Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I had previously attempted to give blood—and I had previously failed. But it was time to try again on Friday, and this time I was determined to give my blood, come hell or high water.

I was worried that I’d get nauseous again, as I did last time. I did my best to eat properly on Friday—I didn’t even have any coffee that day—and I also had a game plan: If I did get nauseous, I wouldn’t tell them. (It’s a brilliant plan! Foolproof!) Only if it got really bad would I let on that I was nauseous.

We went through all of the same procedures, but this time, there was a lot of waiting involved. There was a big line of people there ahead of me, also giving blood. (Lesson for the day: If you’re going to donate blood, don’t do it at Woodbine, where there are lots of people donating blood. Do it at Sherway Gardens, where there aren’t any lines.

Finally, I got on the table, and they put the needle in. And right away, I felt a bit nauseous. (Andrea still feels that this is psychological.) However, I wasn’t that nauseous; just a bit. So I stuck to my plan, and didn’t tell anyone. (“Are you okay?” “Yep, everything’s fine.”) And it quickly passed, so my plan was a good one. There was a moment of panic, when the woman had to adjust the needle, and pull it a bit further out of the vein; I guess the blood wasn’t flowing as well as she would have liked.

As an aside, there was another woman there, just ahead of me, who was also donating blood. She was the type of person who laughs constantly when she talks, so I was hearing her laughter the whole time I was there. When I was on the table, she was behind me, where I couldn’t see her, but I was constantly hearing her laughter. And then at one point it occurred to me: “Wait a second. She got on the table well before I did, but I still hear her laughter! How long has she been there?!? It’s been at least fifteen minutes—does that mean I have another ten minutes here?” As it turns out, she’d left her table long before, and was sitting at the recovery area; it’s just that, because I couldn’t see her, and could only hear her laughter, I assumed she was still being drained.

In any event, whatever the nurse did with my needle worked, because I was finished much sooner than I’d thought I would be. (Especially given my panic over the woman on the table behind me.)

And then she took the needle out, and I got hit with a real strong wave of nausea. For a moment, I thought I was going to throw up. (Again, people were asking me if I was okay, and I was telling them yes.) Luckily it passed after a few moments. They brought be over to the recovery area, and gave me some juice and cookies, and by the time I finished, I felt completely normal.