First Time Blood Donor

While growing up in school I never wanted to donate blood in the school gym.

However, on Thursday July 12 I decided to make a difference... by getting my blood drawn for the very first time.

The American Red Cross hosted a three day blood drive at the Louisville Churchill Downs. It began Tuesday at 11a.m. and last until 7p.m.

Check in was located on the fourth level in Millionaire's Row told them I was a first time donor they gave me a green sticker as in indicator that I was making a difference.

After giving my pint of blood and several tubes for testing they provided us with juice, water and snacks. Along with a seat checking in to make sure we were doing okay.

Followed by a free dinner courtesy of Stoker's Broaster Chicken.

The greatest incentive was receiving a free ticket to King's Island/Cedar Point.

The blood drive was created to prevent blood shortages among hospitals. There isn't enough blood being donated as quickly then it's going out to patients.

I would have to say my first time donating was a fairly good experience. Those who were operating on me couldn't get over the fact of my humor yet seriousness. Several times I had to have them assure me that I wasn't going to die.

Before they hooked my up I asked questions and showed them exactly where my right arm vein was yet somehow they slightly still missed it with the needle. "Girl you just have those deep veins!," a Red Cross Representative said. Hmmm... Well then I suppose that's why my love run so deep for people?!

Not sure if that was a cop out because they wanted to ease my mind about the overall experience or they just really had no clue what they where doing and insist on trying to play it off. Which ever I was able to donate a full pint along with 5 additional tubes of blood for testing purposes. With an iron level of 13.4 barely exceeding pass the minimum level in order to donate. It took me about 12 minutes to fill the bag and although I thought it would have taking me less than 10, I suppose my blood doesn't flow as quickly as I thought.

The Aftermath

Working and operating cameras at 4 in the morning the nect day was not a good idea based on the condition I was in. It had not been longer than 12 hours since I gave my donation.

I was trying my best to stay a float however I kept being asked by co workers if I was okay. The answer to them was yes even though I honestly knew I was dying inside. Feeling dizzy while standing and lightheaded when trying to bend down just to pick paper up... pushing a large studio camera across the floor and setting shots didn't make my life at the moment any better.

I literally was in tears and had to sit down for a while take a drink and eat a snack. Throughout the night I woke up to take several sips of water and that same dehydration was present hours later. I hardly got ample amount of sleep the night prior to donating blood which made me feel worse.

On break I ate a yummy, nutritious salad from Panera Bread and was able to rest my eyes for a little while. Returning from break I felt a little better however still weaker than what I am use too. I floored by myself for midday and made sure I set down during commercial breaks and any other moment I could.

As the weekend continued I still did not get the amount of rest I should have had but I was able to eat a bit more than I normally do.

On the following Monday I called and was able to find out what blood type I am...it's pretty universal!

Be sure to donate blood whenever you have the chance. Since it takes a while for red blood cells to replenish themselves I am not able to give blood again until September... why don't you stand in my absence.