Today in My History

2000:  Up, Up and Away
2001:  Your Tragedy vs. My Tragedy
2002:  Flashes of Insight
2003:  Give 'Em the Axe
2004
Keeping to My Schedule

2005:  Things I Should Have Known

2006: The New Season


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Updated 9/13:
"Harvest"


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DILO Sept 07

I FLUNK "BLEEDING"

28 September 2007

The last time I gave blood, I expressed a passing interest in platelet donation and asked what the process was.  It's a longer procedure.  You're hooked up to a machine for a little over an hour.  It takes your blood, strips the platelets from it, and then returns the red blood cells back to your body.  While this is going on, they also hook you up to a DVD player and you watch a movie from a list of DVDs that they give you.

Sounded good to me.  A noble reason to sit and watch TV for an hour and a half, and a donut when it's all over.  What's not to like?

The intake procedure is the same except they weigh you.  This is when I found out that I'm not dying of some strange wasting disease.  My bathroom scale has shown a steady loss of weight over the past two months, despite no change in my bad eating habits.  I didn't mind, of course, losing 12 lbs in 2 months, but it did worry me a bit.  However, I found those 12 lbs on the Blood Source scale, so I guess I'm not going to be collapsing because of rapid weight loss soon. 

After the intake, you get a nice truffle to take home with you, and when you come back for the 6th time you get a licenseplate holder.  Cool.  I was already envisioning it on the car.

You get into a chair similar to the whole blood donation chair and they give you something to read that lists all the possible bad things that can happen to you during the procedure.  But I am invincible.  I knew nothing like that would happen to me.  They said that you often feel cold when the blood is being returned to you, so they covered me up with a thick blanket, though I was already warm.

I chose Dreamgirls to watch on my personal DVD player and settled back while they poked and prodded and stuck me with a needle, took blood samples and set up the machine to strip my blood of all of its platelets.

I was into the movie, so I wasn't aware that the machine was beeping and flashing a red light.  A nurse came over and punched buttons and got another small blanket to cover my arm so that it would stay warm, though it didn't feel cold at all.  She also gave me Tums in a cup in case I felt any of a number of symptoms (none of which I did.  I am invincible, remember?)

The machine started beeping again and someone plopped one of those heat-in-the-microwave pads down on my chest.  It was Very. Hot. but they said they needed to warm my body up.  Strange, since I didn't feel any sensation of cold.

Soon the machine was beeping angrily again and this time I had a team of people working over me.  Checking the needle, checking the machine, and having a big High Level discussion about whether my vein was about to "blow" or not. 

They finally decided that my vein had started leaking and I was developing a bruise.  This is Not Good.  So the only thing they could do was to remove the needle and use my other arm instead.

I've been poked and prodded a lot in my lifetime and have always been rather proud of my good veins.  But, on reflection, I realize that it was always the same vein.  Apparently my one good vein.  Singular.  When they tried to find a suitable vein in my left arm, though they punched and poked and had me squeeze something and used the sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff), they still could only find a small vein that they figured would "blow" if they attempted to use it for the procedure.

Ultimately, they decided that today was not my day to donate platelets.  I felt like I had failed veins or something.  They assured me it wasn't my fault, thanked me for coming in, suggested I continue to donate whole blood instead of platelets and directed me to the donut table for my snack.

Owell.  I gave it the old college try.  But now I have to go out and get Dreamgirls because I was just starting to get into the story!  But at least I got donut (and a truffle)...and a nice nap in the afternoon.


Go to this page, scroll down to where it says "Not My Job: Kevin Clash and Elmo" and click on it to play the audio.  This was my favorite guest on "Wait, Wait."  It's 12 minutes and very funny, especially toward the end.  Clash is amazing.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

The things I do for donuts....
 

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