.  Who DOES this?  I mean people do this all the time but who ARE they?  From my vantage point on the stretcher I could pretty much stare at everyone without fear of seeming suspicious and gawky because I was obviously in distress and possibly even suffering from some sort of brain damage.

Across the way I saw a girl of about 19 who I recognized as a cashier from my local garden centre.  She was fine.  Beside her was a man around 70 sounding a bit crotchety and letting the Phlebotomist know they should use his other arm; they always use his other arm.  He was fine.  Eating their recuperation snacks and juice were a wealthy looking woman and a friend of the 19 year old.  They were fine.  There were white people and brown people, women and men, young and old.  All of them spending the end of their holiday Monday in a church community room giving blood for someone they’ve never met, would never meet and who would never get the chance to thank them.  Why is giving blood so easy for them?  Why not me?

When I was finally able to sit myself up, an organizer brought me some juice and thanked me for coming out.  She kneeled down close to me, touched my knee and in a concerned voice, gently whispered into my ear “Did we get a full pint out of you?

I laughed so hard I thought blood was going to start gushing out of the pinprick in my arm again.  I don’t blame her. I wasn’t insulted.  Getting and giving blood is important stuff.  YUP.  You got the full pint and judging by the way I feel, you got one of those big pints.  You super-sized it.

The nurses who flurried towards me earlier all asked if I was feeling O.K. and of course I said Yes.

I’m fine.

I’m super tough.

I’ve picked maggots out of a chicken’s ass.

Or as I’ll say from here on in;

I’m fine.

I’m super tough.

I’ve given blood … without losing control of my bowels.

That was a pretty funny post, right?  Wanna read something even funnier?  I’m gonna give blood again.

120 Comments

  1. Marilyn says:

    Good for you!! It’s such an easy and great thing to do. So glad you aren’t giving up!!

  2. Brandy says:

    Good for you!! I can’t due to a bleeding disorder so I organize blood drives at work instead!

  3. Bronwyn David says:

    STAY WITH US!!! Your posts are the best!

  4. Leslie says:

    Oh my word … I have not laughed this hard in a long time. You are a trooper! I have a thing about needles and get pale and shakey from just a shot. That said, I have given blood three times, all three times I got pale and shakey and it was an hour or so before they let me leave. I never passed out but when I got home I slept for 8 hours, it totally wiped me out. The last time one of the nurses asked if this always happened. When I said yes she told me a pint of blood was not worth it. Permission given, I have never given blood again. Again, you are a trooper 🙂

    • Karen says:

      If this go south next time I’ll find another, easier, way to help others. Like, I don’t know, inventing synthetic blood. ~ karen!

  5. Bonnie Goodrich-Wilcoxson says:

    Good for you! Maybe take your own juice and cookies next time so if it all goes south again, you don’t have to wait for the panic to be over to get nutrition.

    PS Poor chicken

  6. brenda says:

    I’m one of those peeps that faint at the site&sights of blood letting but I’ve never picked a maggot out of a chickens butt – I just can’t … has anyone ever told you YOU ARE SOooOOO BRAVE

  7. Sandra C says:

    First time I gave blood I was “fine” too – donated, got my juice & cookies then walked out of the blood mobile. We were doing a blood drive at work & I passed one of our mechanics as he was coming in. Everything went from wide screen Technicolor to black&white and all I could see was the button on his shirt. He caught me as I went down and didn’t want to lay me on the shop floor because it was dirty. He dropped me the last 6″ when I told him I wanted to barf. More laying on the shop floor, juice & cookies then I was fine again. 20 years later I have given enough times to have gotten my 3gallon pin & I’m well on my way to 4! Just have to up my water red meat & spinach counts the week before I donate & all is good!

    • Karen says:

      LOL, well at least he got you relatively close to the ground before dropping you on your head. Points for that! ~ karen!

  8. Lisa says:

    I think out of the 6 times I’ve given blood, that only happened to me once. Somewhere in the middle. Weird, but it might not happen again

    I had to stop because I was on blood thinners for blood clots. Now I think I should do platelets because I am really good at that.

  9. Stephanie says:

    I used to give blood at a local school gym when the Red Cross came for the day. Being a mother I had to take several children with me while I did it and they would lie under the cot and shout encouragement at me to beat the person on the next cot in filling up the bag. Being a fast bleeder was an accomplishment not to be looked down on as I can still remember the kids shouting YES!! As I pumped my way to victory.

  10. virginia says:

    Karen, educate me — what actually happened? Hope the next time is different 🙂

    • Karen says:

      If I knew I’d tell you Virginia. :/ I got a few different explanations from “You were dehydrated maybe”, to “You might not meet the weight requirement”, to “Your blood pressure bottomed out because once the blood giving was over you relaxed”, to “You went into shock”. Dunno. ~ karen!

      • SusanR says:

        I was turned away for not weighing enough, the first time I tried to donate blood. They wouldn’t let me donate until I reached 115 pounds, which didn’t happen for several years. I’m 5’4″ and fine-boned. The sweat breakout sounds like shock, which is the body’s reaction to sudden changes. I’m glad it wasn’t worse for you. Like someone else suggested, red meat, veggies and lots of liquids the week before your next donation might help build up red blood cell levels so the loss of a pint can be taken in stride.

    • Diana Trent says:

      My Husband is the manliest man I know. He has a condition involving the vagus nerve(sp?). You may have heard of people who can faint dead away just from drinking a very cold glass of water. Some are set off by different things. It’s odd. It’s a mechanical issue rather than a cardiac/circulatory issue.
      “….faster or easier way to save a life than by sitting in a chair for 7 minutes and then eating cookies.” You’re a funny broad. It’s rare. I know. I’m a hoot. I found the only man in the world who could handle me.

  11. KiwiKat says:

    I live in a rural area, so the blood service only come around 2 – 3 times a year – I’m up to 45 donations so far though. We have an app that lets us book our next appointment, and sends us a message when our donation is used, so that’s pretty cool.
    The first time I gave I was 16 and we went up from school to do it (a pint of blood to get out of afternoon classes? Sign me up!) and one of our teachers fainted. Funniest thing we’d seen in a while. (hmm…maybe I should be more sympathetic?)….as I have gotten older, I have learned that no, I can’t go and do a gym circuit workout after giving blood (I know they tell you not to, but well, I tried anyway)…didn’t faint, but didn’t complete the full circuit, either! My mother has aged out and can’t donate any more.

  12. Laura says:

    Good for you!!!

  13. MrsChrisSA says:

    Trooper Karen!!
    It gets easier every time.
    One of my biggest regrets is no longer being able to donate blood due to the daily medication I have to take!!

  14. Debbie D says:

    Congrats on giving blood! What a wonderful thing to do! Can’t do it myself as I have thalassemia. So glad there are folks like you in the world. Thank you!

  15. Deborah Burns says:

    Well, THAT was an adventure!

    Glad you survived and lived to tell the tale!

    I have low blood pressure and often can’t give blood because of it.

    Good job for helping to save someone’s life!! 🙂

  16. Kmarie says:

    Erm … I have a major phobia of blood and lucky for me I’m severly anemic so can’t ever give blood and have a current ferritin of 2… but I’m wondering – did they check your ferritin levels even if your hemo was fine? It sounds odd- your reaction – tho I am honestly almost astounded most people don’t have your reaction as severe. I can’t wait till we progress to less archaic methods in the future . Did they give you a reason why this happened ?

    • Kmarie says:

      Oh and PS. I’m one point away from threatened transfusion which I am appalled by but if I had to I guess these archaic procedures would save my life maybe . Thus I’m not ungrateful- just wish they would progress and improve. I get only 8 vials of blood every few months and they have to makesure I don’t pass out. In fact, I’ve been putting off my check in bloodwork for a week but I guess if u risked death I can go get my bloodwork Monday. Le sigh.

  17. TucsonPatty says:

    Oh, Karen. I’m sorry (no, I’m not really) for laughing at you. I’m going to use the “sick to my pants” line as soon as the occasion arises! I’m going tomorrow morning to donate platelets and I’ve learned that hydration is one of the keys to a successful ending to the trip. That, and eating a good meal the night before and the morning of. They have also finally gotten it into my head that trying to wait out the “I feel strange” feeling is not good, and it never gets better. So, in order to not have them stop in the middle of the donation, I’ve learned the eating and drinking trick. You are my hero!

  18. Carla says:

    That happens to me too! My aunt, who is a nurse told me is was a vagosympathetic response. Actually she said it was “nerves” So I said “screw this, I don’t have nerves! I’m not scared”. Next time it happened as soon as the needle went in my arm. It happens every damn time, no matter how much I tell my body to calm down.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, I really wasn’t nervous. Not in the slightest. Because I didn’t think in a million years I’d be thrown on my back, sweating from my elbows, covered in ice packs, lol. I really think I probably just don’t have enough blood in me to give any up. ~ karen!

  19. TucsonPatty says:

    P.S. I recognized the cold-compress-on-the-forehead-slicked-back-hair look…I’ve had that a time or two (or ten). And, yes, it is awesome to know you are helping save lives. My niece died of leukemia 30 years ago, and had so many units of platelets given to her that I hope to put a small dent in replacing them. I’ve been donating platelets for over 30 years, minus the timeout they made me take for my cancer diagnosis, and there is not a better feeling in the world! Blood or platelets – they both are needed.

  20. Jacquie says:

    I faint now and again for no apparent reason and know the loosening of the bowels feeling well. Fortunately it’s never followed through so to speak 🙂

  21. FionaJ says:

    Sounds familiar, my first time I ended up fainting over the milkshake and sausage rolls. I also thank my bowels and bladder for behaving themselves. Ever since, lots more water, elevated legs throughout the donation and a bit extra time lying done; all okay and ready for the free food every time.

    I started donating during uni and we used to go as a group, to the centre that had the best food of course, and compete on the fastest bleeder title. I did very nicely there.

    Enjoy the return adventure.

  22. Auntiepatch says:

    I’ve given blood for 50 years (in 3 different states). I have low BP so I would take a book to read as I pumped. The last time I went, they told me I was taking too much time in the chair and please don’t come back. How do you like that? How rude!

    • Catherine says:

      They’d put a blood pressure cuff on me to speed me up.

      Unfortunately I haven’t been able to donate since the Mad Cow debacle because I spent too much time in the UK in the 80s.

  23. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Ha!…just teasing Karen…I am famous round here for fainting when I get bloodwork…yup…a wonderful trait that my son was so lucky to inherit from me also…yup… “Here come the wimps…get the smelling salts ready”…(not a joke..they actually do that)…..Good luck in your future attempts!

  24. StefT says:

    I’m type 1 diabetic, and all the sweating and wooziness sounds like the symptoms I have when I have a hypoglycemic episode. Maybe you need more pre-blood giving cookies? More cookies always sounds like a solid plan in my books.

    • Karen says:

      You know what’s funny is just before I gave blood I ate cold steak, swiss chard and big cookie! I guess I need a bigger cookie. A pancake sized cookie. ~ karen!

      • Robert says:

        Just don’t eat RIGHT before you give blood. I think your digestive system is busy handling all the new food and needs more blood then. Just wait a couple of hours, and you’ll probably be fine.

  25. Robert says:

    I once gave blood early in the morning (7:30a) before eating breakfast. This turned out to be a bad idea. I actually passed out for a couple of minutes during the donation which caused a bit of concern among the nurses.

    The particularly bad part was that I had brought my wife along for her first donation. She had eaten just before the donation and became extremely nauseous which also caused concern among the nurses. Soooo, not a good introduction for her.

    She hasn’t been back, but I still go. But I always make sure I’ve eaten a couple of hours before!

  26. whitequeen96 says:

    When I went, I also had the “I’m tough as nails!” attitude. I was sure I would be a champ at this. But I got dizzy afterwards and had to stay there for a while. For me, the weirdest part was how incredibly weak I was for the rest of the day and part of the next. I remember thinking, “This is how Robin Hood must have felt when he was bleeding to death.” They told me that I must have not been well-hydrated enough and that was the cause of the weakness. I was nervous about returning, but started some new meds that made it impossible. I must admit to being relieved! 🙂

  27. Carrie says:

    So???? Did I miss it somewhere?
    Are you a cheese eating type B for sure and was there something in that book saying type B people shouldn’t give blood???? Lol😂😂

    • Karen says:

      Ha! 🙂 Up near the beginning of the story I mention that as soon as I entered the clinic I was told I wouldn’t get my blood type results for 8-12 weeks. I continue to eat cheese. ~ karen!

  28. John C says:

    Well done Karen! As I’m sure many have already commented, it does get easier. My Karen and I started giving back some 27 yrs ago and I remember seeing through the same haze her uncontrollably laughing as I spiralled down the same hole as you describe; she does love me though…I think.
    We learned, like so many others, the importance of blood donation when my best bud was diagnosed with leukaemia. Giving whole blood (then later, platelets, and the Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry) made us feel…a bit less useless than we were in helping David.
    Unfortunately we lost David Spooner, but Karen and I continue to donate and think of him each time. 27 years later I now have my ‘100th Donation Card’ (done at the same clinic location in Dundas), and Karen has donated bone marrow to unrelated recipients TWICE (one of the first in Canada to have ever done so).
    All to say that whole blood/platelet/plasma donation through Canadian Blood Services is a vital cause and good cause for all of us (who are able) to support.
    Thanks for taking part Karen, and for supporting and promoting it! Hoping to see you at the next clinic!

    • Karen says:

      Oh I’ll see you there … I might just be the one giving out the cookies and juice, that’s all. 😉 ~ karen!

      • Cussot says:

        Yeah, that’s what I do, hand out cookies and juices, cuz I’m a fainter. It’s a great place to volunteer and, parenthetically, a stellar place to meet men. I don’t need one, but geez. Better than Home Depot.

        Way to go, Karen. You totally rock.

    • TucsonPatty says:

      You are my heroes! It feels so awesome to do something so tangible for a loved one!

  29. Carswell says:

    The worst reaction I have ever had was a bit of lightheadedness. I usually feel really great for a couple of days afterward though – I attribute it to my body kicking into overdrive to make up the blood loss.

    I’m not the greatest “bleeder” though, it usually takes me about 20 minutes or more to cough up (so to speak) that pint. I learned early in the donation game to avoid coffee for a couple of days prior – it constricts your veins – and to make sure I was warm. That last isn’t a problem in my post menopausal days. Maybe it is because you drain so fast that you had such a reaction.

    My ex was like you – opening his veins was like opening a fire hose. LOL. He was always at the drink and cookie table long before me.

    I once saw a guy faint when they pricked his finger to type his blood and check for iron. Just dropped like a stone. It was pretty impressive.

    • Karen says:

      “I once saw a guy faint when they pricked his finger to type his blood and check for iron. Just dropped like a stone. It was pretty impressive.”, lol! Poor guy was probably mortified. But at least his misfortune led to my laughing. 😉 ~ karen!

  30. karen j cosme says:

    this happened to me…about 35 years ago, but never after. maybe it’s and initiation thing. i’m ONEG and i can’t remember how i learned this. probably when i married/had a child. the rhesus factor is an issue for babies when one partner is NEG. my mother likes to point out that we all (five) could have been ‘blue babies’. donating blood is my top reason for keeping in shape. welcome to the blood donor family. now how about your organs? is this an option for your driving license?

  31. Leah C says:

    Oh my gosh! Why would you do that again?

    I’ve given blood several times and been fine, but my mom had a similar reaction to yours, and was basically confined to her bed for 2-3 days afterwards. The nurses told her that it’s not worth it – and now her philosophy is that she will only donate if someone (probably a family member) needs specifically her blood.

  32. Ev Wilcox says:

    First of all, congrats to you, Karen, and all your readers who give blood. Well done all! I can’t donate because of my meds, but I would if I could. Such a simple and wonderful way to help people you will never meet! Altruism is my favorite “ism”.

  33. Beth W says:

    The EXACT same thing happened to me. I used to donate blood once a year, and then got away from it after University. No problems. Good bleeder. Etc.

    Then my work held a blood drive – of course I’m donating!

    I turned green, and conked out. Mid-donation. I was so mad. I rallied, and got myself to the cookie table when my colour had returned. Then I fainted again. On the CEO of my company.

    All I remember trying to do both times was find a way to lay down on the floor. Kudos to you for thinking to alert someone. I guess I’m more of a secretive-fainter

  34. Veronica says:

    Way to go! You made it through, and have an excuse to load up on high iron foods for a few days before giving. They told me doing it just day of does nothing. How much iron is in St. Agur?
    My stepmother, a nurse, always gave blood, so when I was 17, I signed up with her and my boyfriend, in part to get over my fear of needles. It worked.
    It’s a good thing you did.

  35. Rosie Walsh says:

    I’ve donated blood a zillion times. I had such a normal for me low blood pressure that I always had to exercise just before giving to bring it up to their standards.

    Can no longer donate because I don’t weigh enough.

    The one donation that really brings shivers is the time on a bloodmobile when one of the
    nurses said “why is her bag filling up so fast?” Then I had a couple of dozen hands putting pressure on the needle injection site as they pulled it out. Somehow they’d put it in an artery instead of a vein! All was fine though and they loaded me up with a bag full of treats to take home, along with the cheese/peanut butter crackers.

  36. Eileen says:

    The last time I gave blood, I fainted cold and all I heard as I fainted was someone saying, “WHY did you take blood from this woman; her blood pressure is Too low!!!” I was told never to give blood again. Needless to say, I’ve never gone back. My blood pressure runs Very low most of the time. So much for the Gallon pin they used to give out. The good news is that I didn’t get a concussion as I hit the floor.

  37. Alena says:

    I was not laughing but what you described felt very close to how I felt quite a few times and when I have that feeling, I have to get horizontal really quickly (regardless where I am) because if I don’t I would pass out. Not a very good feeling, and I get so white (as people told me many times) that I am like a sheet of paper.
    I am don’t mind looking at blood at all and I always happily watch when I have my blood drawn (for a blood test etc.) but I am pretty sure giving blood would be a major problem for me (I am positive I would faint and who knows how it would go in the bowel department).
    I like to think I am tough, too – I haven’t pulled maggots out of a chicken ass but I regularly pull long blades of grass coated in poop out of my dog’s ass – does it count? 🙂

  38. michelle says:

    I just wanted to pipe in for a moment…I give both blood and platelets, but was turned away many times because my iron was low. Finally, one of the nurses told me to take a spoonful of molasses everyday for at least a week before…maybe more…and with that prescription, I haven’t had trouble since! Apparently, molasses is 18% iron! I too have low blood pressure and am a fast bleeder, but have yet to faint giving. However, I did faint once when my boss, an endodontist (he does root canals, not normally a procedure on children), extracted the first of eight of my sons baby teeth that were in the way in order to get his braces on (and to save me the $200 per tooth his pediatric dentist wanted to charge). It was not from the procedure, but from my erroneous belief that he pulled out the wrong tooth! Of course he hadn’t but I was feeling quite like the terrible mom that tried to save money without regard for my son. Ugh!! Just in case you’re interested, my son now has a beautiful smile!

    • Karen says:

      I’m not sure about what sounds worse, a spoonful of plain molasses or what I went through. Maybe I’l make molasses cookies! ~ karen

  39. Crosby says:

    This happens to me every.single.time!! I am A- so they really like when I donate. So I just keeeeeep going back for more torture. It’s great. Tips on what I have found helps:
    – ask for the juice and the cookies to eat and drink while you’re donating
    – drink OJ or another juice before donating as well
    – ask for donate in a reclined position (my Red Cross here in the States have a few beds at each site that can recline)
    – STAY WHERE YOU ARE after you donate for 10-15 minutes. Just lay there. And ask for more juice and cookies. If you tell them you’re a pass out risk but that you think it is important to donate, they’ll treat you realllly nicely.

    • Karen says:

      I will take alllll into consideration 🙂 Thanks! ~ karen

    • aeriel says:

      I have to agree with Crosby’s suggestions! I have passed out from blood donation in the past. They breakout the smelling salts, I feel like a weak sauce, it was just good times all around. Now I tell them that yes, I am a fainting risk, and that I do best if I start drinking a Coke a few minutes before the stick me and then during the donation itself. Then I wait for about 10 minutes after the donation is done before I get up. Easy-peasy! As long as I stick to these two things I have zero troubles donating blood.

      You might want to consider donating the platelets instead. It takes less blood, but the procedure is longer. This is from the Red Cross:

      Blood is drawn from one arm then the platelets are extracted using a machine, and the remaining blood components are returned to you through the other arm. You will be able to provide in one platelet donation what would normally be collected from up to five whole blood donations.

      Thanks to everyone for your donations and good job Karen!

  40. Judy says:

    Crosby just said the magic words: donate in a reclined position. And by “reclined” I mean FLAT on your back! I gave regularly for many years, dealing with that awful feeling, just taking one for the team. Whenever I got to “that point” I’d tell them, and they would lay me flat, and eventually (seems like forever, doesn’t it) I’d recover. Then one Red Cross angel (I’m pretty sure I saw her decend straight from Heaven) told me that next time I should ask to be laid flat FROM THE START. Sounded great to me, since I always end up there anyway. What a concept: lay down BEFORE you get sick! That was about 20 years ago, and I’ve never felt sick, dizzy, or faint again.
    BTW, I woke my husband up last night laughing; after reading about your blood donation, I read about the frozen yogurt tampon and snickered my way through it and every hilarious comment. Good thing I was already lying down (maybe that’s just a good concept over all) or I might have tinkled my nightie.

  41. leo muzzin says:

    Good job! I hope your experience does not deter anyone from donating. I have given numerous times in the past trying to give back what I received. I am AB RH negative …. a rare vintage apparently. LOL I stopped going because I was turned away due to low red blood cell count. Now I am thinking ” geritol ” and more spinach from the garden! LOL

  42. Dale Lacina says:

    The Best Man for my wedding, during college, donated blood with his Fraternity. Went to a beer party that night. Two beers. We carried him home.
    Motto: No alcohol after donation….period!!!

  43. susan g says:

    wish I could still donate. aged out – really upset when I got that letter. giving blood did not work as well as platelets. thank you for giving, it really means alot

  44. Wendi says:

    The same thing happened to me the first time I gave blood. And just like you, I vowed to try again. After it happened the second time I decided that I’d need to find another way to help my fellow man! lol

  45. Jan in Waterdown says:

    You do know what “fine” means? Fucked up. Insecure. Neurotic. Emotional.
    Maybe next time you should come up with a different answer!

    • Karen says:

      Ha! Maybe I’ll still say fine next time but I’ll say your long version. Maybe they’ll kick me out and I won’t have to near vomit/poop again. ~ karen!

  46. Linda in Illinois says:

    I truly laughed so hard that I was crying… you are the best ever.. thank you for your donation and for not pooping your pants, puking or fainting..

  47. Sue says:

    What temperature was it outdoors? The reason I ask…? I’ve given blood for decades and the only times I’ve had a problem were during very hot weather. You make it sound equal parts funny and scary (chicken butt maggots…UGH) but I vote for scary or at least disorienting and vulnerable. ANYway, the announcers can beg and cajole for donors all they want but these veins do not show up when the temperature is 90 F or above.

    • Karen says:

      I can’t really remember. It wasn’t that hot though, it hasn’t been that hot other than the past couple of days. 🙂 ~ karen!

  48. Pam B says:

    Hiya Karen!!! (I’m a bit of a stalker—always read, but rarely comment). So very proud of you, for giving and for being determined to give again. I’ve donated over 5 gallons over the past 30 or so years. I’ve had a couple of those woozy times too. I learned to eat a good meal before going to give and that seemed to do the trick. Maybe try that next time??? Anyhoo, good luck to giving in the future. Blessed be, hugs!!!

    • Karen says:

      Well Pam B welcome to commenting! And I did eat before I went. 🙁 Steak, Swiss chard, an apple, cheese and a cookie! ~ karen

      • Pam B says:

        Well geeze, not sure what else I can tell you then, lol. That’s a lot better than I usually ate (or eat now for that matter). Hugs!!!

  49. Mary W says:

    I always say ‘fine’ when anyone asks – I assume they don’t really care but are just being polite or saying it out habit like ‘hi, nice day’. I didn’t think I was emotional but just the opposite, more realistic. I’m not insecure nor neurotic, either. Just know that most people don’t even listen to your answer unless you complain about some thing, then they assume you are a ‘complainer’. I’m just trying to figure out how that previous comment pertains to me. Actually I usually respond ‘finer that frogs hair’ which normally is brings a smile – no matter how freaking yucky I may feel. Blood donors are ‘true’ life savers!

  50. kathy says:

    Having survived, was she checking to see if your pint needed to be topped off? Good description of how that made you laugh. It must have been some abnormal way they sapped the blood out of you as I’ve seen pics of what you accomplish, the garden most recently, outdoor furniture and pizza oven. And unlike me, who after giving birth said “I’ll never do that again” you plan on going back. My next 2 kids were not planned and it hurt each time.

    • Karen says:

      It felt very much like I blinked my eyes and a posse of vampires descended on me, sucked out all my blood, then left me there to poop. ~ karen!

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