Monthly Blood Donation: April

Donation Date: April 20, 2012
My Appointment: Unplanned
Others? No.

Here’s the recap:
I get a call from the Red Cross on Wednesday (I think it was). Can I come in and donate apheresis on Friday, morning?

YES! Yes I can.

*sigh* So, things hadn’t been pulling together so well for donating platelets. My grandmother (Ma) had been in hospice for three weeks, and between trying to get work done and… just everything else I needed, I hadn’t been able to get it together for donating (amongst other things). I had hoped that I’d be able to pull off a donation after Ma died, during the three days bereavement time from work I’d get. After Mom and I got the actual call from hospice… blood donating left my mind.

Then the Red Cross phone call came, and it seemed so right. Normally Ann Arbor only does apheresis on Mondays and Saturdays. Saturday was the funeral – so not an option. The following Monday I’d be back at work. My appointment to do my tribute to my grandmother (that ended up being 3.5 hours long) was Thursday just after noon. The wake was Friday at 5pm, and we had starting at 3pm to set up for it. Friday morning was perfect. It felt so right to me. I just had to convince my Mother.

We still needed to pick up some things for the wake and funeral. But we could do that after dropping Amber off at daycare in the morning. Then take me over to the donation center for 11am or so. Two hours donation time (I’d only do a P1), and we’d be fine getting home to change and then heading out to the funeral home for 3pm. Good plan, Mom okay-ed it.

For the most part things went on schedule, I got everything I needed before the donation appointment. Mom dropped me off, I was to call her when I was ready to be picked up – which would be when I got off the machine so I’d be recovering at the table while she drove to get me, and she went of shopping for everything else needed.

I resolved to not say anything about the needle or pain this time. I was going to donate. I did say I could only stay for a P1. The nurses were all sympathetic. Things went smoothly through the exam.

I got a new nurse to me. Though she did seem like one of the nurses from years before. Right before the needle stick she asked me if I scream, or make some other kind of exclamation, or flinch on being poked. I told her no, but I might inhale sharply or scrunch my face if it hurts. She said that was fine, just so long as I wasn’t going to do anything that might startle her. And she stuck me.

It was effectively painless.

I was mildly surprised, and very happy! I told her it didn’t hurt, and thanked her much. She said she doesn’t take credit for easy needle sticks. Just like she doesn’t take blame for painful ones. :) Sure sure.

The donation itself went smoothly too, as I recall. At first the machine had me on for a P2, but my nurse said she had to let it run for some minutes before she could alter the program. No problem. About 1/2 hour until I was done I noticed I was running a little longer than expected, than I’d told my Mom. And realized it was because I forgot to include an extra 15 minutes for the setup at the machine before I was put on it. I debated calling her and saying it’d be a little longer, but decided not to since we said I’d call her when I was ready. Mistake.

My Mom came blowing into the back of the donation center. She’s supposed to be done by now, and We don’t have time, and whatever else Mom was proclaiming, I don’t remember her exact words. But she was upset, and wouldn’t give me even the slightest chance to explain it was only 7 minutes more (by that point), and we that had the time.

My nurse didn’t give me a chance to argue the case either. Only a sentence or so into my debate with my Mom, my nurse said she was ending the donation. I looked at the machine. I had crossed the 3.2 line, so it was a full P1. A small one, as the nurse commented, but large enough to be useful. Whew. Okay, I didn’t fight.

Mom lead me out, and we headed off to the rest of our day.

So I earned my April pin. Thanks Red Cross.

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