Quote of the Day

Friday, January 19, 2007

My Visit to the Vampires

For approximately 8 years (off and on at the start), I have been a plasma donor. My blood is AB- which apparently is a universal donor for plasma so they love me at the Blood Center. And before you ask because someone always does... I am not that hard up for money! I have never been paid for my donations (see the word as defined by Websters... donation - a free contribution). I don't know why but someone ALWAYS asks "do you get paid?"

Back to my story.... Today was my 40th donation. Back in November, I had asked the receptionist how much have I given so far. She said that equates to 8 gallons. It's kind of impressive to think of 8 milk jugs filled with my plasma going to help others who need it. Seriously, I don't mean to toot my own horn but giving blood or plasma is really such a simple easy thing to do to help others out. During national tragedies like 9/11 or Katrina, people come out in droves. But during the rest of the year or normal times, the donations drop off. I know it happens to me too. If I don't make my next appointment at the time of my current visit, I forget and then get the reminder call... "We could really use your help." Giving blood is easy... you are probably only there 30 minutes and can donate every 8 weeks. With plasma, the time is longer... approximately 1.5 hours and you can donate every 4 weeks. But really the time isn't that bad. I take my mp3 player with me and a magazine, then just sit back and relax for that time. Come on, all you moms out there... trust me... 1.5 hours with no kids clammoring for your attention - IT IS HEAVEN!

So I will step off my soapbox now... but seriously consider it.

It's actually amazing that I have kept going. My first plasma appointment ever, I was there for 3 hours! The machines were brand new at that location and training was taking place. Since then I have gone home more than a few times with large bruises. I have been told that I am not an "easy" stick. My veins are deep and tend to move. There are two ladies (although I was just told that one moved to CA) who could get me... the others are hit or miss and there are 2 who I absolutely do NOT want touching me!!!

Today the Debbie was lucky enough to get me. The last time we were together... my vein moved and she tried getting it with no luck. One of my favorites was called in and presto, she had me. The first words out of Debbie's mouth, "So are we going to get a good stick today?" I told her I was surprised that she remembered me. "Oh, yeah. I remember," she laughingly replied. After doing the prep work, Debbie went for it and voila! it went in... no problems! I had thought about it throughout my session and after my draw was done, I asked Debbie if water consumption helps. "Absolutely!" I told her how this week I have been pushing myself to drink more water (HEY! I am taking in about 80 oz a day now! AND I know I am doing well, because my urine has lost its color.) She said that is wonderful and that it definitely helps. I need to keep at it or at least make sure I do it for a day or two before my appointments. Damn! Another good reason to keep on flooding myself.

So today was a good day... minimal bruising, an easy stick, and 1 hour in the chair reading.


R&R said...

Thank you so much for sharing this!

If it weren't for incredible people like you, I would've been denied the last precious summer I had with my Dad. He was kept alive with "Liquid Gold" plasma donations. There are just no words to express how much it means to so many...

God Bless YOU and all who donate. It's such a caring, selfless act.

Ginger said...

Just think of the angel that you ARE for millions of people. And like R&R said...Thank you, because I was able to have Mama for a little while longer.

Love ya C.

Mean it!!!

Janet W. said...

OK Carrie, I may need to register a complaint with the BBB about you! You have me drinking water and now I'm checking my blood type: I'm pretty sure that's what I am -- whenever I've given blood they've gotten super excited. And they have the WORST time finding a vein: ok, more H2O ... and why is it an hour and a half ... off to research :) I'm pretty sure some other ladies on the board do this do -- and like you said --- all that quiet time -- what's not to like!! Seriously -- thank you for doing this :)

andrea said...

You are so brave! I donated plasma ONCE. The process was ok but the return SALINE is a b#$#%. NEVER again...I am AB+ which is also the universal PLATELETS donor so I donate those very often. We have a burn center here and lots of cancer research, and apparently kiddies need platelets alot because they always tell me the age of the patient who will get my platelets and it's always an infant. somehow that makes me happy. I don't get paid either :) They do ask if I want to watch a movie, but i ALWAYS HAVE a book...totally hear you 1-2 hours of uninterrupted reading is BLISS :)

Echo Marvelous said...

wow... i'm so impressed that you do this carrie!! that's awesome, and a good kick in the butt to remind me to donate... thank you, but caring and doing something so wonderful for other people... =o) reading that someone like you directly helped both ginger and r&r is pretty incredible!

DTF said...

Okay... it's taken me awhile to post thanks to everyone. I worried that this post became a "Hey... Look at me! Look what I do!" and that's not what I intended. But I do believe in donating blood, plasma, etc and had to write about it.

So thanks, ladies, for your kind comments. And R&R and Ginger, it is so nice to hear about personal experiences of others on the receiving end. Even though it wasn't my plasma that helped your loved ones out, it helps me to think of the anonymous people that I am helping.

Andrea... yeah, ITA! the saline return is a B*%#H, especially in the winter. But the volunteers are ready to offer a hot beverage (apple cider this time) and that with a sunny spot by the window seem to help. Glad to hear you are a donator as well.

Thanks, Echo.

~ Carrie