That’s all I lasted. Seven whole minutes. But I’ll start at the beginning..
Throughout the day, I drank about 100 ounces water and needless to say, peed about 15 times. I started to wonder that if I drank 100 ounces, did I pee 100 ounces? Google had no answer for me. I also ate a large meal at 2pm and had a snack at 3:30, though I wasn’t hungry.
My appointment was at 4:15. Since this was my third trip there, I didn’t have to start completely over, but their computer system was messing up, which delayed me further. I then had a quick physical, answered some rather odd questions, and was led to a chair. They put me next to a wall, which was nice. It was secluded and made me less nervous.
As they got the tubing hooked up, I glanced around the room. There were a couple red-neckish people there, but most looked middle or “upper” middle class. About a third of the people in my section were men dressed in business slacks and nice shirts. A pretty older woman sat across from me, very fancily dressed, playing on a smart phone of some sorts. Everyone was either reading or using the free wi-fi on their phones, so I was glad for that. No one stared at the newbie.
I warned the nurse (?) I am terrified of needles. She made me feel better about it. Still hurt though. They used a 17 1/2 gauge. I have included an actual size photo below:
It hurt a lot, but I am a real big baby, so ya know. It probably wasn’t all that bad. Once I got over the needle dangling from my arm, and the machine started, I tried to settle in. The whole time I was there, I read 3/4 a page in my book. I either stared blankly at the words, trying not to remember about the needle poking me in the arm, or I read the same paragraph over and over, trying not to remember the needle poking my in the arm.
The first step takes your blood out and centrifuges it. I was okay. The second step puts the blood back in. I got tingly lips and felt a weird feeling all over. The third step starts over, taking blood out again. For the next two minutes or so, I got more and more lightheaded. I tried to breathe deep, thinking calming thoughts, beat that feeling. When I got hot, I called for the girl who set me up, who was at the other end of the room, so that was a little embarrassing, especially when she didn’t hear me. I briefly thought I’d just wait and try to control it again. But I started sweating, so I called her again, louder this time, with a little wave. She came over and called for another girl. They gave me an ice pack and some water, turned the machine off, and starting taking my vitals. One of them mentioned how white my face was.
It was amazing how hot I got, in such a little time. She started giving me saline for rehydration, and it gave me chills. Cold to hot to cold. My body was certainly mad at me. After ten minutes, my blood pressure didn’t come back up so they unhooked me. I checked out and sat in the lobby for 15 minutes and ate some crackers. They took my blood pressure again, deemed it good and made sure I felt alright before they let me go.
They gave me a new donor coupon, which means I get $40 for my first donation, then $50, then $60, then $70. Just for four visits, I could get $220. Even though I only gave 7 minutes worth of plasma, I still got the $40. Well worth it, I think. Jordan disagrees. He doesn’t want me doing it.
I am going to try again, this time eat some protein within the hour that I give. Now that I have won the battle against the center itself (my blood was fine today – though I did nothing different from the day it had too many lipids, and my ulcer is gone), my goal is to win the battle against my body. I really want to be able to do this.
Money calls. (Well, student loan payments, really.)
So if anyone goes to donate in our town, and you are a new donor, you can get $330 your first month. Be sure to mention Jordan’s name, to get him some bonus points. 🙂
I attempt to donate again on Tuesday. Until then…