Yesterday, I decided it would be a good time to face my biggest fear. Donating blood. The last time a little teensy bit of my blood was taken,(for a clinical research study) I passed out. I decided if I wasn’t getting paid and had the comfort of maybe saving a life this time, I’d be fine. I was very wrong. One bad thing about me? (There are many more bad things about me, but I’m telling you one right now.) My biggest fear= Fear. If I can’t face a fear, I’m weak. If I’m weak, I will tell myself so about 390843 times a day. It’s much easier to face a fear than to be constantly afraid of being weak. Put shortly, I’m a little bit of a nutcase control freak and I don’t let my emotions tell me what’s up. Ergo, I face my other biggest fear of having blood drawn from my body. I bring my good friend Fernanda just in case I happen to pass out. I eat sugary substances and drink water before arriving at the blood center. I arrive and sign up and take deep breaths. I even figure out that it’s ice cream day and I will receive a pint of ice cream after giving blood! Exciting. I take a little test to make sure I’m safe and ready to give blood. I pass with flying colors and a nice lady comes into my little room to do the physical part. She uses the pump thing to get my blood pressure and then simultaneously does the finger prick/pulse check/ temperature. This is probably a means to distract the person from the blood dripping out of their finger, but all I can concentrate on are those little red drops as she squeezes them onto her little test thingy. I start feeling a little funny. Then I start feeling really funny.I knew it was coming so I told the nurse lady “I feel really funny. I’m going to pass out.” I think she thought I was being dramatic and she tells me something like “No you’re not. You’re okay.” I tell her matter-of-factly “No,I’m going to pass out.” The last thing I hear is “Keep your eyes open!.…COLD TOWELS!!!” I do not keep my eyes open. I do as I said I would and promptly pass out. When I came to,It was like one of those movies where the passer-outer slowly opens their eyes and people are all around and blurry for a second. I wake up from what seemed like a deep sleep ( I was actually dreaming) with practically the whole staff around me and cold towels on my face and neck. They’re all talking and I can’t remember what was said. All I remember is how good those cold towels felt on my face and how I asked,half-awake, “Am I still giving blood today?” The response was pretty quick .Someone gave a half chuckle and told me “No. You cannot give blood today.” I apologize a rough total of 1232904 times for being such a pansy. I am given a yummy Gatorade in a can (In a can!) and propped up on a bed, my feet in the air. This is when I notice my left pinky toe. It is bleeding pretty badly in a couple of spots. I ask “What happened to my toe?” Nobody knows. I guess I kicked the table rather violently after I passed out? The nurse, who told me to wait to go to the bathroom before the check-up, was just glad I didn’t pee myself. Me too. That would have been even more embarrassing than the day already was. Though that seems hard to accomplish. Fernanda comes to sit with me and takes me to the bathroom and makes fun of me for the rest of the time we are there. They keep me there for an hour and keep worryingly checking my blood pressure. I don’t want to tell the nurse that the reason my blood pressure was so bad was because the squeezy thing that checks my blood pressure also makes me want to pass out. I figure she might think I am the biggest baby alive so I keep my mouth shut. It bothers me, this irrational fear. I face every fear that comes my way. I work hard enough to get practically everything I want. It is so damn frustrating to me that I am mentally prepared to do this and my body won’t physically let me. The nurse told me that if I can’t do the finger prick, that my body might have a really bad reaction to giving a whole pint of blood. I might not be able to ever give blood. This sucks balls (but not blood). I really am proud of myself for trying but I really wanted to do my part. I instead walk out feeling a little bit sad. I think this was sensed by the extremely sweet staff. As I was walking out a big and friendly doctor dude asks me “Would you like to pick out some ice cream?” I hesitate. I didn’t give blood. I don’t get ice cream. He must have sensed my hesitation. “You can still have ice cream! You tried. You deserve it!” Well,shucks. Though I doubt it’s the thought that counts (in this case) and that wishing you could give blood will save a life, I half-heartedly oblige and ask for chocolate. I get my chocolate ice-cream, say thankyou one more time and am sent off with friendly smiles. I hold onto the fact that the nurse told me that once somebody actually passed out while simultaneously throwing up and thrashing around. At least I’m not that bad. And I didn’t pee myself! Sigh. Still a definite fail. Though I’m still wearing the “Give Blood” bracelet to encourage others. My husband calls me a poser. Psh. I tried,damnit!
I am still feeling a little dizzy and faint after Fernanda must leave for work and I am dropped off at my house. I sit down,talk to my sweet husband on the phone, and prepare to spend the rest of the day on the couch. I am relaxing when I hear a ding-dong coming from the door-bell. A couple of friends surprise me, not even realizing that I had just embarrassed myself in front of a whole blood clinic. They manage to make me laugh while laughing at me and also replenishing a good majority of my energy. I love my friends. Miss Kimber (left) especially seems to consistently have psychic powers about when to show up. (Always when I need her. Never when I’m having sex!) Win.
Tonight’s win was especially satisfying, even if my zipper is totally undone in the above picture. After yesterday, I was actually advised and kind of forced into relaxing. (My toe is infected looking and I was still a tad bit too dizzy today. Dear Body: Seriously!? Grow up.) Luckily, I was off work so it worked out kind of perfectly. I don’t really know how to relax so this was a shock to my system, but also good for me. If you know me, you know I never stop. It was weird to actually sort of stop and chill for a little bit. I spent the past two days reading,light jogging, printing out pictures from my camera,cooking, and re-learning how to take it easy. It was actually…nice. My friend Em came over tonight and I made my first difficult recipe for her and my husband. A quiche! Husband noted that you see quiches in funny movies sometimes and when they come out of the oven they’re flat. Mine was nice and eggy and fluffy. AND yummy. Both Em and the husband devoured it; Em even got seconds! As I am usually the queen of casseroles and master killer of all things once edible, this was a huge accomplishment in my book. I made a not simple recipe that people actually really enjoyed. Definitely a win. The video below shows this win off, though Emily and I couldn’t stop laughing and it may have been the most awkward 20 seconds of my life. BUT we obviously have so much fun together AND she liked my food. The way she says “How’s your quiche?” cracks me up everytime. Oh, I love my life. Awkward videos and psychic friends and fainting at the mere sight of blood only makes it more interesting, I suppose.