As I Live and Learn

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Monthly Blood Party: April

Apheresis Donor April (2007) PinBlood Party Date: April 14th

My Appointment: 12:45 am

Other Participants:
J.D. - Whole Blood Donor
D.P. - Lunch Table Company

The first month's incentive:
I'll take whomever donates out to lunch.

Well, we get there 15 minutes early, and I'm told I missed my appointment. That it was at 12:15. And since they are doing the 12:30 appointment - who was 15 minutes late - right now, if the 12:45 one doesn't show up then they will take me. Otherwise I'd have to reschedule, likely for the next Saturday. *sigh* I know I asked for 12:45, and that it was 12:45 for me. Next time, I have a reminder card sent in the mail to be certain.

J.D. and I decide she should still donate, 'cause it won't take as long, and her schedule isn't as open as mine. Plus it was the first Blood Party! Can't have something ruin that, right? So she gets to waiting and processing, and the 12:45 does show up, also 15 minutes late. Bummer. So at 1pm, after half an hour of waiting, I'm told I'm not donating.

But then one of the apheresis nurses says she'll take me anyway since I was already there. Yay! I get processed in record time, and back to the chairs, where it turns out the chair from me missing the 12:15 appointment is open and ready.

The donation goes really well in and of itself too. I get a little hand warmer to squeeze, in place of the blood drop squeezy, because my hand gets so cold. I try to tell them my hands are always cold, but that's okay because I ended up liking the hand warmer. SO Warm! It's made from a plastic packet that typically holds blood for testing, but instead filled with some sort of pale liquid that they microwave to heat up. Mmmm. Between that (they rotated it with another as they got cold) and that the nurse told me to continuously open and close my hand, instead of just once every 5 seconds, I had very little problems with the needle on a blood return! The machine only beeped the alarm once (unlike the three, four, or more times it would the last three times I had done apheresis donations). Glad I learned a new trick for keeping the vein in my arm open. It meant they didn't have to have the machine slow down on blood drawing and returning, nor did they have to give me anti-coagulant to thin my blood and then tums to counteract the effect the anti-coagulant has on the stomach. I'm told they took 2 units of plasma and 1 unit of platelets. (The same as in March, nicely enough.)

J.D. was allowed back to sit and talk with me after she finished donating. We had fun talking about stupid frufru stuff, small talk, and some more life important things. She even showed both the nurse and I how the little blood drop on a string (it's a soft charm) went on a cell phone. Which, in my defense, I couldn't figure out because, as we discovered, my cell phone doesn't have the slot for a charm to go on! Afterwards, we headed over to Olive Garden for food and to meet D.P. He didn't manage to get there until nearly the end of the meal! But we had a cute little Olive Garden stuffed animal sit in for him until he arrived.

So despite the small participation, my first Blood Party turned out to be a success!

BOWL of SALAD. (Hehe, J.D. and I started just saying that randomly during the lunch and kept it up until we parted ways that day. It's said slowly, each word with determination or conviction.)

I've got my April pin. :) Almost time to schedule my June Blood Party. Want to come? Let me know!



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