What Not To Do After Donating or Giving Blood
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About four days after September, 11th I finally go the chance to do my part for the effort to regroup from the tragedy. An ad campaign was calling for donations of time, money, and even blood. With type O+ blood I always felt like I was carrying a gold mine in my veins and when a woman came to our dorm room to find volunteers I was one of the first to sign up.
Nothing feels quite as satisfying as giving blood. Even though you're really just sitting there and letting the phlebotomist do all the work you're still making a huge contribution by giving up a pint of the precious fluid that keeps you going. Someone can have an extra day on this earth because of it and all you have to do is roll up your sleeve.
The blood drive was being held at the University Mall in Burlington, Vermont. There was a huge waiting line and one of the stores near Sears was the site where the blood was drawn. While we waited we got to munch on pizza, hot dogs, burgers, ice cream and all the essentials. Finally I got called in and donated my very first pint of blood.
Nothing can compare to that feeling. Watching the bag fill up, flexing your arm to increase the blood flow. It's a bit creepy and a little uneasy but I didn't feel the nausea or the dizziness people told me to expect.
So naturally, I figured I was all set and that nothing could go wrong. If something didn't effect me the way it effected others I figured I must be immune to all things and when the needle came out I swaggered out to the waiting area.
"Sir, you should sit down now," one of the nurses told me.
"No, that's okay, I'll be fine." I said. I had to pee and the nearest bathroom was on the otherside of the mall. So I reluctantly accepted one of the Hi-C boxes another nurse offered me and left the area.
It wasn't until I got to the food court that it happened. First there was an overwhelming dizziness followed by a wave of nausea. I was so sure I'd vomit right there in the food court. I struggled to keep my balance as I headed into the restroom. After I peed I went back into the food court and made it about halfway out before the worse of the sensation hit me.
I sat down in a seat facing the exit as my vision went compeletely white. Fortunately I still had the box of Hi-C on me and after a few failed attempts at getting the straw in the hole I began sipping it slowly.
Slowly I regained my footing though the dizziness remained, kind of like the spirit of common sense ragging on me slowly. I rejoined the rest of the college students in the waiting area and began cramming as much food into me as possible.
The moral of this story is not to get cocky. When an employee of the medical profession tells you to sit down, you should probably SIT DOWN.