I donated blood yesterday. It didn’t go so well.
I’m not the kinda person who is scared of needles or a little blood, and so was unfazed by the drops lying on the floor of the blood donation room (there was a guy who wouldn’t stop bleeding, and it got a bit messy).
They made me lie down and looked for a vein to stick their needle into. Apparently, the veins on my right arm are a bit shy and refused to come to the surface even though the guy put a damn tight tourniquet on my arm and made me squeeze a little heart shaped stress ball multiple times. He finally gave up and switched arms, my left arm veins were more visible. So far so good.
He injected a really huge scary looking needle into my arm, but I was fine cos he’d given me local anaesthesia (which I first declined from taking cos I’ve had some bad experiences at the dentist’s with local anaesthesia, but then I saw the size of the needle and quickly changed my mind! :P)
I don’t know if it was the anesthesia combined with the strenuous day or the lack of heavy food, but as I was reaching the 450ml mark, I started feeling a bit … weak I guess. I was feeling light-headed and my body was tingling. The doc removed the needle (cos he was done by then) and asked me how I was feeling, and I remember trying to explain ” I’m feeling a bit …” and then I think I blacked out.
All I remember after was it being white and a bunch of people talking. Some of them were calling me, some were talking amongst themselves, but they all seemed pretty nonchalant. Then my sister was calling me on my cell phone (no ringtone, just her voice calling me) and I wanted to answer, but couldn’t, cos I couldn’t lift my hand, it was too heavy. I then realized my eyes were closed, and I couldn’t open them cos my lids felt heavy too. But I was feeling quite calm.
Finally, I slowly opened my eyes, with the intention of reaching out for my phone to answer my sister’s call, and that’s when I realized I’d blacked out and my phone wasn’t ringing. My friend was standing next to me looking all freaked out, and the doc asked me how I was feeling.
I was weak, too weak to even lift my arms. And extremely cold. And everyone was staring at me, which would have been horrible if I was strong enough to care. I was thirsty and asked for water. The cold liquid felt good. But then they wanted to give me juice cos apparently I needed sugar in my system. My friend forced me to drink 2 of those mini cartons of Lacnor orange juice, and it was all I could do to keep it in.
It was a while before I could leave the hospital and when I got home, cos every time I tried sitting up I’d feel dizzy again. When I finally got home, the few steps I had to take to walk to my house made me so dizzy that I threw up the juice (though that made me feel instantly better). My friend, poor thing, was extremely worried and wanted me to sleep at her place, but I knew I’d be okay if I could just rest. She bought a huge bottle of chocolate milk for me to drink. Instead, I stuffed a piece of dark chocolate into my mouth and washed it down with some water and just went to bed.
I’m still feeling pretty weak. But better than before. Been in bed most of the day. Hope I feel better by tomorrow, cos I have a fantastic iftar meal planned with the gang that I don’t wanna miss!
But it sure was a freaky experience alright!
I’m curious, has anyone ever experienced or heard of something like this happening during a blood donation?