Well, I think I've given blood for the second and final time in my life. A week ago this past Saturday I decided to try giving blood again when the Blood Connection had its bloodmobile at our church for a blood drive. I had given blood several years back and just made it through my unit when I started to have a vasovagal episode. It didn't come as a huge surprise since I had had problems when visiting people in the hospital who were receiving fluids or transfusions. After that incident I decided that maybe I shouldn't give blood again. This latest time, though, I thought maybe the same problem would not recur. However it did. I was able to finish giving my unit of blood and didn't pass out completely, but I felt terrible for the last third of the unit as and for a while afterwards.
The next day, though, I noticed that I had a rash and hives all around the site where they had drawn the blood. The following day it was creeping towards my wrist and my underarm, and the same thing was appearing on my other forearm. Below is a picture of my left arm.
I took Benadryl before going to bed that night to see if that would calm my allergic reaction. It did basically nothing but make me half-loopy all day Tuesday. I went to see my doctor Wednesday, and we figured out that I was having a reaction to the chlorhexidine gluconate they had used to clean the site where the needle would go in. The nurse had chlorhexidine gluconate on her gloves and touched all over on my left arm during the whole process. There were apparently traces of the substance on the other arm of the chair from previous donors - hence the rash on my right forearm where it had touched the arm of the chair. I'm on Prednisone for one week (nasty stuff!) The rash is finally going away and bothering me much less.
What's kind of funny is that in two of my French classes in recent weeks we've been talking about various sports in French, one of which was rugby. I told my students that I had seen a t-shirt in France that said, "donnez du sang - jouez au rugby" (that is, give blood - play rugby). We all chuckled about it since rugby is such a rough game. I'm thankful that some are able to give blood with no ill effects, but after my experiences recently, I think the next time I decide to try giving blood, I'll go out for rugby instead!
Yesterday we had some guests for lunch. One is our niece, a nurse in a local ER, and another is a senior nursing major at BJU, currently doing her clinicals. They were talking about how surprised they are at how unfeelingly sometimes medical personnel talk among themselves about their work. It made me think of something in my files that I could post, wanting very much to have something to laugh about concerning medical things.
Things you don't want to hear during surgery
Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what's that?
Someone call the janitor--we're going to need a mop.
Bo! Bo! Come back with that! Bad dog!
Hand me that...uh...that uh...thingie.
Oh no! I *know* I had my wristwatch on when I came in here!
Oops! Hey, has anyone ever survived 500 ml of this stuff before?
Everybody stand back! I lost my contact lens!
Could you stop that thing from beating; it's throwing my concentration off.
What's this doing here?
I hate it when they're missing stuff in here.
Better save that. We might need it for an autopsy.
That's cool! Now can you make his leg twitch?
I wish I hadn't forgotten my glasses.
You did WHAT to our car?!
Well folks, this will be an experiment for all of us.
Sterile, schmerile. The floor's clean, right?
Anyone see where I left that scalpel?
OK, now take a picture from this angle. This is truly a freak of nature.
It's gonna blow! Everyone take cover!
Nurse, did this patient sign the organ donation card?
Don't worry. I think it is sharp enough.
Rats! Page 47 of the manual is missing!
FIRE! FIRE! Everyone get out!
I'd love to hear about the experiences, both good and bad, of those who've given blood or received blood.
"Many brave men have died for countries that don't exist any more." - Dr. Drew Conley
When the doctor got a bad cut, the nurse said, "Suture self."
Print This Post
If you enjoyed this post, to get updates when I post to my blog, sign up for your preferred method below — RSS, Twitter, or e-mail.