Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Take her to the ER!"

This is what I heard yesterday in a cloudy daze, surrounded by 8 people and someone taking my blood. Ha ha. Man, i love a good story.

So i went to the hospital yesterday to give some blood. A friend needed some and I am O-positive. I used to take great pride in my type O blood, and still do, but I just learned that I am NOT the universal donor like I thought, but O-negative is. Oooh, i am jealous. And i used to think that O-negative was the universal recipient so i thought they were selfish and I was the hero. How wrong I was. I am still good--no, REALLY good, but I only give to people with Rh-positive blood. Alright. But the Red Cross used to bang down my door in the old days begging me to give blood, which I did very often. I enjoyed it. I like being able to give back and I pride myself in my blood-giving abilities. (yes, it takes a lot of skill) I fill up the bag pretty quickly--one time i raced my friends--and I have never felt woozy in the slightest afterward. I sit and drink some juice and eat a cracker and I'm well on my way-no problemo. The only time I had had wooziness problems was when I decided to play tennis a few hours later that day. I had to stop every 10 seconds or so to wait for the blacking-out-ness to subside. I decided there was a slight chance I may not actually be invincible.

But other than that, I was/am tough as nails. And I even watch them put in the needle. Why? I'm not sure. I can totally see why people would have needle problems so I think I decided long ago, along with never to walk in anyone's shadow, to not be bothered by the needle, to not let it affect me. Mind over matter. I am a big believer in that in a lot of ways. And, I like to see my blood. I like to see what keeps me alive. I mean, don't think I'm a freak--it's not like I intentionally wound myself to see it. But when I give blood I'm proud of my nice clean blood that I can provide. Maybe this makes me weird. But we'll see what you'll be saying when you need some of my blood. That's right!

Anyway, so I filled up my bag without incident. I brought some juice with me so I laid there for a minute and drank some. Then, as dozens of times before, I thought, well, i'm good to go! So I left, with the husband of my friend. Along the way to see her, I started to get woozy. Ehh, no big deal. I'll just sit a minute. Ok, stand up, i'm fine. Whoop, no i'm not.. wow, i need to lay down. Wow i'm getting awfully sweaty. Wow i might puke my guts out right now. He gave me some candy which i quickly chewed and swallowed and i was mighty embarrassed. What? She-ra Jen? (<-- lame, sorry) Feeling the effects of giving blood?? Never! So i kept trying to get up. Plus, i really wanted to see my friend who was up a few floors. And I'm sure her husband wanted to get to her too. But no, he had to wait for me to stop blacking out. Anyway, i laid myself down on a bench for a few minutes, still eating candy and thought, this is ridiculous. Let's just get to her room and then i can sit there and we'll all be good.

I'm kind of foolish sometimes.

Walking to the elevator.. walking..blacking out slightly. Get in elevator, crouch down on the floor, making everyone around me feel weird probably. (it was packed) Elevator opens, someone gets off, we continue up, i crouch down again. Nah, i'm fine. Just takin' a little break here on the elevator floor.

we reach our floor and we exit the elevator. I'm walking by my friend and the blacking out continues. 'No! We're so close!' I think to myself. 'Almost theeere...stay on target...stay on taaaarget.'

By this time I am not super aware of my surroundings but at the last minute, I see that we turn into the room where his wife is and the last thing I remember is clutching his arm tightly and thinking, 'ohhhh nooo...I'm goin' dooooownnnn...! '

It's funny, I think that--and maybe this is due to the mind over matter thing--but that I can keep a relatively calm state of mind in panic situations. I had a similar incident one time and I was pretty calm and thinking rationally and, when, in great pain, calmly inquired after the numbness of my hands, was told that i was hyperventilating and needed to slow down my breathing. Ah. Duly noted.

Anyway, so the next thing I know I'm lying down with this nice husband of my friend (they're both friends)crouched beside me and who I'm sure did not need to be worrying about me at that particular moment, with several nurses surrounding me. The first thing I hear is, "She's out! She's unconscious! Check for a pulse!" Then I said, with my eyes closed, "No, I'm awake." Someone checks my pulse, then another yells, "take her to the ER!" Aaak. "nooo.. i'm ok" i said. I knew exactly what was going on i just needed a minute. They said, "mm-hmm.. ok, honey. We're going to take you down." "Noooo! I'm ok, i just need to lie down," I said. They laugh a little and brush it off like I'm totally incoherent, which i wasn't. I mean, ok, clearly I AM lying down but i mean, that's just all I need. Someone grabs my hand and pricks my finger, a machine is rolled up to us and they check my blood sugar i guess or something, i don't know. I'm still a little fuzzy. Finally they say "Well, it's your decision not to go to the ER but we can't treat you here" So i sat up, they gave me a little cup o' juice, and i start mopping up my face. Meanwhile, the mother of my friend starts fanning me. She was so kind and had just flown in to see her daughter and there I am sprawled in the doorway. Geez.

They then rolled away the equipment, I sat there for a minute, and then finally sat by my friend, ate some candy, and we had a good laugh. I apologized for making a scene and stealing her thunder. I felt so, so lame. Good times at the hospital!

Note to self: Guess what, turns out you are mortal afterall and eat cookies after giving blood, dummy.


Anonymous said...

You may be merely mortal, but I would have been lights-out the minute I saw the needle.

Joel said...

That reminds me of the time I watched a friend of mine pass out while getting a blood sample taken. It was somehow funnier because he's a big, strong guy. Good times.

Trevor said...

(This is Ashley.)

Trevor has a similar aversion to needles, Sean. And he often comments on my "robust, Pioneer-stock" constitution and how such things don't bother me, which sounds similar to Jen's take on needles and her near invincibility. Interesting parallel, don't you think? You'd think we were sisters, or something.

Anyway Jen, what a story. I was RIVETED. I'm glad you're okay.

P.S. I just ate the second-to-last piece of bubble tape you sent us and was reminded that you're such a good sister.

Brooke said...

Jen, I've seen your super-human blood donating abilities at work, and still think you're a champ at it. But, man, this is a good story!

Interestingly enough, I had blood drawn yesterday too, but this time I stayed in the realm of conciousness. Maybe there was a Freaky Thursday thing where our blood drawing tolerances were switched...

Natalie R. said...

Yeah I know how you work, Jen, always trying to steal the show! ;0) I actually kind of pride myself in my blood-giving capabilities, too. I thought people who had problems were just melodramatic, until my best friend was passing out in the chair once! This is a good reminder to me next time not to be too hasty. Glad you're okay!

Rob said...

Last time I gave blood I did this double blood cell thing where the recirculate the other stuff but take 2x the RBC's. They said I would feel better than other donatios because I wouldn't lose any volume, but just walking out to my car made my legs feel like I just ran a 10k.

I, however, did not pass out because I ate four donors worth of cookies. Glad to see you learned your lesson (e.g. always stuff your face and your pockets when the cookies are free).

Amy said...

Oh man..that is a good story. I envy you...I can never give blood...well, after that story maybe I should be glad?! HA HA.

)en said...

Oh man. I really did learn my lesson.

The whole mind over matter thing is interesting to me. How people start getting queasy and woozy at the sight of something. How powerful that is, eh.

Rob that's so weird. I've never heard of that. One day maybe i'll do platelets just to say i did.

Ash, i AM a good sister. don't forget that. I'm glad that a) the bubble tape lasted this long, and b) that you actually ate/chewed it. :)