So, I filled out a questionnaire, had my vital signs and quick history taken, then was given a tiny pin prick on my finger to test for iron in my blood. And I got to admit, that tiny prick on my middle finger still stings a little. How do people with diabetes cope with this kind of finger stick blood draws every day? If my finger is still tender from one finger stick, I can't imagine how sore it'll be from checking my blood glucose levels several times a day. But a little sting is a small price to pay to help someone heal and maybe save their life.
I was then taken to the room where the large recliners were next to the large machines that would do the apheresis--take my blood, separate out the plasma, then return the red blood cells and platelets back into my system along with a solution to replace the plasma I was donating.
The staff member that put the IV access in my arm was very skilled. I didn't even feel the needle go into my arm! The machine was pretty interesting and it was really neat to watch my blood going through and seeing the plasma end up in the donor bags. I spent the next 45 minutes watching the machine, the tv, and making conversation with the staff and the one other donor there. 800ml of plasma in 50 minutes, and I was done!
The IV was removed, a bandage and wrap was placed around my arm, and I was once again given instructions about what to do after donating plasma. No smoking for 4 hours; no heavy lifting; leave the bandage wrap on for at least two hours; and my favorite, eat a large meal! And as an unexpected bonus, I was given a snack and some small donor swag:
As a reward for doing something worthwhile today, I decided to stop by a local fast food place to get some shrimp and fries; and then on the way home, I stopped at Taco Bell and got 4 grillers, each a different variety. Hey, I was told to eat a large meal after donating plasma. And I think I earned it.