I Was Only Trying To Help

In my continuing quest to fulfill my 365 days of passing it on I am always looking for something new to do to help others. I had been hearing on the news a lot lately about a blood shortage in town and they need more donations. I tried it once almost thirty years ago and I didn't fare well.

But now, I'm healthier and in the best shape I've ever been. No problem right? I passed the preliminaries, my iron count was good so off I went into the next room. The donation was quick and painless.

I wanted to go to the restroom before hitting the canteen to get my snacks. As I got up they asked if I was OK, affirmative I said, and off I went down the hall. I sit down and the room starts spinning. I get up and realize this is not fun anymore and started for the door and realized I wasn't going to make it. By then the room was almost black and I searched for the emergency cord and pulled it. I made it back to the door and unlocked it as I heard a man say "Are you OK?"

"No", then I went down.

My eyes were shut but I could hear voices, several of them. So many questions, just leave me alone; but don't leave me alone--help me. Someone brought me juice and wet towels for my head. Two poor guys took turns holding my legs up until they finally brought in a chair to put them on. I heard one voice at the door who said "Is she big enough to give blood, she doesn't look very big". Oh bless him. Blood pressure cuff tightening on my arm, I feel like I'm gonna hurl.

"Do you want to get up?" a kind male voice asked.

"No, the cold floor feels good" I murmured.

More questions, and more juice, more tightening of the bp cuff. Finally after maybe 15 minutes, I felt like I could get up and made it to the chair and they wheeled me into another room. People were gathering around the door and looking in the windows. I felt like a monkey in a zoo. More juice and I tried a cracker but it didn't feel like it was going to stay down so I stopped. My blood pressure wouldn't stabilize so they brought in the doctor who asked more questions. The lowest reading was 88/63.

I spilled the crackers all over my lap and poor Mark (we're on a first name basis by now) had to pick Cheez-Its off my crotch. That's something that doesn't happen everyday. He had to even text my daughter for me because I couldn't even hold my phone. Every time he took my bp reading he would leave the room to call the doctor. Finally he came back and said they were going to call 911. Huh? Geezzzuuuzz man I can't go to the hospital, I don't have insurance! They cover everything he told me. By then I could sorta speak so I called hubby and told him he had to come down and either get the car or bring me home, I hadn't decided yet. By then the ambulance had showed up with at least 5 of the best looking men I had ever seen, my bp went up remarkably!

They hooked me up to a heart monitor and kept taking my blood pressure. I don't think my reading has been taken that many times in my whole life!! They really tried to get me to go to the hospital for IV fluids but I still wasn't sure. I don't like to be an inconvenience and I knew it would be for hubby because his car died on him that morning and he still had to go to work that night and I didn't want him having to pick me up at the hospital not knowing how long they'd keep me. I stood up to convince them I was fine and so they left.

They finally let me go about 2 hours after I got there. I really didn't feel any better throughout the night and the doctor called me once and told me to call him back in two hours. I still had the option to go to urgent care and get fluids but I held off from that.

I was very grateful for our neighbor (Yes, those neighbors) who brought hubby and daughter down. Curtis even called me later that night to see how I was. He and his his wife donate but he does it more often. He does the platelets which is a longer process but you get your fluids back, so you don't feel so sick afterwards. He said "I can be a Butthole sometimes ( I think I knew what he really meant) but I know I'm helping someone when I do it." Everyone at the blood center was very nice and I know they were generally concerned, Mark never left my side. He said that this type of reaction only happens about 1 in 500 cases; well aren't I special?

I didn't sleep well that night having to get up and pee every hour and so I wasn't fit to go to work the next day. So because of my stubbornness to not go to the hospital I caused more inconvenience to everyone by not being able to work. Plus, I don't even have a paycheck to cash for the weekend. Damn, I really hate the way my mind works sometimes.

That afternoon I still didn't feel very good. After calling the doctor again he said I better go to Acute Care. Of course after driving around trying to find one, they couldn't really handle that type of situation anyway, so hubby took me on to the hospital. I felt so bad because he got home at 2:30 in the morning and was still dealing with his broken down car and now I'm making him cart me all over town when he clearly needs to go home and sleep. After I got into a room in ER, I was finally able to reach my Zumba friend who came to relieve him and eventually bring me home. I don't know what I would have done without her. In the middle of a Friday afternoon, I just didn't have anyone else to call. Three and-a-half hours later with more blood taken and fluids given I finally got to leave. I felt tired and weak but better. All of my other tests were fine so there was no underlying problem as to why this happened.

I called the doctor as soon as I got home and thanked him for all of his and the staffs care and he told me how the bill would be taken care of. And he regretted to inform me that I am deferred from ever donating blood again. Ha ha, smart man, they couldn't afford many more episodes like that. As much as I would have liked to continue with this life saving endeavour I'm fine with not having to do it again. It was one of the worst moments of my life and I was scared to death. I don't want to ever feel that helpless again.

One of the reasons I wanted to donate was for the free t-shirt, I know, shallow, right? So before I left I said "I better get a t-shirt after all of this!". They gave me three, one for each of us. So I will wear it proudly, I earned it!
Going down in a blaze of Glory


Grumpy said…
Remember, a good story lasts longer than a good time.
bill said…
The good part is you keep bouncing back. That is a good story but sorry it happened to you.

Back in my younger days I gave blood twice. When I went the third time they wouldn't take it, contaminated by ulcerations in the stomach.
I'm sorry kden but I had to laugh at Mark picking cheez-its off your crutch.
I hope you are soon back to full health. Do not do that again!
Mr. Shife said…
Wow that is a scary experience but I am glad you are rebounding and doing better. I laughed at your line about the guys from the ambulance. Nice of you to donate blood and hopefully the next experience is a lot better than this one. Take care my friend, and the shirt was definitely well deserved.

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