As I Live and Learn

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monthly Blood Party: May

Apheresis Donor May (2007) Pin Blood Party Date: May 19th

My Appointment: 10:45 am

Other Participants:
M.S. - Whole Blood Donor
K.W. - Moral Support

This month's incentive:
I'll pay admission to the Motor City Comic Con for all who donate.

We arrived on time for my
donation appointment, despite my rushing because I was also trying to be ready for the convention we were going to right after donating. K.S. sewed a whole in my uniform for the convention while I was in the mini-physical and question part of donating. Then I got hooked up and they let her come back to sit with me. M.S. had to wait a while longer to get through processing because it turned out most of the whole blood donation nurses were out at lunch.

I was surprised to see so few Apheresis donors. The last few times I've donated there were at least two other donors there with me. (The donation center has four Apheresis chairs, and two months ago one was broken.) They're always full! I figured it was because I don't usually come this early. But the nurse I was working with said they had been fully booked for the day, but already had four no shows. :\ Bad. Though not for me, I got tons of nurse attention! Three nurses all for me. :)

Things went about as well as usual for most of it. K.S. and I talked much of the time, sometimes with the nurses sitting around. Made faces at M.S. a couple times, as once he got into a table it was facing towards me. I love the hand warmers. I tried that trick I picked up last time, and sure enough the needle didn't vibrate even once! I was told they'd be taking one plasma and two platelets this time. That's a switch! Though one plasma is 200ml, and the machine said it'd be taking 315ml. Hmm.

Well, they only got 1.5 plasma and 1 platelet. Towards the end I started shaking. I thought it was the chair shaking me because there was a heating vent right behind it. But since K.S. was sitting right there I asked her to feel the chair and tell me if it was shaking, just to be sure. She said it wasn't. So nurse(s) got called over. They thought I was shivering, but I told them I didn't feel cold, I was just shaking, and my stomach was starting to feel weird. They gave me tums, and stopped the machine from taking more, sent it into a return so I'd get my blood back. They got me juice and three cookies. Since they already had over one plasma and one platelet, they simply ended the donation after that. Which I'm glad for because I've never had shaking when I donate (it took until after it was all over for me to finally believe it was me shaking and not the chair). Almost immediately I started feeling better, and in another minute or two my stomach settled. But I was still shaking and wasn't sure I'd feel steady on my feet. So I stayed in the chair for a few minutes resting, until I felt sure enough I could walk. One nurse made me eat all of the cookies before she let me even sit up. I left the chair earlier than I probably should have, but I wanted to get out to the recovery area where my friends were, where I would stay until I was completely better. But once I got out there (and away from the heating pad that was on the chair I had been sitting in) I realized I was COLD. The volunteer brought me a blanket.

Eventually the shaking stopped completely. While I was at the recovery area drinking more than usual and eating even more cookies, I had a strange sensation. I was warming up, and suddenly I got cold. Not as in I shifted from warm to cold, but as in I warmed up to cold. I've only felt that once before, which was back in High School when I got out of the woods of Survival class and we discovered I had been in hypothermia for who knows how long. Now, it's not likely I was in hypothermia from donating. But it is likely I had gone into shock.

Don't anyone worry, I was being watched well by the volunteer, K.S., and myself. K.S. monitored me and my drinking juices even after they let me leave the center. And we went on to have a fun day. Lunch at P.F. Changs in Northville Township, which seems to becoming traditional for food after donating. Then to the con for autographs, pictures, and hiding "droids" from the 501st, and shopping!

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



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