For the most part, I'm not a good Samaritan by any standards, but I do try to give blood when I can. After my boyfriend donated at our school blood drive in October and I didn't, I felt like a real ass, so I tried again at the next one in March. I got really light-headed after they finished, but I was still on the table, so that's ok. Then I signed up for one in June at a local library, but it was really hot out and I think I was dehydrated because my arm refused to give any blood. So I signed up to donate yesterday and hoped this time would be better.
I had to be at work at 5:30, but the donation was at work, so I scheduled an appointment for 4, that way I had time for any possible delay, plus regrouping afterwards. They took me right in, hooked me up, life was good. After I was done, I got that light-headed thing from the first time, but I knew that was coming so I told the ladies at the drive ahead of time, and they gave me cold towels and stuff, so I was fine. I had a few cans of juice, moved over to the outgoing bench, ate a few pretzels and then they said I was free to go whenever I felt like it. I left the donation bus (pretty cool set-up, actually), and it was pretty hot and sunny out, so my head hurt, but I walked down the length of the bus and I knew I was done for. My vision and hearing started to go, and I didn't fully pass out, but I had to lie down on the sidewalk to regroup.
The ladies came out to help me, and I felt fine, but then they called an ambulance to make sure I wasn't going to really pass out. Embarrassing. As. Hell. They put me on a saline drip and I ended up staying in the ER for almost two hours, but everyone was really nice (paramedic: "150 cc's [of the saline] per hour. Not per minute, your arm would swell up. And then we could poke holes in you and you'd be a fountain." He was from the same division as the paramedics that stay at the stadium just in case someone gets hurt, so he said that they'd sneak into the games a lot, too.)
Of course, my mom freaked out when the ER called her, my boyfriend freaked out when I told him that I had a funny story to tell him but couldn't call him because I was in the ER, and I had to call my boss to tell her that I wasn't going to be into work, so there were a lot of awkward phone calls last night, but I'm fine now. I ripped off the tape and gauze so I can move my arms now, and I don't have to worry about feeling guilty about not donating, because they told me I really shouldn't do it for a few years...