I donated blood today. And even though I was doing it, I was still planning on making a trip to the YMCA after work, but just spending a little time on the bike. Nothing too strenuous.
I wasn't worried about the needles or the whole donation process because it's gone very smoothly every time I've done it so far. It usually takes between 5 and 7 minutes for me to fill that bag up with blood and aside from a slightly sore arm after, no problems.
Today? Not so much.
Since I spent all of the morning in a courtroom for work, I didn't get to drink a ton of water like I normally do. But I downed as much as I could in the hour and a half I had.
I went in, filled out the form, got my finger pricked and passed with flying colors. The Blood Lady scrubbed my arm and inserted the needle and the blood started flowing into the bag.
At first it went OK. The blood was moving. The bag was filling up. Then all of a sudden it seems like it just stopped. The Blood Lady kept coming by, shaking the bag. And it didn't seem like it was getting any fuller.
Five minutes passed. Then seven. Then 10. Finally 13 minutes after she stuck the needle in my arm she said the bag was full and she just needed those four little vials they take.
That's when the problems started.
The first vial filled, although it was a bit slow. Then the second vial was inserted. And it stayed empty. There was no blood.
"Looks like we drained you dry," the Blood Lady said in an effort to lighten the mood.
I wasn't amused.
The other Blood Lady came over to help. She held on to the cords and the vials while Blood Lady No. 1 started to unstrap the tubing from my arm.
"This isn't good," I thought.
Then she started jiggling the needle around. The needle that was still embedded in my vein. Ouch. I have to give her props. She was pretty gentle so it wasn't sharp pains or anything. But still. It hurt. And I started to feel a wee bit light headed. Then the blood started to flow again.
And all of a sudden the remaining two vials were full and the needle was out of my arm. I still felt funny though. Slightly light headed. A bit dizzy. Content to sit in the canteen area of the Bloodmobile and chomp on my cherry chip cookie and drink my orange juice.
I know donating blood can't go super smoothly every time and there will be times, like today, when it's a bit more difficult. And like I said, I know I didn't get to drink enough fluids today. So I'll still go back in February when we have the next blood drive at work, because I'm only two donations away from a gallon!
It was just a bit scary today. That's never happened to me before. The whole light headed feeling. And my arm? It's pretty sore and I'm sure I'll have a whooper of a bruise. So I thought it was in my best interest to head home and crash on my couch, watching "Grey's Anatomy" and reading a book.