Last night I went to donate blood for my 5th or 6th time this year. It's always been a pleasant experience, the people at the donation center are very friendly and adept at their jobs. Usually in and out in an hour including all the paperwork and rest times.
This time I was set to break the speed record. I finally remember to bring a book to read and barely got three pages done before I was through the initial paperwork and was being prepped for my donation.
The first nurse missed the vein on my left arm. So we reloaded and went for the right arm - I've donated from both previously, but who knows. The donation went fine, pretty quick. Got my clearance and walked from the donation area over to the cantina. Water and two chocolate chip cookies please. Good cookies.
As I finished my first cookie I remember looking at the volunteer in the cantina and watching as someone closed the curtains on reality. "This isn't right" I muttered.
"Put your head on the table," she said. I think I did.
Things got really funny. I could sense something going on but any sense of time was shot. The world was completely black, but it was as if there was something on the other side of a really thick blanket. I knew something was going on and I kept trying to puzzle it out. Felt like a few minutes had gone by when I did a "this is wrong" and woke up. I was laying down on the bed near the cantina (always wondered why there was one there) with three nurses around me.
"You've fainted," one told me. "You were out for about 20 seconds."
She proceeded to explain what had happened in terms that I wish I had written down to look up this morning. Short of it was that they were going to take it easy with me this time, no rushing home.
Took awhile before I could sit up and not feel the curtains closing again. A few waters and some slow movement later I was able to work my way down and eventually home. Been fine since.
I had asked the nurse, when I awoke, what caused this. She says they're not sure. Some think its psychological, especially on the first donation, others think there is some physiological cause. For me, I'll go with the latter. I made sure to have plenty of liquids (over 3 liters) but although I ate "normal" for me, I definitely skimped for donating.
When I got home I had a major craving for a calzone, way off my diet. Normally this would cause me to gain a few pounds on my next weigh in. My weigh in today - I lost weight. Woooooops. That would do it.
Next time I'm super-sizing lunch!