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Very Odd Blood Drive

In which the needle goes in wrong, I learn blood can look like red string cheese once it clots, and I discover losing blood affects one's singing...

if you are squeamish,

We always give blood when the SGA holds a blood drive so my coworkers and i tramped over to the college mall to get drained as per our routine. I got through the questions first, plus Bree and Charlotte are both O- so they get the "special" bags leading to further delay on their parts. Of course that meant i mocked them about how i was going to be done while they were still waiting on their bags. I also pointed out jealously that "special" people ride the short bus. Karma. Instant karma. Just when she puts in the needle she starts saying "ow ow ow ow no!" I wasn't in any unusual pain so I didn't know what she had done. but apparently, though i do not have rolling veins, my vein moved just when she stuck in the needle. so she had to move it around while it was still in my arm. she told me not to watch. then she started on Charlotte while occasionally glancing back at my bag to check the progress. she looked concerned. after a minute or two she came over and felt the tube, shook the bag, put the bag on the table (which was gross!), and looked really confused. she said my arm was dead (meaning the tube was cold and the blood not flowing). turns out the needle flipped. she she did an adjustment and it was okay. some minutes later, she had to do it again. fifteen minutes later Charlotte was done and i wasn't and she discovered my needle had flipped again. she explained the flipping was because the initial stick was bad, it put the needle in a bad place and the pressure of the vein kept trying to move it. FINALLY after 18 minutes and a timer going off pointing out it was taking an unusually long time I was done! yay! so it was time for the bag to go and the little tubes for collecting the blood that is used test and clear it as safe. she plugged them in and no blood came out. she was confused. she called help over. they said i had a clot. i asked, stunned, "i had a blood clot?!?!" they said, "no, a clot in the tube." so they cleared it and plugged it back in. and discovered another clot. that's when they opened the tube and stretched the blood out like string cheese?!?!?! what?!?!? i asked if that blood was okay to give to people and they enthusiastically said it was fine - the clotting was a GOOD thing because it meant my platelets were working perfectly. and despite how this sounds she was a great nurse. When it was all over with Bree and Charlotte finished long before me and my nurse told me they might be "special" but i was "slow". i asked if that meant we were all on the bus together and she said "yes, and i'm driving". it was brilliant.

an hour later when i walked to my voice lesson i was soooooo dizzy and lightheaded i could not stand for the lesson. worse, my hands and legs were shaking. i had to sing while sitting in the chair. plus, it turns out my voice was shaking, too. but we had a nice chat and we did try to practice :)

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
ann_mcn
Jan. 25th, 2007 11:13 am (UTC)
Consider becoming a platelet donor -- they spin your blood around, keep the platelets, and put the rest back --and tuck you up in a blankie for the process! I've done about 130 platelet donations (apheresis) over the past 15 years or so.

I'll tell sometime about the machine that sprang a leak during my donation. Doncha love donation drama?
madladyred
Jan. 25th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC)
i have got to hear that story.

bree (one of my coworkers) had a bit of trouble yesterday, too. when her nurse took out the needle somehow she got blood all over Bree and herself. Thankfully, just on Bree's hand/arm and not on her white sweater!!

does it take longer to donate platelets?
ann_mcn
Jan. 25th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
And the moral is to never wear white near blood.

Yeah, pheresis takes longer - maybe an hour and a half, and it's usually a two arm procedure, but they can do it using only one arm. You can do it every 2 weeks, too.

I'm A neg and they just love me!

madladyred
Jan. 27th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
LOL - i don't think she remembered the blood drive when she got dressed that morning. she always spills sweet and sour sauce on her shirts anyway, so had she gotten blood on her shirt no one would have been shocked. somehow she attracts that sort of thing!

i probably couldn't do the pheresis on my lunch hour. i'd have to take leave or see if they do it on weekends. i've always been intrigued by that, though. i'm okay with two arm procedures. i'm afraid of a lot of things but for some reasons needles don't bother me.

i'm a+ so would we cancel each other out? like anti-matter? okay,that was dumb. i had a flash image of a warp drive connected to an IV or something. i should never write a post at one in the morning after watching Smokin' Aces (or Kill Bill or Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrells or any somewhat violent/comedic/violent movie). i think i should get to bed before this gets any odder :) g'night!
ann_mcn
Jan. 27th, 2007 01:46 pm (UTC)
Here in Atlanta, the Red Cross does pheresis on Saturdays, and there's always Christmas and spring breaks.

I only know one other person with A neg, so we always keep each other in mind. I'm CMV (Cytomegalovirus)negative, so I'll get calls to donate to children or people with bad immune systems. CMV is a like a mild flu or mono bug that most people have had by college age, without realizing it. Not dangerous, if you're healthy.
sarahtoalaska
Jan. 26th, 2007 11:44 am (UTC)
Lucky me I was told by one of the people taking my blood once that I should just stick to donating. Apparently not only am I o- I'm neg something else so I have bllod they can give to new borns. So she basically told me to stick to dontaing reg. blood. I'm okay with that. I already feel 'obligated' to donate. I even though about getting typed for bone marrow... but you have to pay for it.
madladyred
Jan. 27th, 2007 07:02 am (UTC)
for o- being so rare, i am SURROUNDED by them. you, my husband, two of my coworkers, and three people in my best friend's family immediately come to mind. if you need blood i can fix you up - too bad you are in Alaska!

sadly, i am common ordinary a+ so i'm out of luck if i need help from any of them.
sarahtoalaska
Jan. 26th, 2007 11:46 am (UTC)
oh yeah... I never donate to the mobil anymore. My first experiance was so... special I almost never did it again. The my mom (LPN) told me that's where they trained. ACK!
madladyred
Jan. 27th, 2007 06:58 am (UTC)
i would imagine that gives the newbies lots of practice, they did over 70 donations Wednesday.

i don't think my nurse was new or bad at it, though. she had no problems with Charlotte - just me, i guess. lucky me! several of the nurses said the first one of the day always goes poorly. :( i guess it's lucky that i'd donated in the past and didn't have this for my first ever experience. it might have thrown me off! i have a HUGE bruise now. it took two days to show up. it's actually kind of cool. if it didn't hurt, i would like it. i've always been intrigued by bruises.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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