I learned a valuable lesson today about myself. I should never give blood in the morning.
I got up around 9 a.m., ate at 9:30 and went to give blood around 10. I didn’t think about the possibility of not having digested that food yet. After donating I was really lightheaded and stayed on the bloodmobile until nearly 11. The staff took great care of me and a friend of one of my roommates made sure I made it back to the village without passing out.
On top of being lightheaded (which eventually went away with more fluids and food) the whole experience wasn’t as great as the last two times I’ve given. My biggest problem? Arm hair. Their tourniquet really hurts when it pulls arm hair, and since I’m a slow giver for some reason (they always have to tell me to do something different or tighten the tourniquet to get my blood flowing faster) I always end up with a sore arm. This was compounded today because I ended up with a bruised arm from the needle. That’s nice and sore now.
So the moral of the story is to give blood in the afternoon. And possibly go to bloodmobile #4, because I ended up with a bruise from the staff on #3. Maybe that’s just a coincidence.