What’s that rushing sound?

by Ginger on August 15, 2008

in I'm a Disaster

So this morning we had a blood drive at work (I’m not going to get too chatty about squicky details, but I will be mentioning blood a bit by the nature of this post, so if you’re really squeamish, I suggest skipping this one). I’ve never given blood, but I’ve always kind of wanted to, and I figured this would be my good deed for the week.

Plus, my office is giving free movie tickets to everyone who donated. So it’s not entirely selfless, so shoot me.

Anywho…I’m starting to think that giving blood wasn’t the best idea for me today. Let’s review.

-Nurse lady (or whoever they are) took 3 tries to get the vein
-My session took about 15-20 minutes. Everyone else was done in under 10.
-They made me stay in my little loungy chair for an extra 20 minutes. I couldn’t even move to the ” canteen” area where everyone else went. The multitude of questions about how I was doing, am I ok, etc., leads me to believe they were a little worried I might pass out. I never really felt too bad, and kind of thought they were overreacting a little (I figured I probably got pretty pale, happens to me sometimes when I have blood drawn)

So we’re finally through that hurdle. 2 hours after my ordeal was over, I went across the street to get some lunch. No big thing, it’s literally right across the street. However, standing in front of the cashier asking for my 3 rolled tacos, I start to hear a rushing sound, and get a bright white framed bit of tunnel vision. Crap.

Now, I don’t know about any of you, but I have passed out before. I know EXACTLY what happens to me right before, and I know approximately how long I have for the various stages before I hit the floor. Let’s just say I skipped about 6 steps and went straight to “if I’m not horizontal in about 15 seconds, I’m gonna go down. I was right in the middle of giving my order, but I know enough about how crappy it feels to pass out to not care, so I stop and tell the lady, Nevermind, I have to go, and walk as quickly as I can to the door, turn, and sit down on the ground outside. I know if I can’t get myself back to semi-normal in a few seconds, I’m going to need to lay down, or I will pass out.

You might be wondering, if I’m going to lay down anyway, why I’m so concerned about passing out. Well, for me, I’d rather be dirty, gross, and embarrassed under my own power than dirty, gross and embarrassed but missing time from my consciousness. I have laid on some pretty nasty surfaces in order to not pass out–the floor of a subway car in New York during rush hour, the platform of the PATH train in New Jersey, the middle of a major walkway in the mall to name a few. I would rather take back control of my body than have it taken from me by passing out.

So I’m sitting there, with my head between my legs, trying to breath as slowly as possible, feeling like my eyes are swimming around in my head. I know I’m sweating like crazy, and I’m hot as hell. There are people all around me, it being lunchtime in an area that’s nothing but office parks. I know people are looking at me funny, but strangely enough, i lose my embarrassment gene when this stuff pops up. However, i am wondering if I’m going to be ok to walk back to my office anytime soon, and oh, I probably should figure out a way to get some juice or Gatorade or something..but the logistics of this are very hard to pin down in my fuzzy little brain.

Right about this time, my darling coordinator walks up and recognizes me. I love her, she’s the best employee a first time manager could ask for–smart, enthusiastic, cheery, and capable. But at this moment, all I can think about her is “oh good, maybe she can buy me some juice”. I feel kind of bad about this–illogically in my fuzzy brain, it feels sort of like asking her to get me coffee or run my errands–but I also recognize that it’s REALLY important.

“Ginger, are you ok? You don’t look so good…” (said with the most concerned look on her face. I freaked out a little right then, because she normally doesn’t ever break from calm. But whatever, I’m sitting on the ground outside a taco shop with my head between my legs, probably white as a sheet, I guess she’s got a point).

“um, yeah, hi. I’m not feeling so well…would you mind, well, I hate to ask…but I kind of need…if it’s ok…could you buy me some juice?” Sadly for my reputation as her manager, I believe most of this was said slightly slurred and cross-eyed.

Of course she didn’t, so she did. And then, she waited with me until I felt like I could walk back across the street, and walked me back to my desk. I felt (and still feel) a little silly about the chaperon, but trust me, this was not something I was going to pass up, as I still felt a little woozy.

So woozy in fact, that when I got to my cube, I took off my shoes, laid down on the floor and put my feet in my chair. Thinking the whole time, “man, I hope right now isn’t when one of the VP’s decides they need something from me.”

All in all, I’m not sure that giving blood today was really the best of plans.

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