Do you ever have those dreams that are incredibly realistic? I get them way too often. My poor roommate is always complaining about how I talk in my sleep. My roommate last year had to deal with me when I was having a ton of these dreams, and I would start throwing things in my sleep. I don’t really care that she had to deal with that though, she put me through enough that I’ll call us even. Anyway, last night I dreamt about something that has actually happened to me. I dreamt about the last time I donated blood. So a while back I posted about how if at all possible you should donate blood. A lot of people are “afraid of needles” and “can’t” donate blood, which I think is pretty much bs for a lot of people. Needles suck, I understand that, but if you can be uncomfortable for 20 minutes, then you could save lives. When you donate money or time, you often don’t see the full effect of your volunteerism. However, when you donate blood, you know that that blood will save a life. It’s a tangible product of your volunteerism.
If you plan to donate blood someday, but are a little nervous, do not read this next paragraph!
Okay, so I faint when I donate blood. That’s a fact of my life. I still donate though because I don’t care that I faint if it means helping someone. But the last time I donated blood, I didn’t just faint. My entire body went into shock. It was so serious that if the nurse hadn’t gotten me back in control of my body, she was about to call an ambulance. That would’ve been embarrassing. The fainting is my own fault. I get really anxious around needles and also blood is being taken out of my body so I get woozy. Going into shock was absolutely not my fault! The blood drive was overfull. There were too many donors and not enough nurses. My nurse set me up with the needle in me and then went away to set up someone else. When you donate blood they give you a stress ball to squeeze so that the blood flows quicker. The nurse next to my station told me that my blood bag and extra 6 vials were full and that I should stop squeezing. I stopped and assumed that someone would come take out the needle. I was wrong. It took about 15 minutes before my nurse came back and took out the needle. In the meantime, every other nurse would tell me to stop squeezing because I was done, but no one took out the stupid needle! In order to take out the needle, the nurse first cuts the tube that the blood went into. When the nurse finally cut mine, I felt an extreme pain in my arm. It turns out the the needle kept trying to suck out my blood and it created a vacuum seal to my vein. Once the needle is out, you’re supposed to hold your arm vertically in the air, but my arm barely moved. The nurse raised my arm for me, and suddenly I felt like my fingers had gone to sleep. They tingled. The nurse asked if I was okay, and I said that my hands were asleep. I mean, that’s what I tried to say, but it came out all slurred. She asked me to squeeze her hand, but my body wouldn’t listen to what I was telling it to do. I was completely limp. My nurse started freaking out, which made me freak out more. She started lifting my legs and moving them in circles. This is something nurses always tell me to do while I’m passing out. She told me to cough like a smoker (another method to keep yourself from fainting). Finally I was able to gain motion in my toes, then my legs, then slowly my whole body. Meanwhile about three nurses had stopped what they were doing so they could be backup if needed. Anyway, moral of the story, I dreamt about that last night. Only the nurse was saying things she didn’t actually say, and she was a man in my dream. Other than that, it was a reenactment of that moment. I woke up feeling a little paralyzed, which is good because I probably would’ve been screaming if I didn’t feel paralyzed. I used to scream in my sleep when I was little.
So if you read that and are now scared to donate blood, I told you not to read it! I’m still going to donate blood even though I nearly went to the hospital because of it. Don’t be selfish, you’ve got enough blood in you. If you legitimately can’t donate blood because of height or weight restrictions or anything else, you’re off the hook. I can’t donate double red because I don’t weigh 160 and I’m not 5’5. I wish I could do double red though. But if you’re just “afraid of needles,” then suck it up! Save a life today!