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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    307

    Gave blood, tried riding 2 days later..

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    Well, I was smart enough to listen to the Red Cross and NOT ride the day of giving blood... I even didn't ride the day after. I just took it easy...watched the Tour..and finished my Harry Potter book. Today, I couldn't NOT ride even though I felt a little slug-like. I waved off my group ride and waited until this evening.

    Well... this hit me by surprise really.. About a mile or 2 from my house, I started not feeling so good. I WANTED... NEEDED some miles on my beloved though (you know the feeling), so I thought "I'll just spin and not put out anything over 80w if I can help it". That is really wimpy for me, but I did it. Well.. I got out as far as I was going to go before I really started feeling really bad. Ugh... Its been a long time since I've felt so weak - scary weak. ...like my legs wanted to go and had the power, but my heart beat did NOT feel good. It was a weird unsteady feeling and a little dizzy (like my vestibular migraines sometimes make me). Anyway... I took it one pedal stroke at a time. I made it home but seriously thought many times on the way that if I stopped riding and laid down, I could go right to sleep.

    Anyone with medical background out there? Can all this be explained by my recent one pint donation and my shortage of red blood cells? I mean.. it makes sense to me, but it'd really be nice to have a medically inclined person tell me. donation anemia?

    And before everyone else jumps on me... I KNOW it was stupid to try to go on ahead to ride after I started feeling bad. Learned my lesson... BAD Susan!!!
    2009 Giant Avail Advanced 1
    2008 Trek FX 7.5 (Commuter)

    Baby Blue..retired to new rider: 2006 Giant OCR-C

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    More rest, less ride.

    And thank you for donating blood! You are very cool! Three cheers!
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    95
    I've been donating blood for a couple of years, actually I'm due to give again in the next few weeks.
    About riding the same day after giving blood? - Not a great idea. I don't feel 100% afterwards. That said, not quite 4 hours after donating blood, I once rode 7Km & ran around a rugby field playing ultimate frisbee.


    Happy riding

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832
    OK, here's my little rant about giving blood. I think the Red Cross has gotten a bit ridiculous in their restrictions on who can donate. When I tried to donate the last time, they said I had to wait a year because I had gone diving in Belize last October. Huh? I was in a resort area, not the jungle. When I hear that blood is in short supply, it's obvious why that is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    I can't donate blood because I had one of the cancers on their "bad" list.

    Now, as far as I know, cancer isn't contagious.

    Oh well...
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Suburb of ATL
    Posts
    132
    Ugh, I am scheduled to give blood next week and I'm skeered. This is not makng me look forward to it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,708

    Call Center's RN & Btw-Thx For Saving My Life

    Sorry you had such a bad time on your ride post donation, glad you are safe and didn't get hurt in the loopy state!

    No medical expert, or not even a med tech, but my background is in healthcare, and now I work at a medical lab with blood banking services too. I have given blood myself before, and yes, it can really make you feel just as you described post draw depending on the person, and activitiy. Your health, weight, blood pressure, etc. can all add to it. Other people give, and are just fine. Next doc check up, or blood donation, mention it to the center, and see what they say--maybe you needed a lil more time, or it could have been something else? You can call the center's RN, or your doc now too--waiting and wondering makes me persoanally crazy, I know.

    In college when I was super skinny and very low blood pressure, borderline weight of almost being able to not donate, I did, and had your same experience. So I know what you are saying. Also, in my age and changing hormones/periods etc. I think I am borderline anemic certain times of the month and would not think of donating during these times of feeling bad due to having this side effect. They test if you are ok too before hand, so don't let it scare you off--they wouldn't take your blood if it was an undue harm to you or others.

    About the comment of who can donate and who can't--it is really strict with the rules. Sad in some ways, because there are lots of people who would probably be fine to give, but if there is any remote chance of a problem--it puts the nix on it. I don't totoally know the details myself, but the blood goes thru a whole process even after being giving to verify it's purity that it is safe. Some patients are scared of getting blood from someone else, they give their own, or get "directed donation" in which you can have someone you know with your same type give blood for you if needed for surgery, etc.

    Thanks to you ladies that can/do give blood I will say first hand. You help save lives, including my own a couple times.

    Post delivery birth, I had a severe unexpected blood loss, and desperately needed a transfusion. Later on, I developed an autoimmune disease that the only treatment for me to potentially not get any worse and be able to walk nornally, much less ride my bike, required a blood bi-product. The treatment is called IvIg or gamma globulin therapy (blood has diff parts to it, e.g. red cells, white cells, etc. and this is the antibodies), and blood banking trivia, it takes 10,000 blood donors to make enough antibodies for one IV bag of the medicine. Everyday before I would go to the hospital to get my tx, I would have to call and see if they had it or not--because sometimes it would get in shortage and they would have to get it sent from all over the country to get it. Was a pretty scary phone call to make, cuz without it, I never knew if my legs would ever work right to walk normaly again.

    Even though I still have some problems that come and go, I mostly recovered, and can do most things fine... like ride my bike. So, on that note, I'm gonna go pedal it out for you ladies on my ride... thanks for saving my life.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Middle Earth
    Posts
    3,997
    OK... very pleased you posted this.
    I would have thought a couple of days was plenty of time before one tried a gentle ride
    Thank you for being our guinea pig!

    Trust you are able to get on your bike real soon without adverse effects... can you let us know when you do?

    Take care, pleased you did not actually pass out on the bike or anything like that!


    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
    "I will try again tomorrow".


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    291
    I donate regularly, and while I avoid riding that day, I ride the next and am fine. I think how you feel afterwards is probably mostly individual. But, that said, I always feel better if I drink lots of water before and after donating, and also take an extra multi-vitamin (with iron) the day before.

    That and I treat myself to a volunteer cookie at the donation center. /nod It's all about the cookie!

    Congrats on donating. I'm sure we all know someone who's needed blood or blood products, and it's important that we help if we can.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    317
    You probably went into shock.
    A pint of blood is roughly 500 mL. The "average" adult human can lose 750 mL before going into shock. And well, noone is an average human... so if you're a smallish female, it's quite possible for a blood donation to be a bit more than your body wants to deal with. Yes, you can keep going into shock after you've lost blood.

    What I'd do (until you stop feeling icky when exercising) is bring a cell phone with when you ride, and let someone know when you leave and where you're headed. Bringing a light jacket, some electrolyte replacement drink, and a snack isn't a bad idea either, even if you don't normally need those things. Standard first aid for donating blood is "eat something" and "drink something". And wrapping someone who is shocky in a blanket is an easy way to help them. Blankets don't work so well on a bike, so a jacket makes a good substitute.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    I've only had one bad reaction after donating, and not since (and that was immediately after when I passed out- now I put ice packs on my neck during donation and drink a gatorade).
    I donate every 8 weeks- I usually work out before I dontate, then again the next day. I've never experienced what you did 2 days after. I think your reaction may be a result of your own body's reaction to the depletion of the blood (and maybe it's just mad at you for taking a pint away from it ). Are you low body weight, or have normally low blood pressure? Torrilin could be right on.
    Anywho- hope it doesn't happen again. Keep on donating, tho!

    Oh- and we went to ancient ruins in Mexico and couldn't donate for a year. I was totally bummed. If I'd known that- I wouldn't have gone (to the ruins- I still would've gone to Mexico). I understand that they just want to be extra cautious tho- if I'd developed malaria months after returning I sure wouldn't want to have given that to someone.
    I didn't mind the inconvenience- I'm glad they have so many precautions- makes it safer in the end.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
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    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867

    too anemic to give blood?

    Here's a question. I've rarely if ever been able to donate blood because they always tell me I'm anemic. It has happened so often that I don't even bother stopping in anymore.

    When I've brought this to the attention of various doctors, they usually do nothing nor do they ask further questions. I had blood work last year and it was all normal.

    Should I do anything about the blood bank findings?

    Karen

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,253
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckervill View Post
    When I've brought this to the attention of various doctors, they usually do nothing nor do they ask further questions. I had blood work last year and it was all normal.
    Ask to have your serum ferritin levels tested. Ferritin is not always tested as part of normal blood work. This test will show how much available iron you have stored in your body. You could be anemic, or you could be just on the "low end of normal". In those two cases, you should look at supplementing with oral iron pills. Be sure to get it checked before you start popping iron pills, though, because it is possible to take too much iron and get sick from that. It doesn't sound very likely in your case, this is just a standard disclaimer to anyone who might think it's safe to just start taking iron over the counter.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,171
    Quote Originally Posted by BabyBlueNTulsa View Post
    Well, I was smart enough to listen to the Red Cross and NOT ride the day of giving blood... I even didn't ride the day after. I just took it easy...

    And before everyone else jumps on me... I KNOW it was stupid to try to go on ahead to ride after I started feeling bad. Learned my lesson... BAD Susan!!!
    Well, I was once NOT smart enough to not ride after giving blood.
    I commuted in by bike. Gave blood at noon. Commuted home at 5. Yes, call me Stupid.

    Halfway home, I stopped at a light, and I got really dizzy - had incredible tingling at the top of my head - vision went grey. I was propped up like a tripod over my bike - and I think that was the only think that kept me from keeling over right where I stood. When my vision cleared, I got off the bike, went behind a big electric box, which offered some shade (oh...did I mention it was also 95 degrees out and VERY humid?). I rested there until a coworker of mine came by on his bike. He waited with me until I felt well enough to go on and rode with me most of the way home (fortunately, this guy rides a bike at about a walking speed and this time it suited me fine!).

    So..lesson learned....no matter how well you feel after giving blood (and I usually feel fine), don't exert yourself. I suppose everyone has a different "bounce back" rate - and perhaps we learn it through trial-and-error. You now know 2 days is not enough for you. I hope that doesn't make you less inclined to give blood. The benefits outweigh the inconveniences, in my humble opinion.
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    307
    I'm SO GLAD I posted this. All of you have had very helpful things to say and I DO appreciate it very much.

    To answer a few of the questions...no i'm not really underweight, so I have a hard time thinking I was highly susceptible (sp?) to shock - but I won't totally discount it either.. The strange thing is..up until I got hurt and had started taking heavy-duty pain meds (quit about 2yrs ago), I had given every 3 mos or so with very little troubles. I don't think I donated from mid-1998 to 2005 sometime (after my back surgery and recovery time). Anyway...(that whole deal's another story), ever since I returned to donation, I've had SOME trouble - but usually only b/c I started being a slow bleeder for donating. Sometimes I'd get lightheaded, but i never passed out. Most importantly, I've NEVER had this kind of feeling 2 days post donation and beyond.

    I gotta tell you gals... Its now like day 4 or 5 and I still feel weird.. In fact, I'm considering calling the Red Cross hotline folks. I have been getting a pressure feeling in my chest and am still dizzy often. I'm afraid to even LOOK at my beautiful bike right now. <sniff> I just don't feel right. Still!

    My family has zero history for heart troubles and I'm too young and healthy (right?) to have something going on. My upper bp number has been slightly higher the last two times it was taken (at my gyn appt a couple weeks ago and at the donation site), but nothing scary. When I go look at sites for warning signs, etc.. the "what does this mean" type sites, it talks about possible heart attack...but sheeze louise... that seems so highly unlikely for me. I'm 37...in shape (healthy weight inside the min-max for my height) and I dont' eat Cheetos for b'fast lunch and dinner. :P

    Ugh. I'm just the type of person who hates any kind of change in anything - especially the way my body feels..and even more so if its keeping me from biking now! Grr.

    I'm sure this is an anomoly from most of ya out there.. don't let my current state spook you from donating. I agree..it is worth it to help others. This is just weird.

    Miranda... I'm glad others and I give to nice people like you! Glad you're with us!
    2009 Giant Avail Advanced 1
    2008 Trek FX 7.5 (Commuter)

    Baby Blue..retired to new rider: 2006 Giant OCR-C

 

 

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