Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why I Should Not Give Blood

It has been pointed out to me that it may be a bad idea for me to give blood. I think the people who say this are overreacting. Something traumatic only happens every other time I donate.

One of the flight attendant rules is that you can't fly within 72 hours of giving blood. So for most of the 4 years I flew, I saw giving blood (and having over 72 consecutive hours off) as a lost cause. But right around Christmas I got 4 days off. So I headed to Bonfils to do my good deed for the day. Everything was going just fine until she put the needle in. Then, all hell broke loose. The needle must have slipped because blood started shooting EVERYWHERE. I get a little squeamish about having my blood on the outside of my body so I looked away and gritted my teeth against the revulsion of having my hot blood running down my arm and dripping off my fingertips.

When that sensation finally ended I dared to look back. And I saw 2 techs covered with blood - my blood - as was the machine that shakes the blood around as it comes out, not to mention the huge puddle on the floor. Just then, a man walked around the corner to donate and did a massive doubletake at the carnage, but continued in to donate, god bless him. After they got all of the blood cleaned up, they proceeded to take the donation out of my other arm. Which made me rather lightheaded considering the amount I had already donated to the floor. Which brings me to the last time I gave blood.

The donation itself was uneventful. It wasn't until the next morning that the curse struck again. I hopped up off the couch to help the boyfriend clean out his closet. Next thing I know I'm coming to on the floor, my shoulder and head hurt like hell and the boyfriend and cat were standing over me looking worried. Apparently I passed out (stone cold sober - which led to quite a few jokes at the AA club later that day). I injured my shoulder in some manner. My best guess, due to lack of insurance is I did something bad to my AC joint and possibly fractured my clavicle. It's almost ironic that I study radiography and am in an x-ray lab at least once a week yet cannot afford to have an x-ray of my shoulder. Aaaaaanyway, after about 3 days in a sling and a nearly 2 week break from strength training, I decided I was fine.

And about 5 weeks later, I am fine. Except when I lay on that shoulder. Or do certain chest and shoulder exercises at the gym. But I have nearly full range of motion with that arm. And the giant goose egg on my head went away pretty quick. Who keeps a metal briefcase on their living room floor anyway? I've just made my next appointment for next Friday, which should be uneventful. Because it's only every other donation that's notable.