Yesterday I went to the mall since they were having a blood drive. I have always donated steadily since I turned seventeen, every church blood drive, all the ones at college except the year after I got my tattoos, so I always go. Eastern North Carolina is critically low at the moment so it is very important to donate if you are able to!
I got to the mall around 2pm or so and I unfortunately was there almost two hours. I had some computer trouble with my maiden name and my married name and then the woman taking my blood kind of messed up. She told me the vein was bruising and not working and asked to try my other arm. Translation: you missed the vein and now it is bruising under the skin... I've donated enough to know that! But I had already been there a long time at this point so I told her to do the other arm. The left arm worked fine but for the first time ever it was painful to donate for me. Normally I feel the needle go in and then that is it, nothing else. This time it hurt the entire time they were drawing the blood... I didn't say anything but I was not a happy camper.
After I collected my tshirt and free cookies I drove home to spend time with Ryan before rehearsal. I had big band aids on both elbows so naturally he made fun of me a bit! I wasn't hungry, I had already chugged a water bottle, but he insisted I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before I go. I got to rehearsal and someone actually brought in pizza for all of us! Score. I had a slice and we rehearsed for an hour or so then took a ten minute break.
Like I am known to do I went outside to smoke and then came back in to chat more with the nonsmokers. I had another slice of pizza, some more water, and then we jumped back into the scene. All I have to say is thank God the guy playing my husband had his arm around me. We got maybe ten minutes into the scene and suddenly I felt horribly sick to my stomach. I started sweating and I felt incredibly overheated and then my vision started to go dark. Bless his heart my fake husband felt me sway and prevented me from hitting the floor as rehearsal ground to a halt.
They got me into a chair and I had more water and tried to breathe. I had a mini Hershey bar in my bag left over from our readthrough Monday so I ate that and slowly started to feel better. I think my blood sugar just dropped like a rock... it was very strange. Like I said, I have donated many many times, but I have never almost passed out like that! I was mortified. At first the director was worried I was ill or something but then I mentioned I donated blood and everyone relaxed. That had to be it. I took it easy the rest of the rehearsal, I sat more than my character is blocked to do but I made it through the night and was able to drive home and go to bed early (after making sure the Gamecocks beat Vanderbilt!).
My husband (the real one) said I must just be getting older. In college I could donate and then run to class then work for a few hours then rehearse without an issue. This time it took me a lot longer to bounce back, even being hydrated and eating. Noted. Next time I will be sure to take it easier!
Motto of the story: Don't donate blood on the day you have rehearsal. Passing out does not leave the best impression!