Why Are Donating Blood And Drinking Jager Bad For You?
Jägermeister is bad.
Does it really need to be said that drinking an abundance of alcohol can lead to some poor decision making? Apparently it does, as my first tale is a tale of woe that nothing good could have come from to begin with. To set the scene, it was a bachelor party of maybe a dozen people at most, all guys in their early 30's. The night began at a bar where drinks were had, stories were told, and merriment was made, until the time had arrived for us to board a limousine and be taken to a new locale where we could give our money to the nice young girls dancing on stage that are just trying to work their way through college. Before getting in the limo, one of the party members informed us that he would be calling his evening short due to other obligations later that night. As a parting gift, he gave a rather large bottle of Jägermeister to the group to imbibe during the ride. After procuring enough disposable plastic cups from the bar, we entered the limo and bid our friend adieu.
We entered the limousine and each took a seat where available. There was a bench seat in the back where the man of the hour sat along with two others that were able to squeeze in next to him. The rest of us sat along one side of the vehicle, as the opposing side had an unstocked bar area rather than more seating. We each grabbed a cup, poured our best estimate of an ounce of Jäger, said a toast to the waning bachelorhood of our comrade, and drank. The gentleman that was holding the bottle at the time noticed that one of the attendees, who is easily riled up, drank a bit slower than the rest of us. After some unflattering comments were made back and forth between the two, a contest was designed to settle who could handle their liquor better. Each would drink continuously straight from the bottle while the spectators kept count, and whomever had the higher count before stopping to take a breathe would be declared the winner. Each took their turn, but each was only able to muster a count of 8. Discourse broke out, as neither was willing to go another round, and nobody wanted the ending to be a tie. In the confusion, it was asked if anyone else would step up and attempt to beat the record set before them to end this once and for all. I volunteered. Taking the bottle, I placed it to my lips and dramatically swung my head backwards while lifting the bottle. The count hit 8, then 15, then 20, and on I drank. Around 25 it was agreed that I would be declared the winner and could stop. However, I kept drinking. Determined to finish the bottle, I tried my best, but alas there was too much for this mere mortal to handle, and I ended my drinking with less than two ounces of liquor left in the bottle.
It should have ended there. Dear God, why did it not end there? As we neared our destination, I was told the remaining liquid was now my responsibility and to dispose of it "properly". I put up a valiant effort to dismiss, deny, and ignore this, and while I am usually quiet good at not succumbing to peer pressure, today was just not my day. I began to muster up my courage and composure for one last swig of the bottle, but the damage had already been done. Once the second attempt grazed my lips, my stomach turned and I ended up becoming ill all over the bar directly across from me just as we stopped and the door had opened. I hurried into establishment, attempting to not draw any unwanted attention from the security guards, and made a bee-line for the restroom sinks. After I was again as presentable as I can pass for, I rejoined my colleges who were gathered around one of the stages. I propped myself up against a wall, and asked those around me to just make sure I didn't do anything to get us ejected, and not to let me spend away my life savings. However once their attention was turned towards the stage, one of the young ladies asked me if I'd like a private dance. In my inebriated state this sounded like a great idea, so off we went into a private room where the door closed behind us. I sat on the couch, but was instructed to lay on the floor; and I did so. However the alcohol, muted music, low lighting, and semi-comfortable flooring was too much, and I fell asleep despite my hosts best attempts at keeping my attention. And then when it happened, she stood over me and...
The folly of donating blood on an empty stomach
It's not often I am compelled to do something that benefits my fellow man without getting something for myself in return, but it does happen. This was one of those days. Inspired by the fundraising event going on around me to benefit an extended family member's ongoing illness, I decided that I would donate a pint of blood that could be used to help not only him, but others as well. I had a sizable breakfast that morning, two eggs, two sausage patties, two pieces of american cheese, layered on a toasted bagel, and washed down with a large glass of chocolate milk. That was around eight o'clock in the morning. It was closer to noon when we arrived at the event and I was put on a waiting list for blood donors. I decided not to eat anything before donating, as I was afraid a recent meal combined with the needles would end in my becoming ill. Instead, I drank only a strawberry-banana smoothie and a bottle of water to keep hydrated.
It eventually got to my turn, and I entered the blood drive. I filled out the questionnaire, took part in a brief screening interview with a nurse, then went to find my bed and do my good turn. As a bed became available I sat down and attempted to relax. The chair was setup to receive donations from the donators left arm, which made sense as the right side of the chair was up against a wall. When the nurse came, I offered my arm and prepared for the "tiny pinch" that would follow. The needle pierced my skin and my vein, and blood started to flow into the tube... then abruptly stopped. Another nurse made mention that upon entry, if a piece of skin or other tissue becomes lodged in the needle, it could clog the tube and cause a stoppage in blood flow. Both I and the nurse agreed it would be best to bandage my left arm, switch chairs, and proceed with my right arm instead.
Thus went went through our little dance of removing the needle, bandaging my left arm, moving to a different chair where my right arm was more accessible, and beginning the process anew from the other side. This time everything went much smoother, at first. It seemed like no time at all had passed, when the nurse came by to check on me and stated that my bag was almost full and I would be done soon. However the moment she turned away I became dizzy, light-headed, and felt nauseous. I tried to shake it off, thinking I could "tough it out" these last few seconds until I was done, but the feeling wouldn't go away. I decided that I should let the nurse know how I was feeling, but I never got the chance. The next thing I knew, three nurses were standing above me, shaking me by my shoulders, shouting my name, and asking me if I was all right. When I answered, they informed me that I had passed out briefly, needle still in my arm, blood still being donated. After I was awake and alert enough to answer all their questions clearly, they began putting ice packs behind my neck, on my legs, and on my arms. Apparently my temperature had risen, and coupled with the fact it was already a dry 90+ degrees in the building, this caused me to instantly be covered in sweat.
It took several minutes of me sipping Gatorade and systematically rearranging the ice packs before I was at a level comfortable enough to attempt walking. The needle was removed from my arm, bandage applied, and I moved to a chair across the room that had drinks and snacks for those recovering. I slowly took another drink, and helped myself to some of the chips and cookies until such time as I was well enough to venture out into public. I rejoined my family, and a good laugh was had at the whole ordeal. Once everyone around me was assured I was ok, the wife left me and the kids to resume her volunteer work. While the kids were playing in front of me, I believed I had smelled something, and thought to myself that the youngest child needs a new diaper. Before I could act on this though, the kids took off running in the other direction. Luckily, another family member was present and decided to take the kids for a walk to calm them down. After they left, I realized the smell still lingered longer than it should have. At this point I began to pat myself down as I noticed both the sweat and the water from the ice packs was dried on my skin and my clothes, except for one area by my belt. I pulled my shirt up towards my nostrils and inhaled, and realized what had happened. While passed out I had...
The gold medal
So yes, if you hadn't guessed by now both stories end with me coming to the realization that I was covered in urine while unconscious. The first story was the girl not liking the fact that I had fallen asleep, standing over me, relieving herself on my face, and exiting the room. I was all the way downstairs before I was awake and sober enough to finally place that taste that was on my lips. The second story ends with me realizing that smell of urine was in fact coming from me, not the kids, and that the only area that was damp was my crotch, with a very visible spot on my shorts and my shirt. Both stories then go about the same, hurried home, clothes entered the washer while I entered the shower, teeth brushed, mouthwash gargled, and being overcome with a feeling of shame that isn't so easily washed away. So why share these stories? Well they are entertaining... at least I think they are. Plus my love of self depreciating humor overrides my sense of embarrassment enough that I feel compelled to share my tales of woe for all that will listen. And if these lessons can help someone else avoid a similar situation to any would-be reader, then it was all worth it.
For more life lessons based on my life's mistakes, please read on here. Or to learn how I actually teach you about something you've probably been doing wrong, click here.