Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just in time for Halloween, a tale of blood and (a lack of) guts

You know those people who can give blood regularly, stopping in at a blood drive on their way to work and then spending the rest of the day in the office without fainting or otherwise embarrassing themselves? Yeah, that's so not me.

In high school, I was that peppy go-getter that was in a bunch of clubs, including the Student Council. And, as part of the Student Council, I was in charge of organizing the blood drive. So we got it all set up and, after doing whatever it is that made me in charge, I hopped up on the table to make my donation. And, although it's not the most pleasant thing to have a needle in your arm, I did fine.

Until I stood up. I took two steps and said, "I can't see anything." Although I was still conscious and could hear everything, I had blacked out. Which led to a red alert that involved throwing me onto a stretcher, force feeding me cups of orange juice and making me lay still for an hour before I was allowed to stand up only with an American Red Cross worker on either side of me.

That led to years of feeling dizzy and lightheaded in doctor's offices, and the realization that I will never be a blood donor. Seriously. I tried. I even got as far as going into a blood drive once before the smell alone made me lightheaded. Also, my poor brother, laying in the chair after waking up from wisdom teeth surgery, once had to tell me to put my head between my knees and breathe deep to keep me from passing out (and that was from the nurse just talking about blood!)

My history of being a total wimp when it comes to needles was brought back to me this morning when the Pretend Husband and I had blood work done in order to get life insurance. The nurse made me lie on the couch to have the blood drawn and took all sorts of extra precautions.

So I'm thinking the only way I'm going through childbirth is if they can pump me full of drugs without using a needle. Is that asking too much?


kk said...

I'm the exact same way!

I worked the blood drive in high school, too! but I was too small to give blood (I didn't weigh enough – why couldn't I have kept that metabolism up???). My job? Clipping the bags when they were full. Glamorous.

I'm AWFUL at giving blood. Once, I passed out. Woke up to the smelling salts. So now I walk in and announce, "I tend to pass out" so that they'll have my lie down right away. Some blood takers get all defensive, telling me how good they are and that I'll be fine. it's nothing against them...I just hate. giving. blood.

Soda and Candy said...

It doesn't freak me out, but I dislike it enough not to do it unless absolutely necessary.

I'm the same as KK, I was too lightweight to give blood in high school. Wish I still had that metabolism!!!

Karen said...

Ugh. It's far from being my favorite thing to do, but when I had a miscarriage last year I think I gave blood once a week for almost 7 weeks straight.
Not the greatest past-time.

BUT. It's not for everyone. :) When you have to, you have to....
And I'm trying to think if there is any topical pain killers for childbirth......
hm. Don't think so.

jal12771 said...

I have never given blood... but normally get all qeezy at the site of blood... or thought of the site of blood.
Now as for childbirth.. the pain alone kept my mind off the 'blood' and I kept my eyes clothes. I mean I had the closed for EVERYTHING.. I never opened them.. I actually opened them only for a SLIGHT few seconds to see them throw my newborn on my chest.. and I SQUEEZED them shut. That is upsetting to me.. because I really don't remember the first look into his little eyes.
They did an awefully good job at the hospital of keeping any and all 'fluids' out of site. My DH informed me of all I missed hours later "OMG you should have seen the blood" and "yea you lost a lot of blood...thats why they had you laying down for so long"
Gee.. thanks for letting me know.. and NOT letting me see.

C said...

LOL, I am the SAME EXACT way. I gave blood once when I was 19 or 20, and I passed out. I also passed out getting bloodwork done at the doctors office. I collapsed near the vending machines in the hallway, trying desperately to get some sugar in my system. Alas, I was too late...

Now I just don't do it, and I feel guilty. I did sign up to give marrow. I bet that would be worse, but I was coerced into doing it at a garlic festival. They say the odds are very unlikely that you'll ever get a match, but I'm willing to try it once to save someone's life.

I am so queasy I can't watch horror movies, or even violent tv shows where their might be blood. My husband gets SO annoyed. He can't watch anything he wants when I'm around. Once, a professor described his lasik surgery to us and I almost blacked out from that. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's this sensitive.

As far as childbirth goes, I did have an emergency C-section, and they cover you with a tent of cloth so you can't see anything, but I couldn't look at my incision for MONTHS afterwards. I'm more concerned about when my daughter falls down and cuts herself. I'll have to teach her to bandaid herself incase mama blacks out!

edder said...

The first time I had to have a blood test I was given the choice of having the arm needle or a simple finger pin prick by the nurse. It seemed like a no-brainer and I went with the "pin prick". What I didn't realize was that the nurse would be ramming what seemed like a jagged piece of aluminum into my finger until blood spurted out so she could collect it in a glass tube.

The room went hazy and I awoke to far-off voices saying "how's the young girl doing?". I was 13.

Since then I go with the needle and wimp out by lying down on the exam room bed. F**k it. I'm not risking a concussion by blacking out over a blood test ever again.

And re: childbirth? If you can't stand the sight of blood now, you need to reconcile yourself to this simple nauseating fact of motherhood because children spew a lot of blood and other bodily fluids that will make you faint, barf or both simultaneously.

Henry Ofosu said...

You're all wusses as a 31yr old British mixed race bloke, I'm well over 30 & risin (gotta get that gold card baby!) & even better is that, old as you'll all be now, & not reading this blog, This statement has No Repercussions Lord Cyberius Blood Giver Extraordinaire For the Win!!!