Blood Donation: Hit or Miss?

I’ve always wanted to donate blood ever since. But due to well, low blood count, point of anaemia and thereafter too many medication I have never been able to donate. Having not had prescription medication in my system for a long while and feeling all fit I decided to step into those volunteer vans in town. How excited I was. I filled out the form as requested, weighed myself and I stepped into the van where they drew blood and checked for high blood pressure and (I think) low blood count. I have always been super keen on any medical personnel or otherwise drawing blood but frustrations of the day from my mobile subscriber and other govt officials I never took note of that. I am going to assume it was okay because they sent me to the bed where they draw blood. I got one of those stress balls to squeeze and the attendant inserted the needle and blood starting slowly feeling the bag. I was proud. It took a while and once done and they had removed that humongous needle, I lay on the bed for a few minutes before being moved to the seats. They gave me some biscuits and soda. Now I’m not one for sugary stuff unless my sugar levels are at some low almost fainting level but since that is what they were giving as a recovery option and it was my first time donating blood, I knew they knew best. I even asked a fellow volunteer and she told me the sugar in the soda helps.

I drank the soda and ate the biscuits and rested some more. I was okay to leave and I left to run other errands. Two hours later, I was okay until I wasn’t. I was still in town and thank God I was in a building where someone knew me. All hell broke loose. I was suddenly hot and cold, shivering and sweating at the same time, my legs quizy, every part of my body was aching, all my clothes felt like they were literally burning me, my stomach churning all sorts of rhythm. Followed by nausea and a headache that felt like a ton of bricks were squeezing me from all sides. I couldn’t even clench my jaw because I felt like my head was exploding and my ears were pounding pain.

Someone assisted me to the ladies and I mean assisted by carrying me there because I could get control my legs. By the time I got there I felt like I was literally dying. As my body was deciding where to repel my stomach contents, I quickly speed dialled my emergency contact, mum, to let her know my exact location and exact state I’m in in case anything happens(ALWAYS have your emergency contact on speed-dial). By the time I was done with that call, everything my stomach had in store was expelled slowly and painful. It reached a point I could feel my stomach sink into my body with every expulsion. I’m thinking a layer of stomach was lost in the process. Everything was hazy, my body was shaking violently. I tried to drink water but it couldn’t stay down. Between my killer headache and the exploding eardrums(I’m not an ENT doctor so I’m assuming it’s that) I couldn’t even hear anything anyone was saying. All I could hear was a ringing and barely see people’s mouths moving.

I sat down and all I could mutter was milk which someone must have rushed to the nearest supermarket because it was there within minutes. He had bought 2 packets which I slowly drank (thank God my body did not reject that) and by the end of the second packet I felt my body waving goodbye to the ancestors it was about to embrace. I could feel my legs and little energy come back slowly. I was scared. I actually said 2 prayers. One for life and another to accept this painful death I was experiencing.

Someone volunteered to take me home and I arrived safely. My head is still ringing but not as intensely as before and my body is achy all over and cold. What I’m wondering, is this how people experience blood donation aftermath because if so, this will be the first and last time I’m doing so. Did I miss a step in the blood donating process? Was this brought about by the soda because I hadn’t had one in like 5 months? What exactly went wrong? I had had breakfast and was not hungry when I went to the van. Someone please help me understand.

But on a good note, after the weighing I realized I had lost 7.5kgs. The aerobics is on point and in two weeks , I get to know my blood group .

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