As I Live and Learn

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Monthly Blood Party: April

Platelet Donor April (2008) Pin Blood Party Date: April 12th

My Appointment: 12:15 pm

Other Participants:

This month's incentive:
I'll get a Big Boy! And since I didn't have one last time, double bonus!

In Bloomfield Hills again! Ahh!

A couple Livonia nurses up there again, including the one who kinds looks like Donna/Diane, but isn't. She's really sweet though, I like her too. And it was a good thing, because I came in and told the teen volunteer at the welcome counter that I was here for Apheresis, and she clearly had no clue what to do about that but obviously thought she did. She told me to sit in the waiting chairs and when I got called to tell them I was here for apheresis. If that nurse (whose name I don't know) hadn't randomly walked into the waiting area and seen me, I would have been sitting there a while and missed my appointment! She even said so.

Anyway, once in, and the other nurses heard I was from Livonia, I was asked why I was way up there in Bloomfield Hills. I told them because Livonia has such an awfully planning and minimal schedule these days that it's very hard to get an appointment, but it wasn't like I wasn't going to donation just because of that! By this point I'd already made my May appointment, and even was able to get in on the only Saturday a month they are in Livonia. It seems the trick is to schedule over a month in advance. Of course that will only work until everyone figures out that trick, and then it'll be super hard again. It boggles my mind that the Red Cross doesn't realize they are loosing donations by doing this. Having cut the hours in the most popular donation center only cuts the donations because there are plenty of donors who are willing to give but not willing to go through all the hassle I and a couple other returning donors I know of go through to stay re-occurring apheresis donors.

Moving on from the re-occurring rant, :), I had a new nurse again. But it's a different center so that's to be expected. However, I thought I recognized her form the time I donated in Livonia on a Friday, and I was right! Her name is Susan, or Sandy, I can't remember any more (hey, it's been almost a month). Either way, I really liked her. She too started me off on much to low a time frame on the machine, and I told her it was too low, and she said something similar to last month, but added that they always have to slow down the machine (lengthen the time) for everyone, and that they do so after the first draw and return are complete.

Side note: a learned a few donations ago, I don't remember which, that the machine is slow for the first draw and return as it gauges it's set up to the person. I also learned on the donation before or after that things work better if you do normal squeezing and releasing of your hand during the first draw but then stop during the first return (I was told that by my nurse at the time). I try to remember to do that, but sometimes forget.

Anyway, back to the donation. Sally/Sandy/Susan did slow me down some after the first draw and return, but not to my normal time frame. But to my surprise, she made the shorter time span and my donation work just fine! It was around 75 minutes, and I nearly set off the machine a couple times, but didn't quite. I might have set it off once, I don't quite remember now, but that was it. Good nurse.

I was the only one not donating whole blood. I asked about it, and was told that the first round of the day had been full, and this around was supposed to be also but I was the only one who showed up. Ah well, hey that meant I got all the nurses to myself! Which I do enjoy.

I stopped for only about 5 minutes at the recovery table, instead of the normal 15. One person almost bothered me about it, but I reminded them all that I had a 1/2 drive ahead of me and only 15-20 minutes of guaranteed okay time before I started crashing. So I got shooed out the door, and made it to Big Boy and then home fine. :) I actually did very well after the donation for quite a while. I did end up crashing, but not for maybe two hours! And it wasn't a very big effect this time, a little nap - which was interrupted by my real estate agent for a planned meeting - and a little sitting and I was near fine again in about another two hours. Woot.

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



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