Helping Is In Their Blood

, , , , , , | Healthy | April 11, 2018

(I donate blood regularly. One time, when they insert the needle, I immediately feel lightheaded for a second or two. Since I have not yet lost more than a few drops of blood, definitely not enough to cause a significant loss of blood pressure, I assume it was just a psychosomatic reaction to having such a large needle inserted, shrug it off, and decide to continue with the draw. A few minutes later, it comes back again, and with a vengeance.)

Me: *raising hand shakily* “Um… Excuse me?”

(I immediately have three technicians surrounding me.)

Technician: “Are you okay?”

Me: “I’m feeling a bit lightheaded.”

(They spring into action, immediately removing the needle. One of them reclines my seat so my feet are elevated above my head, one goes to grab damp cloths, which they drape over every inch of exposed skin I have, and one goes to grab me a juice box to increase my blood sugar. After a while, the seat is returned to its regular position, and they continue feeding me juice. I am eventually allowed to go to the recovery area, with two people escorting in case I pass out on the way. Once I sit down, I call my friend who I was supposed to meet to tell her I’ll be delayed. Partway through the conversation, I hear running steps behind me, then feel a hand on my shoulder. I look up to see a woman with a very concerned expression, who looks at me for a moment and then laughs.)

Volunteer: “Oh, you’re on your cell phone! I thought you were talking to yourself!”

Me: “Oh, no. I’m just letting my friend know I’m going to be late.”

Volunteer: “Oh, good.”

Friend: “What was that?”

Me: “Oh, the volunteer thought I was talking to myself. Can you imagine that? ‘Oh, great! First he nearly passes out, and now he’s hallucinating!'”

(They eventually let me go, and I was only 30 minutes late to meet my friend. Fortunately, while everything was going on, one of the techs mentioned I had filled most of a bag, and when I asked if it could still be used, he assured me it could.)

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