It's more than a house. It's an adventure.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Donated again

There was a blood drive next door to my office today so I went over and donated blood during lunch. I'd actually made an appointment for it a few days ago, but completely forgot until I saw the signs in the lobby promoting it.

I mentioned a few months ago that I wanted to do the full 6 donations this year, but I fell off the schedule and that won't happen. My last time, I attempted to do the double red cell donation, but the needle was inserted wrong and they were only able to get one unit. Today, I was asked if I wanted to try the double again, and said I'd rather not, explaining why I was hesitant. I was told that I probably had a rookie the last time, and today's double-red technician was a seasoned pro. So, I decided to go for it.

In the screening, my red cell count was 50%. I have no idea what this means beyond it being exceedingly high and seen very rarely. OK, so I'm a good candidate. That plus my good veins, they love me there. I got hooked up, and it went much better than last time.

The double-red donation process is a little more complicated than a regular donation. You're hooked up to an Apheresis machine, which basically separates blood components. One unit of blood is drawn, then the red cells separated from the rest (plasma, etc.). Everything but the red cells is then returned to your body, plus some saline solution. Then, repeat that for a second unit. The whole process, done right, actually hurts less than a regular blood donation. Just a couple extra little "twinges" when things change direction. But there's one thing I didn't count on, one thing they didn't tell me. And I'll tell you now.

Bring a blanket.

All those fluids they put back into your veins? They're at room temperature. That cools you off in a big hurry. I was actually shivering. It would have been great this summer on one of those 95° days.

This donation brings me up and over the 1 gallon milestone. Where's my cookie?


  • That's Awesome! I want a personal intravenous cooling system!

    Did you actually feel cold? Or just did you start shivering for no apparent reason? I thought the heat/cold receptors in the skin responded to how much heat was leaving/entering the body. So they would have made you feel warmer than normal. Clearly your body had some way to know it was getting cold and started shivering as an anti-hypothermia measure.

    By Anonymous Mike Akers, at 9/13/2006 5:45 AM  

  • I don't know the exact science of it, but I do know this: I felt the cold start at my elbow and run through my body. I felt very cold, but it was a different cold from what you'd get standing outside in winter (real winter, not that wussy rainy season you get in Florida). I was very clearly chilled from my core.

    By Blogger dakboy, at 9/13/2006 7:10 AM  

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