Donating plasma would be perfect, except for those needles.

As a summary of my last trial…. I have a full box and am still going of things to purge from my house ( the lastest are a matching set of pictures frames we got for our wedding and a pepper grinder that should probably just be thrown away, but I just can’t bring myself to throw things away). I am still running and doing P90X (well, except for this weekend; we counting clearing some of our land as our workout). And apparently I am still eating well, darn it all. See below for more details.

I know I said my next two week trial would be about cleaning out my horrendous back room/catch all area, but let’s face it: no one likes to clean. Instead, I am attempting to start donating plasma. Well, you “donate” plasma, and get paid for your time. Either way, it’s money in my pocket for those little luxuries we all desire, like food and rent.

When Jordan and I were first married, he wanted an XBOX. We were both full time students, working and living off less than $20,000 a year. I told him if he wanted to spend $400 on an XBOX, he could get that money by donating plasma, so he did. He kept doing it until Riley was born, when scheduling got difficult with the center’s hours and babysitting. I decided for him that he needed to start back up, so we could go out to eat every once in a while. Then I decided I’d start going too and double our money.

I donated once before, when I was 19 or 20, when we were both in school and needing the cash. I remember it all very vividly. They tell you to eat a meal before you donate, so I ate spaghetti and meatballs and then an egg, for some extra protein. After the initial paperwork, physical, and finger prick (almost passed out), I finally got strapped in. To say I HATE needles, or even LOATHE needles, wouldn’t do my feelings justice. I abhor them,
fear them, am terrified out of my mind by them. When I first started working in the IV lab at work, mixing drugs using needles, sometimes I would have to stop and take a few breaths when I remembered I was holding a needle. If a doctor says “injection” or “shot” or anything similar, I am up off the table, recovered from my ailment and read to run a marathon. So to donate plasma was, and still is, a huge deal for me. (One of my main reasons for using a midwife in birth was so I wouldn’t have to be hooked up to an IV in the hospital. Bring on the pain – just no needles, please!)

The tech poked me, hooked me up and left me to be stripped of my life-saving plasma. After a few minutes in, I started getting hot, sweating, feeling lightheaded, about to go… That tech must have been doing his job (and perhaps noticed my face drained of all color) because he and several others were by my side in a flash, putting ice packs on my neck, giving me Tums to chew, and thankfully telling the machine to give me my blood back. After the feeling passed, without me passing out (whew!), they slowed the machine’s pace and I got through it. I was thinking “never again!” until they handed me juice, cookies, and cold hard cash. I made another appointment, thinking I could power through another donation better than the first one.

But it wasn’t over.

An hour later, I was enjoying the first day of my photography lab, standing in front of some potent chemicals, when the room got very, very hot. I started to sweat and get “that feeling”. I slipped my shoes off and put my feet on the cold slab floor. It didn’t help. I tried taking deep breaths. I started sweating, my vision started to darken, then my hearing started to go. When I knew I had passed the point of no return, and I had only seconds left, just enough time for one final act, I leaned over to the guy standing next to me and very sweetly said “could you tell the teacher I’m about to pass out?” I’m not sure I got all of the words uttered before I hit the floor, or rather, the guy standing next to me.

I must have been out for quite a while, judging from where I was in the hallway when I woke up. By the time I came to, two guys had carried me around the work tables, through the interior and exterior rooms and doors (we were in a darkroom), down the hallway and into another hallway that ended in the lounge. They put me on the couch and then a very sweet girl offered me crackers and juice. I then realized that the teacher had stopped class to direct the guys where to carry me and he was standing in the room, looking as white as I was. The photo lab tech arrived, thinking maybe it was the mixed chemicals that had made me pass out, and offered assistance.

Needless to say, I was incredibly embarrassed, especially when I realized that I was wearing possibly the frumpiest outfit I owned (I still remember the exact outfit,– baggy striped shirt that was shrunk in the wash – thanks Mom – and terrible drawstring blue pants with legs that zipped off), passed out on the first day of class, in front of everyone, and landed in the arms of two very cute young men. It was certainly not a fairytale in the making. But all members of the “pass out” party were gracious enough to NEVER mention it to me.

And to think, I’m gonna try again. In fact, I DID try again. Last Friday. I was there half an hour, giving fingerprints, filling out paperwork, and reading their material. They finally did the finger prick (got whoosy), spun my blood, and told me I had too many lipids in my serum to donate, I could clog their precious machine. Seriously? They asked if I had eaten cake, or ice cream or lots of cheese. I had everything they protein packed recommended: tuna, veggies, chicken (three times!), nuts, whole grains, milk. I couldn’t think or one thing I had eaten that was “fatty”.

My husband was fine to donate. What did he have for supper the night before? TWENTY chicken McNuggets from McDonalds. And lunch the day of? Whataburger. And I had too many lipids??

I go again tomorrow for another attempt, but I have to go by myself because my loser husband is going to a last minute Ranger game. He wanted me to give him my permission, which I did not. He will pay, especially if I pass out tomorrow night while alone with our son and I wake up with marker all over my face or the house burnt down or the kiddo riding the dog or playing in flour.

Moreover, they wouldn’t tell me over the phone if I could donate while on a medicine my doctor prescribed me for a week. I must drive all the way over there to learn the answer, and potentially be rejected. I also had a scheduling issue online, called them three times before I got a LIVE person and not a voicemail box, and got left on hold for ten minutes, until I gave up and called back. Already I am frustrated and I haven’t even donated.

My supper of 2 veggie spring rolls, yogurt and a pear sure as hell better pay off.

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One Response to Donating plasma would be perfect, except for those needles.

  1. Joshua says:

    I hate needles too. I would probably beg on the streets before I would donate plasma.

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