Single Girl Diaries: I saved three lives

Relationship columnist Ellise Verheyen on embarrassing moments

In lieu of last week’s relationship celebration, I wanted to take a step back from all the dating vs. single lifestyles chat. It’s just way too depressing. Instead, I want to share with you my most embarrassing college moment thus far. Prepare yourselves.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, homecoming at MU is a big deal. Like a BIG, stinking deal. However, when you take away the football, parades and concerts, you’ll see the Homecoming Blood Drive, which is one of the nation’s largest. Every donor saves three lives, and a statistic like that was extremely appealing.

I’d never given blood before. It sounded a little intimidating but simple enough. My dear friend Brittany, a member of a sorority, asked me to give my blood for the betterment of the world (and points toward Homecoming). I hesitantly agreed.

The process was much more rigorous than I had anticipated. It turns out that you’re required to have your blood tested prior to giving a few gallons (exaggeration). I was taken into a sketchy room (and by room, I mean two giant trifolds put together) and interrogated. I’ve never been this nervous.

Then the worst part came. They pricked my finger to test for iron in the blood. A minimum of 12.5 something was necessary to donate, but I read a 10.2. I was actually relieved. I didn’t have to give blood after all. (I was really nervous at this point.)

Then the nurse told me that it could be a misread and decided we should retest. So I got stabbed in my other pointer finger (ouch). It was a 12.5. I was cleared to give blood. Crap.

I was guided to one of the many hospital beds and was told to lie down. I obediently followed orders, but I was feeling nauseous. However, I reminded myself that I was saving three lives. That’s a huge deal. Three A-Positives could live, thanks to me. So I did it.

The nurse stuck me in the arm with the needle and immediately began taking my blood. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good. I played on Pinterest while the blood flowed and ended up filling the bag in less than four minutes. I know, impressive.

Once it was all over, Brittany came over to walk me to the snack table. (That lucky duck had invisible veins and didn’t have to give blood.) As we made our way to the snack table, I saw a friend about to give blood herself. She was extremely nervous, so I began to comfort her.

“It’s so easy,” I told her. “It doesn’t hurt at all.”

Then it hit me.

A wave of nausea and exhaustion slammed into me. I told her that I was going to get some water and wished her luck, but as soon as I was out of earshot, I whispered to Brittany.

“Don’t panic, but I’m going to pass out.”

We rushed to the snack table and as soon as I sat down, I was out.

I awoke to havoc. A man was rushing toward me with a cart. I looked to Brittany in panic before I fainted for a second time. I woke up seconds later, but I felt better. I tried to deny the cart, but the medic was insistent. Then it happened again.

I opened my eyes a few moments later and was lying on the cart. But this time was different. Much different.

“Brittany,” I asked, “did I pee my pants?”

As she nodded, I accepted my fate. It’s one of those moments where you can laugh or cry. I chose to laugh. At this point, I was fine. I think that once I blacked out to the extent that I lost all control of my bladder, the worst had passed.

The rest of the evening was a blur. It involved wet yoga pants, a ride in a frat guy’s car (sorry…), a phone call to my parents and a trip to Baja. Aside from the whole faint-and-pee thing, I’d say it was a pretty successful event. I survived, I got a free shirt, and I saved three lives.

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