May 24, 2012

I almost passed out at Whole Foods last night.

It was silly, really. I had just donated blood about half an hour earlier, and I felt mostly fine when I left the blood center. I stayed about 10 minutes after donating, drank some juice and ate a packet of Oreos and some popcorn. I had no food at home, so I decided to drive to the Whole Foods that is essentially right down the street from my apartment. I felt totally fine on the drive, and felt fine in the store, and then as I moved to the check-out lane, my head started feeling all fuzzy and the world started to fade around the edges, everything turning white in the periphery.

I wasn’t thinking clearly, because I couldn’t, but I managed to tell the check-out person that I had just donated blood, and I was pretty sure I was about to pass out. I was like, “I just need to sit down for a minute and I’ll be fine.” The world was fading faster, my hearing blocked in addition to sight, and so I slumped down into a squatting position, while several other employees ran over to help. And then, like a switch was flipped, I was better. I stood up, started to get my sight and hearing back. Someone brought over one of those tall chairs they have from the cafe area, and I sat down as instructed.

One of the items I was buying was a can of that yummy 100% cane sugar root beer that they sell, so they told me to pop open the can and drink a bit. I complied, and the check-out person rang up my order, I swiped my card, and the staff hovered around me like I might slump over again at any moment. The lady behind me in line was super helpful and nice as well, and told me she sometimes gets all swoony about an hour after donating, when she otherwise thought she was fine. Someone asked if he needed to call 911, and I reassured them all that I was fine.

Next, they worried about me getting behind the wheel of the car. I told them that I lived around the block and could be home in five minutes. One of the staff members carried my groceries out to the car, and again, I reassured her I would be fine. One quick look in the mirror once I sat in the car showed me why they were so freaked. My normally pale white visage was ghostly.

I got home about 5 minutes later, put the groceries away, and looked up the store’s phone number, the name of the check-out person on the bottom of the receipt, and called to thank them for making sure I was okay. I was talking to a coworker about it today, and she wondered if I was embarrassed. I shrugged and said, “Nah, these things happen to people, what’s the point in being embarrassed?”

My major reflection was that my body was being ridiculous and attention whoring. Because I am fairly confident that someone who is actually ill and/or dying needs that blood more than I do. So even though it was a weird and kind of scary experience, I will continue to donate. I am certainly happy that the next time I am eligible, I will be 8 weeks behind this incident.

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