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I'm blood type AB+!

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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby Eravial » Sun Mar 18, 15:47 2012

Aum wrote:I'll never forget two years ago when I was getting blood work done, the technician took my blood and to my surprise I didn't faint. I was so happy. I laid there for 10 minutes to be certain, and then got up and left. As I walked down the street I started to get tunnel vision, and the only safe place nearby were the steppes of a church that I ran up and collapsed on, all fours splayed out so archetypically at the door of the church. I must have looked all "save me!" like. When I woke up there were two random people from the street asking if I was ok. It was such a gong show. lulz

Heh, yeah, this happened to me every single time I stood up for two days after giving blood. Oddly enough, I don't usually have this problem while actually giving blood and immediately afterwards, but a couple hours after I donated I started having this happen. It happens to me a lot anyway (a few times a week), though, so I know that when I start to feel the tunnel vision coming on, I have a couple seconds of diminishing lucidity to grab onto a support or kneel down and ride it out. At worst, I lose awareness of my surroundings, but I never completely lose consciousness. It also used to happen several times a day back in early high school, I think because of a medication I was taking back then. It really doesn't bother me much since I'm so used to it, and I'm pretty good at grabbing onto things and holding on discretely if I'm around people, but if it happens when someone's talking to me, I can no longer hear what they're saying and it's tough to hide what's happening and that's pretty embarrassing. When I'm not self-conscious about other people around and I'm in a safe position, I kind of like the very brief, almost blissful lack of awareness outside myself.

I was a little worried though, I was supposed to go SCUBA diving three days after giving blood this time, and if it was still happening frequently by then that probably wouldn't have been a good idea. It cleared up though, and I had no problems.

I wonder if I have the same thing you do, Aum. I always asked my doctors about it when it was happening very frequently and they always just told me it was medically normal and not to worry about it. I was always curious though about what was actually happening.
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby Tookie » Sun Mar 18, 16:55 2012

^ I've always heard that it's associated with low blood pressure. And I seem to recall you talking about your blood pressure being low? I could just be making that up.
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby Aum » Sun Mar 18, 17:08 2012

Eravial, it's called vasovagal syncope and it's related to physical trauma. It can happen to me from even getting a paper cut. For the longest time people have accused me of being afraid of blood but it's not that at all. It's something to do with the body's instinctual reaction to having the skin punctured - a hypersensitive shock response. The blood pressure drops immediately. I read a paper once by an evolutionary biologist that said it was a survival strategy in the wild if being attacked. Playing dead often made the predator lose interest, or not actually go for the kill because it was assumed you'd already be dead. Then you'd wake up and run away. Not sure how I feel about that though... it feels very disorderly. My own personal theory is that we're just more sensitive to having our resources taken. It's especially hard for me during a glucose fasting test where I can't eat for 12 hours before.

Having a lot of blood taken will amplify the response, but it's not just about blood loss. It's the nervous response to survival being threatened.

In eastern medicine, it's qi and blood deficiency, and everyone I've met in clinic who has this syndrome pattern has low blood pressure, myself included. The herbs I've taken tonify the qi and blood (like radix ginseng, angelica sinensis, and radix glycyrrhiza), but the modern research I've read on these specific herbs is that they are adrenal cortex and peripheral nervous adaptogens. Since going that route, I don't go vagal anymore when I give blood and my blood pressure tends to be on the normal side.

So, it's treatable, but you have to look at the herbal route.
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby Eravial » Sun Mar 18, 17:57 2012

Hmm, ok, doesn't sound like that's going on in me then. Yeah, Tookie, I think I have mentioned that my BP is generally lower than the normal 120/80, but only by a few points usually. It makes sense that it would be related to blood pressure; I just don't think my BP is like, abnormally low. According to this site I found through Google, hypotension is under 90/60, which I am certainly not. I dunno, but it doesn't really bother me so I guess I can just keep not worrying about it.
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby Rainbow Dolphins » Sun Mar 18, 19:37 2012

I have the same thing you are talking about xinxang (and I have really low blood pressure, like, close to hypotension almost every time I get it read). I will have to memorize the name of it so I have a counter when people just act like I'm scared of needles.
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby newlydiscovered » Sun Mar 18, 21:00 2012

I always get an A+ on my blood tests! :P

I've donated blood in the past, but I can't for another year since I got a tattoo a couple of weeks ago.
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby rowan » Sun Mar 18, 21:16 2012

I have a friend who also has that condition, it took them forever to figure out what was wrong. Nothing you can do about it, though, I think?
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby Aum » Mon Mar 19, 0:37 2012

rowan wrote:I have a friend who also has that condition, it took them forever to figure out what was wrong. Nothing you can do about it, though, I think?


Not for the cutting/puncturing aspect. The scariest one for me was when I was at my friend's cottage as a kid swimming in the lake and some kind of rusty nail jabbed me in the foot. I immediately felt the shock wave go up my body and my blood pressure start to drop. I had like, 15 seconds to swim to the dock and get out of the water before passing out!

You can also go vasovagal from loss of blood though, and that is the second aspect. You might not faint from the puncturing one but you can from the second type, even if it's a small loss of blood.

You can't do anything for the puncturing aspect - that's related to the nervous system. You can affect the blood one though, by using tonifying herbs to strengthen the blood pressure. At least, that is what I have done. Still doesn't prevent me from fainting if I accidentally cut myself though.
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby Rainbow Dolphins » Mon Mar 19, 1:25 2012

^I think I am mostly affected by the puncturing aspect, because it's ANY time I get a needle, and it doesn't actually seem any worse if I get blood drawn. I've never actually fainted, but I have experienced loss of awareness. Usually if I just lay down for ten or twenty minutes I am ok, I always make sure I have someone to walk me out to the parking lot/my apartment, though, to prevent the scenario you outlined, xinxang. Usually I have to sit on the couch for an hour or two when I get home.
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby Aum » Mon Mar 19, 1:37 2012

Yep, sounds like it. Loss of awareness is one of the less severe criteria of this response.

Your required rest time is to give your nervous system a chance to return to homeostasis again. Happens to me too.
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby Hufflepuff » Mon Mar 19, 15:22 2012

Yes, I donate blood! Only have been for a few years; had a nurse friend who got me started a while back. Also, I really wanted to learn my bloodtype after watching that episode of Lost where Jack needs to do a blood transfusion, and nobody knows their bloodtype and he gets really pissed off, he's all, "how the hell can forty people all not know their blood type?! Someone's bleeding to death here!" And I was like, "I'm sorry! T_T"

I'm O+. It irks me that I'm not O-, because of course then I'd be a universal donor. Of course, O- may be a universal donor for red blood cells, but is a universal receiver for plasma (and not a donor for plasma at all). AB is actually universal plasma donor, Mathmo, so you're still useful.

ladyhawk wrote:I donate blood to the blood center on post every eight weeks. That's as often as they'll let me. But all the blood goes to service members who are deployed. I couldn't donate for a full year after I got back from Iraq, but as soon as that year was up I got my but to the blood center! I'm super average, though. I'm A+.

Eight weeks? What's wrong with me, then? I'm only allowed every four months @_@ Do they think I'm a weakling?

kelsa wrote:The Red Cross thinks I'm a heroin addict, so I no longer donate to them, which is a shame as I'm O+. Maybe I'll try again when the next blood drive comes around. There always seems to be something wrong with me though- iron, piercings, travel to Belize, overzealous nurses thinking I'm an IV drug user, you know, same old same old.

Why do they think you're a drug user?

Aum wrote:I am legally forbidden to give blood under the rules of the Red Cross because I am a man who has had sex with men. Look it up, this law is real. If I lie and donate blood, I could be charged with attempting to contaminate the blood supply even though I have no diseases. A gay man in Canada was sued by the Red Cross just last year for circumventing the system, and the Supreme Court upheld it. Under the same rules, I am forbidden from donating organs or to sperm banks (the last one is more a eugenics-era related thing). On my driver's license I am labeled as an organ donor, but if it is found out post-mortem that I was gay, the organs will be destroyed. This rule is international, under the Red Cross, in every country it operates out of. So when I see ads spreading awareness about blood shortages, I roll my eyes. Their draconian rules forbid 10% of the population from donating. *shrug*

I know, that's fucked up. I remember the first time I donated, I had to fill out the questionnaire, and it was like "have you ever taken drugs? Have you ever contracted a sexually-transmittable disease? Do you have AIDS?" and I'm like "good questions" then it was "have you ever had sex with a man" and I was like WTF O_o ?

Eravial wrote:
Aum wrote:Mathmo... if I were you, I'd have bags of your own blood stored for your personal use in case of emergencies. AB+ people that need blood sometimes can't get it depending on the locality, and it could be needed to save your life.

AB+ blood types can accept any and all other blood types... as long as wherever she is has some blood, she can have it. It's O- that can't accept anything but O-.

Also the "as a man, have you ever had sex with a man" restriction is bullshit. Did you know that the restriction also applies if you are a woman who has ever had sex with a man who has ever had sex with another man? Absolutely fucking ridiculous.

Yowza. The word "quatroon" comes to mind...if I'm ever in politics, I'll push to have this repealed.

Eravial wrote:I wonder if I have the same thing you do, Aum. I always asked my doctors about it when it was happening very frequently and they always just told me it was medically normal and not to worry about it. I was always curious though about what was actually happening.

It is medically normal to get all blackey-outey after donating blood, just not other times -- did you tell them (or your PCP) it happens to you all the time, not just when you donate blood?

Rainbow Dolphins wrote:I have the same thing you are talking about xinxang (and I have really low blood pressure, like, close to hypotension almost every time I get it read). I will have to memorize the name of it so I have a counter when people just act like I'm scared of needles.

It'll be easy if you watch the episode of Scrubs where J.D. gets diagnosed with it.
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby branchpattern » Tue Mar 20, 20:15 2012

I've never donated blood, but I have had a blood test done. For whatever reason I felt so wigged by it that I probably won't be donating blood any time soon
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Re: I'm blood type AB+!

Postby Eravial » Tue Mar 20, 21:51 2012

Hufflepuff wrote:
Eravial wrote:I wonder if I have the same thing you do, Aum. I always asked my doctors about it when it was happening very frequently and they always just told me it was medically normal and not to worry about it. I was always curious though about what was actually happening.

It is medically normal to get all blackey-outey after donating blood, just not other times -- did you tell them (or your PCP) it happens to you all the time, not just when you donate blood?

Considering it started when I was like 14, two years before the minimum blood donation age, yup.

Jezebel just posted this article about getting dizzy when you stand up today. Good timing, Jezebel! Good thing I'm not a hypochondriac.
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