Thursday I donated blood. Kendra and I met with each of our two youngest children in tow. I hung out in the parking lot/car/grassy area while she went first. An hour later she came out and took my kids with her so she could pick up Gracie from preschool. I was nervous about going in. I've donated blood once before, about 13 years ago. There was a whole bunch of questions about AIDS. Lots. There was the finger poke. No wonder Kindergarteners don' t like their physicals- that sucker hurt a little! My iron levels were great- 41%. It's supposed to be between 35-55%. Next was my blood pressure and pulse. Pulse was 72, and then she took my blood pressure. Before telling me what it was, she asked "What's your normal blood pressure?" I told her it was usually around 100/70. Thursday it was 90/60. After all the AIDS questions and risky behavior lecture/questions I went bank to the big donating room. I have to say the chairs are very comfy. The actual blood drawing part only took about five minutes. The pre-drawing and post waiting to make sure you don't faint part takes the longest. They had free donuts, by the way. And juice. The blood bank was having a drive sponsored in part by the local hockey team. I had no idea! I got two free car wash vouchers for my favorite car wash place. What a nice bonus!
When you are all finished donating, they give you a receipt that tells you your donation number and vital stats. It also has this warning about calling them within 24 hours if you get a fever, cold, etc.
I got a fever that night.
I gave tainted blood.
I woke up in the middle of the night sweating. I thought maybe I left the heater on too high. I got a glass of water, and while lifting the glass to my mouth, the world started getting smaller and quieter. And darker. So I squated down and put my head between my knees. The feeling passed, and I crawled back into bed. I woke the next morning feeling very tired and hot and then cold. Around 9am it all went away. So weird.
My question is this: was I on my way to getting sick before I donated, or was the blood letting somehow connected to the fever? It doesn't seem reasonable. I guess I'll have to donate again and see what happens. (And, I'm somewhat fascinated with "blood letting" and that it used to be deemed a healthy way to get the sicknesses out. And leeches... I'm grateful for modern technology.)