Where Do Californian Vampires Keep Their Valuables?

2 01 2012

At the San Diego Blood Bank, of course!  (Hokey, I know… but original!)

I just finished donating blood, more specifically 690 grams of blood.  It was a big deal and was a first for someone who has always been just back from a foreign country or underweight or – let’s face it – too scared to deal with the needles.

But people in this country need blood, and I was going to overcome my fear and donate.  After all, my father-in-law Bernie donates blood like clockwork every two months and his example is kind of inspiring.

Registration?  Check. Finger prick?  Check.  Iron level?  No problem.  Needle insertion in my vein without squealing like a baby?  Check.  Everything was going smoothly and I was just giddy, asking Yair to take a photo to document the moment.

Ay Outside The San Diego Blood Bank

Ay Outside The San Diego Blood Bank

Ten minutes and 690 grams of blood later, we hit a dead end.  Despite drinking fluids all day, my vein collapsed.  The nurse reassured me that the 690 grams would still be put to good use and donated… until the head nurse corrected him.

You see, each bag has a certain amount of anti-coagulant and the bag is designed so that a full bag of blood will yield the proper ratio.  My blood, I was informed, couldn’t be used at all – not for donation or research – because my vein collapsed literally less than two minutes early and less than 100 grams early but the ratio was nevertheless not usable.  I offered up my right arm to “top off” the bag, but the bags are connected to the needle that had been in me and could not be reused.  The nurse encouraged me to try again another time but said that some people, especially small people, just don’t have the veins for this.

Crap!  I know that Yair will tell me that it was a success, I was brave, etc. but I feel like such a failure and like this was a total waste.  I am 690 grams of blood lighter, I’ve had two needles poked in me this afternoon and absolutely no one will benefit from it.  Not my greatest moment.

Post-script:  I wish my blood could be used for anything.  If not donation and research, then even for vampires or as a souvenir!

Post Post-script:  I probably will try again in another two months, but I’m not overly optimistic.

Post Post Post-script:  Maybe one of you who don’t normally donate will consider doing so to even out my botched attempt?  🙂

posted by ayo

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8 responses

3 01 2012
Sharon

If it makes you feel any better I have never donated because I’m a fainter and they say you have to remain conscious. In fact I started to faint just reading your post so I’m not getting any where near a blood bank. There are lots of other ways you can help. Are you registered as a potential bone marrow donor? You can sign up through Be the Match.

16 01 2012
ayo

Hey Sharon, thanks for the support! My post almost made you faint? Eeks! Maybe I should put a disclaimer on next time. I am signed up as a potential bone marrow donor and we’ll see if I ever get matched, though my understanding is that marrow donation is much more involved and takes a much longer recovery than blood donation. See you later this week?

5 01 2012
roamingbarbara

A truly heroic effort! Since they have to turn me upside down and squeeze just to get enough for a simple blood test, I never donated.

16 01 2012
ayo

Turn you upside down and squeeze? My goodness, I’d love to see that! An acrobatics class mid-donation… Thanks for the encouragement, Barbara!

5 01 2012
Bernie Horowitz

Way to go, Amy. I’m so proud of you. I’m not quite so “clockwork” especially since the drive I was signed up for this month was cancelled and I haven’t taken the time to find another drive.

16 01 2012
ayo

You’re still a powerhouse. And thanks for the kind words – your feelings alone make me feel as though my botched attempt was still worth it.

6 01 2012
hitekhomeless(jenn)

Good try. Maybe you can still give plasma. If not there are tons of other ways that you guys are giving back. I cannot give blood either. I have a hard time getting the bag full; whether it is going to happen or not is a crap shoot. In addition, my whole arm gets a nasty looking bruise for a couple of weeks afterwards.

16 01 2012
ayo

Sounds like quite an intense bruise. Isn’t the process of plasma donation more involved, requiring a longer period for the vein to hold up? I may try donating again when we’re in Austin and the two month wait period is up, so I’ll check into it. Thanks!

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