#day 21 – a little collapse during my first blood donation

Uff…my first time today is also my last one: blood donation. Long time I wasn’t able to donate blood, because I didn’t reach the minimum weight of 50 kilogramms. Whilst my university friends increased their pocket money I just support them with holding hands. Anyhow times changes and now I fulfil all criteria. When I started the project I set up a long overdue bucket list. That’s how the blood donation popped up again and I arranged an appointment for today.

Firsttimers have to fill out a really long list about prior and current diseases. And that’s not all. They want to know everything about your sexual habits. Did I spent money for prostitution? Did I had sex with a homosexual? Did I had sex with a southeastasian? No, no and no. Did I had more than one sexual partner the last 6 months? …Seriously? My iron and blood pressure is good, that’s what counts much more right now.

The row of strange questions continues when I was lying on the chair, finally ready for the blood party, and the nurse asked me if I’m from East or West Germany. I didn’t know the wall is still standing. Except of the East Side Gallery of course, but it’s just a touristy thing. I answerd Thuringia and she told me she’s from the West as well. A big question mark wandered around the room and I started to concentrate myself on squeezing the red rubber heart in my left hand. I wasn’t that sad when she called another nurse for setting the needle because of my weak veins and she is a newbie.

I did a great job at the beginning. You don’t have to cover the needle, that’s nothing to me, I guaranteed my new nurse. She just told me something about white blood cells and screaming in case of complications and went away. Photo time! I had time for exactly one snap, when the lights went black. There was not only one second for sreaming or anything. I don’t know how long I was fainted, could be ten seconds or one minute, I have no idea. The moment of awakening was pretty strange. I was totally lost and had the feeling my mind is outside my body, watching me lying there, feeling sorry for this absolutely desoriented girl. It was the moment I knew I have to scream and so I whisperd “Excuse me”. Three attempts later the West German nurse stood finally by my side, gave me some water and dextrose. Fortunately the blood bag was already filled with a half liter and we could stop the procedure.

I was whiter than the linen and my blood pressure as low as the bank taxes in these times. The combination of my persisting weak condition and the approaching Feierabend (there exists no english word for that, it means something linke finishing work for today) let the doctor decide to give me an infusion. Since my left arm was already perforated, my right arm got the pleasure with some needle pogo. Jesus, the doctor poked around in my arm, nearly incapable to find a vein. Not funny, I can tell you. I imagine, I saw him even shivering! At least similiarites bind together.

One hour, a cacao, cold wraps and some flirtations with the whole team (they call themselves blood angels) later I was slowly able to stand up and walk around as a zombie. I left the blood center with the doctor, who seriously asked me, when I’ll be back for a plasma donation. Much more gentle, he assured me. I hope, this was only elevator small talk. At the moment I’m sure a donation, whether blood or plasma, was my first and last time – unfortunately.

Back home I erased it from my blacklist and added a new one to save life: a registration for bone marrow donation.

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