Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Plasma Center Health Crisis

You know you suck at life when a man at the plasma donation center tells you he doesn't like your veins. I'm pretty partial to my veins. I think they're pretty hot, personally....but obviously this "medical professional" did not.

"You can only donate out of your left arm. I just don't like the veins in your right arm," he said.

I had a Baby Mama flashback to when the doctor says he doesn't like her uterus...

Anyways, I decided to donate despite that my left arm is my only "good" arm.

My first donation went without much of a hitch...I mean I almost passed out, but I'm told that's pretty normal for first time donors.

So I went back for the second round....and this is where it sucks.

The first poke:

So he stuck me in my left arm with the massive needle which I hate. That is my least favorite part of donating. The guy decided after inflicting incredible pain to me that it would be cool to point out that if I looked at the blood in the tube I could see it moving because it was my pulse. Which is probably really cool to him, but it makes me feel pretty sick.

Anyways, apparently something was wrong because my blood wasn't flowing as well as it was supposed to have into the machine. My technician dude, Clayton, seemed to think that the needle might have been in too far. So he pulled it out a little bit, which didn't feel very good. When that still didn't work he decided to grab someone higher up than himself to look at it. After wiggling the needle around under my skin they finally realized that Clayton didn't get the saline in fast enough and that my blood had clotted in the needle. I'm going to attribute this to his whole idea that pointing out my pulse to me was "way cool".

Apparently the blood flow was good enough to get plenty of blood in the bowl so they had to figure out a way to get my blood back to me otherwise I would be deferred for 8 weeks. They decided to take a look at my right arm.

The Second Poke:

"Well the veins in your right arm look fine to me," said Lara the new more experienced girl that was looking my arms over. "Is it ok if we put the needle in your right arm?"

"Sure," I said, I just figured that a little bit more pain was totally do-able right? Better than being deferred for 8 weeks for sure. So they poked me in my right arm and that went just great. In fact they got all my blood back to me too. They also decide that my right arm did so well that I should be able to donate from that arm and they decided to just finish the donation process with my right arm for the day.

I was excited that things were finally going good I just laid back and relaxed while watching The Karate Kid.

My first draw was complete and the return was starting. I was just breathing deeply because I always get a little lightheaded after the draw. I felt something kind of warm which is weird because the saline is really cold. I looked down at my arm and blood is streaming down my arm. I look to this technician right there and trying to not be completely panicked I say, "This isn't normal!"

Either I wasn't very successful in not being panicked or this chick needs to pick another career path because her eyes get wide and she says, "Holy Crap! I can't take care of that." And runs to grab someone who can take care of it.

So now I'm with this new technician guy...I didn't catch his name but he stops the machine and cleans my arm up for me. He then explains that either the needle went all the way through my vein or while it was returning my blood the vein exploded.

He then proceeded to ask me if I was in pain. To which I responded no, because I felt alright.

At this point I'm starting to feel REALLY light headed. He's pretty dead set on getting my blood back in me and finds some other vein in my left arm he wants to try out.

The Third Poke:

"Are you feeling daring?" the technician asks me.

That is so not a question you ask someone who is experiencing quite a bit of blood loss and they just want their blood back. Besides I know nothing about medical crap why ask me?

"Uh...ok," I say.

This technician then decides to insert a third needle into a very small vein in my left arm. I turned away during this process because like I said I hate being poked.

After I am certain the needle is safely in my body I look to him and ask, "Did you get it."

He looks at me grimly, "Afraid not."

I then look at my arm which has some strange bubble coming out of it.

"What is that?" I ask.

"That's your blood, I infiltrated the vein."

Infiltration? That's just a nice way of saying 'I'm an idiot and I totally cut your vein in half'.

This is the point where even the stupidest of technicians has decided that they're not going to be able to get my blood back to me. Keep in mind that my little blood bowl is full which is around 20 oz. or so of blood which is not in my body.

The technicians are getting a little worried about me because I've lost the color in my face. I couldn't really talk much at this point because I wasn't feeling very good. They just hooked me up the the blood pressure machine and talked about how low my blood pressure was and how high my pulse was. There wasn't much they could do. They elevated my feet and put an ice pack behind my head. I was kind of used to that since it happened the first time I donated. But then they wouldn't let me leave when I finally felt somewhat better. I just had to lay there.

They were nice enough to bring me some crackers and a capri sun to force feed me. But I did feel much better after I ate and they finally paid me and allowed me to go about an hour later with some pretty strict instructions to eat every 3-4 hours that I was awake, drink tons and tons of water, no exercising for 72 hours, and to lay down when I got home. Oh and I was deferred for 8 weeks. Not that I'll be going back. EVER.

Well I got home and felt pretty sick, even after eating and wanted to pass out. They also said that would happen. It kind of sucked, but what sucked more was that my arms were now killing me because they were bruising.

I went through like 3 bandages in my right arm because my blood wasn't clotting very well. It probably didn't help that every time I bent my arms it kind of stopped it from clotting, but it's hard to function without bending your arms.

Well it was a pretty exciting day at the plasma donation. I've included pictures of what my arms look like now, which are pretty sad.

Anyways I survived my plasma center crisis and I almost feel normal today and by tomorrow all my blood will be replenished. Gotta love it. Oh and of course I get to look like a heroine addict for the next few days which is always fun.

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