Bleeding my own blood

First, I must probably explain that my entry title is an allusion to Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Check it out:

Now to further explain the title…

Today I donated blood (breaching the gallon mark, woot woot!). Having O+ blood, I enjoy doing my part to potentially save someone’s life, but despite my good intentions, donating blood is always an ordeal for me.

Not only do I have TERRIBLE veins to draw from, I am generally deferred at least once because, as a woman of “child-bearing age,” I have perpetually low iron. And, because I’m Type O, I give double units when I donate, which means my iron has to be extra high.

As a side note: If you ever get the chance to donate a double, do it!  They draw out whole blood, centrifuge it and give you back your plasma, twice. When they give you your plasma back it’s at room temperature, which is colder than the normal body temperature, so you get cold from the inside out. It’s the craziest feeling in the world. You should try it.

But I digress, last Friday, my iron wasn’t the problem. I consider my recent deferral a new low for me. With a pulse of 104, my pulse was too high to donate. So off on my merry way the blood bank sent me. [And no, I have no idea why my pulse was so high.]

Today was my rescheduled appointment. Being that I’m deferred so often,  I visit the blood bank much more frequently than most people and it sometimes feels like I’m a VIP as the blood bank gang greets me as I walk through the door. Today one of the ladies even hollered across the bank that she felt today was the day. And surprisingly it was.

Score for me, only one deferral this time around!

I should have known it was too good to be true though.

I was all set up to donate a double unit and I was confident my blood technician was going to hit my vein the first time. Unfortunately, my vein was deeper than she anticipated and the needle needed to be resituated. She soon hit the vein and I was off and running.

The first unit went well, but when it came time for the plasma return, the blood tech and I noticed infiltration (which essentially means fluid was leaking out of my vein into the surrounding tissue, awesome right?).

Another side note: This happened to me once before, and holy smoke. Seeing a pocket of fluid in your arm is scary.

Obviously this is not a good situation, so out the needle came and above my head my arm went.

Despite the failed double donation, today’s donation was a succes. Not only did I save (up to) 3 lives, my donation points scored me a long-sleeve T-shirt, not to mention the post-donation juice and cookie.

While I’m proud I was only deferred once, my arm is feeling pretty bad right now. It hurts to hold it straight, yet it hurts to bend it. And, in a day or two I will, without a doubt, have a nice looking bruise. But it’s nice to know my pain is not in vain, through my good deed I may have saved someone’s life.


One thought on “Bleeding my own blood

  1. runtezza says:

    Well done on the donation — your post reminds me I ought to do likewise! Hope the arm gets well soon.

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