August 24, 2012
I have been donating blood for 12 years (started in HS at age 17), because my dad always did, and he encouraged my sister and I to do it. The first time didn't go so well. I got really dizzy and nauseous. But the next visit went A LOT better. I don't mind the needles (but I hate shots!), and the staff is always really good about only needing to stick me once. Flash forward 9 years. I hadn't been feeling well for about a week: tired, sluggish, barely cognizant. I went to work, and my co-worker told me I was white as a sheet and didn't look so well. She said I should go to the doctor, but I said no...until I almost passed out right there. I drove myself to urgent care, thinking I had some sort of flu or whatnot. Turns out, my blood count was WAY low, low enough that they didn't want me driving to the ER (3 blocks away). They wanted to put me in an ambulance, but I refused, because I am stubborn. I called my boyfriend (now husband) who was in class at the time, and told him what had happened and that I needed him there because I was more scared than I had ever been in my life. At the hospital, I had every "scan" known, and they couldn't figure out where the blood was coming from or where it was going. I was immediately hooked up with an IV, and a unit of packed blood cells. I stayed the night, and in the morning, my blood count was fine. The doctors never did find out what was going on. Now more than ever, I donate every chance I get. I am grateful for the person that donated that blood that I desperately needed and received. I hope that some day my blood saves someone's life as well.