Donated Blood

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A few weeks ago, I thought it would be a good idea to finally donate blood for the first time in my life.  I looked for blood drives happening soon and found out there was going to be one at my workplace.  How convenient!  I made an appointment for February 2 at 10:00am.

I went out to the truck in front of Building D.   

I went into the truck and asked if I could have
DLo take pictures and video for the site.  They said it should be fine and had me fill out a bunch of paperwork.
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Before they took my blood, they took my temperature and checked my blood pressure.

They also checked my iron levels by giving me a little poke on my right middle finger.

They let me know that my levels were good enough to do a
double red cell donation.  They use a special machine on the truck that separates the red cells out and then they pump the plasma back in.  Double red cell donation takes about 20-30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation, but the donation goes further.  This is the machine they use:

I have to admit that I have always hated needles, and I think that’s probably why I’ve never taken the opportunity to give blood.  I was definitely nervous going in, but it was not bad at all. 

The nurse who drew my blood, Jazmin, was really sweet and checked on me often.  Most importantly, she got the needle in the right place the first time.  The only part that was unpleasant was when the needle went in at the start (a small pin prick).  After that, the sting went away, and I just had to not move my arm for several minutes. 

Jazmin let me know that my blood would cycle (blood comes out, gets separated, and goes back in) five times.  I squeezed a soft ball every five seconds when the blood pumped out and stopped when it went back in.  The first time it went back in, it felt really cold.  Here’s video of my blood draw:

I have to say that it felt like a long process, but the staff made it as comfortable as possible for me.  I even got to tell them about my little new year’s resolution.

After the donation, I got a few goodies: a sticker, some fig newtons, and a $50 coupon for a
Hornblower Cruise.

Thank you to
DLo, who filmed but also donated himself.

After all that, we decided we deserved a huge meal.  So we went to Barney’s and ate giant hamburgers.  Yum.  I also discovered that eating a huge meal combined with having your blood drawn is actually a recipe for a very effective sedative.  Talk about food coma....

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