10:02pm Night Before
I am starting to get a bit nervous about my appointment tomorrow to donate whole blood. The needle itself is making me most nervous out of everything. I’ve been reading up on the donation site on whether I should bring something to do or for how long I will be there for. Supposedly the process takes 15 minutes to donate and the whole appointment is one
hour. So far all the information I can find to prepare is, stay hydrated and eat salty food beforehand. So at the moment I am focussing on drinking as much water as I can without bursting and googling different books I could buy before my appointment and brainstorming what to do during the process.
11:14am – 1 Hour After Donation
That was a lot easier than expected. As a first time donor I had an interview to go over my recent health and travels. Have my haemaglobin levels and blood pressure checked, and off into the donor room! You get hoisted into a chair and lifted quite high off the ground. I took the option of a blanket cause damn it’s a cold morning (getting my blanket taken off me was by far the worst part). First we tried my right arm but missed the vein so quickly switched to the left arm. From there it was a quick swab of some yellow green liquid to sterilise, in goes the giant needle, and then chill out for 10 minutes while you donate.
Initially the needle hurt but 30 seconds later everything felt normal. We managed to get 470ml of blood and I was finished. As for right now, straight afterward, I am sitting in the free food and drink section. There’s a nurse nearby making sure I’m drinking and eating. There are also signs everywhere telling me to grab some food to take home for later.
Overall. As of right now. Super easy process. Slightly scary at the start but would recommend trying it out for anyone whose considering it.
4:00pm – Few Hours After Donation
I am quite easily very exhausted and tired. I feel good about what I did, but I overexerted myself with walking around the city and grabbing lunch, then catching public transport home. I began to feel dizzy and sick so I called and Uber and had a lovely chat with my driver. I think I estimated my strength to be a lot more than it is. I figured that I could walk around, with my heavy backpack, and everything would be the same. Turns out, losing a small amount of blood (10%) makes you a lot less able to be active than you would originally.
For my future self when I go in to donate next – go straight home. When that exhaustion hits you, you’re better off already in your pj’s and watching movies.