Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Twofer, white stuff, and aggrivation.

Went to give blood yesterday.  It was at the LDS church.  I know very little about the Mormons, but I am always amused when I donate there.  The "Elders" volunteer, usually out front for verifying that I have an appointment and such.  These Elders are... about 17?  20 years old, tops... Maybe.  They must make elders waaay younger at that church.  I say this to offend no one, it just amuses me to have an 'elder' that is half my age or more.

Once I was in for the drive, I noticed they had a slightly different setup than I was used to and commented on it.  The gal doing the intake physical told me that they were doing "double red" donations, would I be interested?  I said sure.  She checked then told me they were full.  About the time she said that, another gal came up and told her that the other person had the wrong blood type, that if she had another person, they could use them.  So I said I would, and they started the process, which, all in all, seemed pretty much like the regular process, except they asked how tall I was. 


So she led me over to the machine, and they hooked me up again, and asked about how tall I was.  Again.  And if I had any questions.  Yeah... What does how tall I am have to do with giving blood?  The gal then explained, with women having menstrual flows, they lose more iron then men.  Therefore, they need to be (her words) stouter, to do this kind of donation.  Huh...  So they explained what was happening. 

I was hooked up to a centrifuge, which spins the blood at 7000 rpm, that separated the cells from the rest of it (plasma).  The cells go into one bag, the plasma into another.  I also received saline, with the plasma, to make up for the cell loss. 

There was a heating pad under my arm, and they explained that the plasma would be returned cold. (I forgot to ask why...)  This process is repeated twice, hence the "double red" term.  I basically give twice as much in this process as I would giving just my normal pint.  So, I lean back and watch the thing go round.  Listen to the gals josh with one another (happened to be all gals doing the drive this time, as far as I could tell).

So the centrifuge finished, and started pumping the plasma into the one bag, and the cells into the other.  I commented "That looks like BEER in that bag".  The gals laughed, saying that was not the first time that comment had been made.  It was a golden yellow color with a head on it, just like someone had poured a pale ale into the bag.  She then joshed with me a little, as some of the cells creeped into the bag as it finished, "Yes, we know when to go to the next step when the beer turns into a Tequila Sunrise." 

Love the technical aspects of donation! 

I noticed that I became just a bit cold as the plasma was returned, and put my coat over my shoulders.  'Do you need a blanket' was asked several times.  Nah, the coat was plenty.  I was then told I might have some tingling sensations.  Wow, they weren't kidding! Know that "pins and needles" sensation?  I had it the whole of my person for a short bit.  Strange sensation, but went away quickly.  Watched the cell merry-go-round again, and then the process started again.  This time, I got cold.  I hadn't realized that the first round would lower my temperature enough to make me really, REALLY cold the second time.  I was shuddering so hard it was hard to ask for a blanket!  When they put the blanket over me, I joked that I must be a bit of a wimp to need the blanket now.  She winked, and said, nah, you would have been a wimp if you needed it the first time. 

So, since I gave what amounts to 2 pints, I received my 6 gallon pin, and a second little pin for my first "Double Red" donation.  And since I gave more, I have to wait 16 weeks to donate, not 8.  But my donation will help more, so I guess it balances out. 

The only side effect that I seem to have had, they said I would be tired.  Now, this is normal for any donation that I have had, but this was a bit more... pointed.  I was walking this morning, and after Husband freaked me out slightly by riding the ATV up to meet me, (OMG, something's wrong, whatwhatwhat?  Turns out, he was putting fresh plugs in for the ones that had been fouled, and wanted to run the rig. Oh.), and he noticed that I looked beat.  I told him I was, that I seemed to be just shy of wiped out.  He, the voice of reason, said I should maybe just ride back.  I, the voice of stubbornness, said I could walk back, and that I should finish my exercise.  He countered, I don't want to have you collapse up here.  Then I considered Rudee's last attempt at imitating Lassie, and decided I should just head down the hill early. 

I read the info, and the fatigue is only supposed to last a day or two, so I am fine with it, but it sure took more out of me than I expected, so to speak. (Oh, and I took a picture of my plasma "beer", but it's on my cell phone, so I don't know at this point how to get it on my blog.  Once I do, I will post it.)

The weather guessers are all in a horrified tizzy here, it is supposed to snow.  It tried to, a little this morning, I saw a few flakes mixed in with the rain, and even some snow "pellets" that bounced off my hand and hat.  It even made Rudee's fur look beaded.  I have crocus up, a daffodil, and some other stuff starting to come up.  So, they are talking as low as 19* F, and about 6 inches or so of snow.  Yay.  So, we shall see if they are panic-stricken for no reason, or if I will be snowbound this next few days.  I am not looking forward to snow, but we are prepared, so I guess it can do what it's gonna. 

Like I can stop it...

And the scale.  The stupid, stupid scale.  I am getting most heartily sick and tired of this same .8 up and down.  I had a great week!  I fit into a pair of pants I haven't been able to wear for nearly... Well, 20 pounds or so ago.  Exercising well, (Husband checked the distance with the ATV, and says I am doing closer to two miles a day, than one.)  I figured it would be great, I had to be down.  .8 UP.  Someone mentioned measuring myself, and I did last week, forgot to this week, so I will have to see if THAT changed, but I was so frustrated, I bawled.  Husband was standing there, which made it all the more embarrasing for me (I detest to cry), but he was so good about it.  He basically said to ease up on myself, I was working hard.

Yeah.  But it still sucketh, yea, verily...


  1. Very interesting about the double red. Congrats on giving 6 gallons!!! That's huge!
    Sorry the weight's being stubborn - bet you'll have a big drop soon.

  2. I have been given medicine in my IV that's really cold and I get cold. Same with my liquid O2, and winter, I'm cold inside and outside and it takes me forever to warm up.

    Remember to take into account that muscle takes up less space than fat. If you wear a smaller size - that's what counts!

  3. Sorry about that doggone scale. Want me to yell at it for you?

    Good for you for donating! Yes, giving double the amount of red cells will make you tired, you won't have as many cells carrying oxygen to the rest of the body. You might want to stick with the single donations most of the time.

  4. Don't get discouraged. If you feel like you've lost weight and your pants are fitting better, then life is good. Your weight fluctuates for all kinds of reasons - fluid balances, salts, muscle mass, etc.
    Congrats on your 6 gallon pin. I've never seen the 'double red' deal before, but I also haven't donated in a few years. I need to get back into the habit - it's the only time I don't feel guilty having a cookie! ;-)


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