Full Count!

I’m planning to donate blood (whole, not platelets) on my birthday again this year. It’s so odd to me I didn’t donate at all in 2013…. I know it’s because I didn’t feel I had the time to do platelet donations like when I was at J&J, but the question is why did I feel I had enough time to work and donate while I had my job at J&J but not now at Amplifinity? I realized in early December that I needed to stop thinking about donating blood as platelets, and just get some whole blood donations in each year. MUCH shorter and, if I recall right, less side effects. I know donating platelets can be much more useful, but whole blood is better than no blood!

Anyway, I logged into the SEM Red Cross website to make an appointment, decided to see the last few donations I had done in 2012. And lo and behold, there were dates back to 2001! It looks like Mass Bay Red Cross and SEM Red Cross have finally reconciled their records. YAY! Then I found a more button, and it turns out ALL my Red Cross donations, including college and way back to my first on in high school, are now in their system. WOOOO! YAY!!! I even see 2 attempted-but-failed donations in the list (they have a blank “Donation Type” field).

So here’s the fully updated count and list of my blood donations thus far (updated for all of 2014), including MGH (not in the Red Cross records) and my records and recollections:

64 successful donations
07 unsuccessful attempts
—————–
31 whole blood
33 aphresis
05 turn aways
01 long botched attempt to get my vain, resulting in failure to donate
01 failed on the aphresis machine

(I want to also mention that I ran/co-ran 3 blood drives at WnP/J&J in 2012)

Date Blood Pressure Notes
04/23/96 110/70 The one that started it all: Arlington High School blood drive.
10 or 11/96 Attempted first college donation, turned away because I was 17. I was so mad! I had already donated once before, and was living away from home, and was in college. Why did I have to have my parent’s permission?!
02/14/97 Harvard University blood drive
04/25/97 Harvard University blood drive
09/26/97 Harvard University blood drive
??/??/98 Botched job at Harvard University blood drive. The “nurse” tried for almost 5 minutes in my left arm. She only stuck me with the needle once, and spent the rest of the time moving the needle all around in my arm trying to get a vein. Hurt like mad!! Once she finally gave up, I said “Give me a minute (for the pain to stop), then you can try my other arm.” I was told that they weren’t allowed to stick me again, they only got one try. Which explains why she spent so long torturing my poor arm. I was Livid. She had to get another person to come over and say the exact same thing. Apparently this attempt wasn’t recorded as I’m pretty sure I didn’t not donate for a whole year, and all the other records for my college years have a “Donation Type” of “Blood” set.
09/29/99 Harvard University blood drive
12/07/99 Harvard University blood drive
04/27/00 120/70 Last college donation: Harvard University blood drive
09/28/00 This one wasn’t in my records.
12/07/00 100/60
02/13/01 This one wasn’t in my records. But it has a blank “Donation Type”, so I believe it is when I was turned away for low iron from the little Bible church in Burlington at which I donated a few times.
04/20/01 106/62
07/16/01 140/70
10/05/01 129/79 Donated at Massachusetts General Hospital, not via the Red Cross. One donor card says 09/26/01 and the other 10/05/01. Both have same BP and Pulse, so it’s the same donation, just don’t know which date is correct. Pulse: 71
??? Hm… no 2002? The 2001 and 2003 donations are on the same donor card.
01/09/03 118/60
03/27/03 110/74 My card seemed to say 3/07/03, but the Red Cross has 3/27/03.
06/24/03 98/72 Last donation in Massachusetts
7/22/03 Odd. This one wasn’t in my records. Red Cross has this with a blank “Donation Type”, so it was a failure/turn away. Which makes sense since I’d just donated a month before, except I wouldn’t have even made it far enough to be recorded if I’d attempted to donate so close together. Unless I was trying for aphresis this time?
Date Blood Pressure Notes
09/22/03 112/74 At the Fisher Building in Detroit. Pulse: 70
04/02/04 At Livonia donor center. I don’t have this on a donor card, but it’s on the print out I got at the donor center.
09/20/04 At the Fisher Building in Detroit. BP not listed on card.
??? Somewhere in here I was turned away at the Fisher Building in Detroit for too low iron.
03/14/05 128/78 At Livonia donor center.
05/31/05 118/70 At Livonia donor center.
11/12/05 110/70 At Livonia donor center.
04/29/06 110/78 First aphresis donation! “Donation Type” is listed as Platelets. At Livonia donor center.
08/21/06 140/84
02/03/07 102/64 Aphresis donation that kicked off over a two year run! Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
03/10/07 100/80 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
04/14/07 128/90 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
05/19/07 124/80 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
06/16/07 122/86 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
07/14/07 118/84 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
08/11/07 120/90 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Bloomfield Hills donor center.
Women disallowed from donating Plazma. I don’t think I ever wrote up my rant on this.
09/23/07 114/76 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
10/21/07 100/66 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
11/17/07 116/86 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Riverview donor center.
12/28/07 110/80 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
01/20/08 116/82 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
02/10/08 140/90 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
03/25/08 136/82 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
04/12/08 124/76 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Bloomfield Hills donor center.
05/03/08 108/70 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
06/07/08 120/70 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
07/13/08 110/80 Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Livonia donor center.
08/10/08 114/72 Aphresis donation. At Livonia donor center.
09/21/08 100/66 Aphresis donation. At Livonia donor center.
10/04/08 104/70 Aphresis donation. At Livonia donor center.
11/01/08 100/74 Aphresis donation. At Livonia donor center.
12/06/08 102/70 Aphresis donation. At Livonia donor center.
01/16/09 118/84 Aphresis donation. On my birthday! At Livonia donor center.
02/08/09 112/78 Aphresis donation. At Livonia donor center.
03/??/09 I asked a simple question, and got turned away for it. “How long before you get pregnant should you stop donating blood?” The nurse I had, S, said that since they have no idea how the stuff (that they put back in you during aphresis when they return your blood) effects pregnancy or even getting pregnant, that she didn’t feel comfortable letting me donate. Even though I wasn’t planning on starting to try for several months if not a year. *sigh* Oh well. In the end, I was thankful to her for that.
06/13/09 116/68 Whole blood donation. About a month before my surgery.
10/31/09 104/76 Whole blood donation. I have absolutely no memory of this donation. And it’s on Halloween too! But both my donor card and the records at the Red Cross say I did it (I asked at my 01/2012 donation).
Pregnancy, nursing, then when I tried to donate again I constantly had to cancel due to being sick. I finally gave up scheduling appointments until things got better (daycare, nights’ sleep, etc).
01/16/12 124/98 Aphresis donation. At Ann Arbor donor center.
02/06/12 126/88 Aphresis donation. Read about it here.At Ann Arbor donor center.
03/19/12 Failed Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Ann Arbor donor center.
04/20/12 Unplanned Aphresis donation. Read about it here. At Ann Arbor donor center.
06/04/12 Aphresis donation. At Ann Arbor donor center.
06/25/12 Aphresis donation. Making up for missing May. At Ann Arbor donor center.
08/06/12 Aphresis donation. At Ann Arbor donor center.
11/26/12 Aphresis donation. At Ann Arbor donor center.
01/16/14 Whole blood donation. At U of M Dental School. Took too long, 1.5 hours (not counting driving). To where did the phlebotomists keep disappearing? I ended up getting a parking ticket – gr. But 24 hours wore the aggravation of it all away, and I was glad to have donated.
03/13/14 Whole blood donation. At U of M Michigan Union.
05/13/14 Whole blood donation. At Ann Arbor donor center.
07/29/17 Whole blood donation. At Ann Arbor donor center. Bonnie watched the kids for me while I donated in the morning, and she fed them lunch. Late afternoon I sent them over to the Taylor-Coquillard’s house because I just could NOT stay awake anymore no matter how hard I tried and had to nap. This was my first time using the App to schedule an appointment, so I got to see my blood’s journey afterwards.
05/26/18 Whole blood donation. At Ann Arbor donor center. Courtney watched the kids for me (hers and mine) during the mid-afternoon donation. Donation time ran 1/2 longer than usual because of staff being under-equipped and having to wait for items to free up: thermometer and blood pressure cuff, then blood donating scale. They didn’t tell me that, I observed it on my own. But one of the nurses confirmed it after I asked about it and then proddingly commented on it. The staff was doing their best to stay positive while clearly at the end of a LONG day, being tired, and hungry, and whatever else. I kept telling the staff “Good news, I’m the last one (today)!” And I beat my personal donation record! 4 minutes and 55 seconds this time! I planned for a family movie after dinner so I could nap if I needed to before the kids’ bedtime – worked great. Both girls curled up with me (2 year old) or on me (7 year old) on the couch and watched Cinderella while I slept for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.

The app said my blood ended up at the UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland!
01/03/19 Whole blood donation. At Ann Arbor donor center. Kids were at camp and daycare. I did the rapid pass and showed up a few minutes early in the hopes of getting out in under 45 min instead of the normal 1 hour-70 minutes once you’ve sat at the cookie table. But, I got a trainee phlebotomist / nurse. Her second day. I had the time, so I stayed patient. She, and her trainer, appreciated that. Happily, I didn’t have the (extreme) fatigue I usually get starting an hour afterwards!

App says my blood is in storage (01/23).

The app said my blood went to Augusta Health in Fisherville, VA! (01/29)
05/03/19 140/90 Whole blood donation. At Whitcomb High School – because apparently the Ann Arbor Donor center is closed this Thursday through Monday (for whole blood donations), U of M isn’t running any drives during the 2 business day break between semesters, and NO churches in the city are running drives these days either!! WHAAA? Kids were at school and drop-in-care. Things went mostly smoothly. They had to take my blood pressure 5 times, across 2 different nurses, because they couldn’t find a working stethescope!! The phlebotimist I got thanked me for bringing in such a good vein! Lol. But then I felt she had a hard time getting the needle into my arm through the scar tissue that built up back when I was doing phresis every month. More ouch that usual! She felt it too and stopped and commented on it. But instead of trying to jimmy the needle around to get into the vein proper like everyone else in the past who has had problems as done, she called over another woman by name. I think it was Heather, but I can’t rightly remember now! She told Heather I have a really good vein but a lot of scar tissue, that the needle was close but she didn’t want to hurt me anymore. Heather looked at my arm, took the needle, pulled it outwards (but not out) oh so very slightly, angled it gently, and one quick nearly painless push and it was in all the way properly! I was so grateful my lady stopped right away and called over “Super Needle Nurse” instead of trying first by herself. We both said, “Thank You, Heather!” Donation went smooth and fast after that. Oddly, I didn’t get the extreme fatigue this time but I DID get severe weakness I guess I’ll call it. I did my 15 min at the canteen, felt a little odd walking to the car but not enough to worry. I went to Wendy’s for a frosty as a reward, and when I stood at the end of the line inside my body told me “Nope, no standing,” and I felt like I was about to fall down! I couldn’t stand for more than a few seconds! Sitting I was fine. So I got back in my car, did the drive-through, came home, and laid down and watched a movie for 1.5 hours. I was able to stand after that, but not carry much or anything, and by kid’s bedtime standing was hard again. *shrugs*



Email said my blood is on the way to Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren, OH (5/28/19)
08/21/19 Whole blood donation. At U of M Health Care – KMS building. I brought Amber with me because she’s been wanting to see what donating blood looks like. There was no wait, hardly any other donors there! I was glad I chose to do this drive today, they needed the people. Though they seemed to always have one donor at each step: processing, donating, and at the recovery table, so that’s good at least. Things went easy and smooth. The phebotomist even got me to let her use my Left arm, because we’ve been having problems with the scar tissue in my right arm this year (there was even still a mark in my elbow from my last donation), and because she said she saw the left arm vein looking good. And it barely hurt! She had to reposition the needle very slightly 3 times, but after that 3rd one blood starting flowing easy. Only real I “issue” I had was that the woman overseeing the drive kept saying Amber couldn’t be places that where near me, even though I and my phebotomist were making sure Amber was staying out of anyone’s way. Finally the overseer admitted she was worried Amber would have an adverse reaction to seeing the needle stick or blood. I point blank told her Amber would be fine, that she’d seen my blood drawn before for blood tests and didn’t have any reaction. And guess what? Amber didn’t have any adverse reactions to seeing me donate blood either. She was impressed and curious. And she was surprised at the end by how much a pint of blood is! I asked if Amber could touch the bag, because I wanted her to feel how warm blood is. She was allowed. She was mildly surprised by that too. :) I did surprisingly well after the donation too. Made it hours before I finally needed a nap. Got through dinner and kid time just fine, then went to bed early myself, and all was well!



App says my blood went to Mercy Health-St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital in Youngstown, OH (9/16/19)
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One Response to Full Count!

  1. trekker9er says:

    Red Cross site now has me listed at 67 donations. They are counting the 2 recorded turn aways (those two noted above with no donation type), and the failed aphresis / platelets donation. But even with those 3 their historical list on me only shows 62! I wonder where the other 5 they are counting comes from. Perhaps the plasma + platelet donations I did back in 2007 counted double?

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