Saturday, February 1, 2014

Well I tried...

I tried to donate platelets to the red cross, a while ago, like summertime last year .... it wasn't a good experience, and that's putting it mildly. I've been a blood donor since my early high school years and have done it pretty often, I had no fear of needles. The Red Cross started to call me (over and over)  and even sent me a letter, inviting me to come in and donate platelets, apparently I'm an "ideal candidate" for it.... so I set up an appointment and went.

This was in the bathroom in place of a mirror.

So first came the right arm, it was an okay stick, but it was stinging.. stinging a bit more than I expected. I expressed this to the lady, and she said she'll check it in a bit, then stuck my left arm, perfect stick, no pain. I complained about the pain in my right arm, I asked her to check it, it hurt quite a lot at this point. She said she was sure it was fine but made her way to look at it. After lifting up the gauze pad you could see that everything wasn't okay, there was a large bulge in my arm and immediately she paused the machine and called someone else over... that person removed the needle and tried another spot in my right arm, near my wrist. Which hurt even more that the first stick, and bulged up too, at this point I told them I was done and would like to go. So they unhooked me and bandaged me up, one on the left arm and two on the right, I was trying to be brave, but it hurt and I was the only girl, the men probably thought that I wimped out. I couldn't get out of there fast enough, but they had to write up what happened and why it was an unsuccessful donation attempt. Two blown veins, my first experience with platelets which resulted in my first blown veins. Then they gave me some "gifts" a bag & a t-shirt, I'm pretty sure they were feeling bad by now. 

After getting home mom helped me out by making me an "ice cast" for my arm. I snuggled into the couch with a blanket and watched a movie. 
This is what my arm looked like on day 1: very swollen and starting to bruise.
Day 2
Day 3
 Day 4
Day 5
I didn't take a picture on the worst day, Mom said I was already freaking people out with the whole series of pictures. Eventually the bruise was solid and stretched across my entire arm and up into my bicep.
 I should also mention that the Red Cross continued to call me and urge me to come back and give it a second try, they couldn't talk me into it. A couple of weeks after my arm healed, I went and donated blood, I felt like I had to, or I may chicken out in the future.  It went great, but I was definitely more afraid of the needle than I had been before, the man who poked me was very understanding as I explained why I was scared this time. Sorry if you're grossed out, I was fascinated by the bruising and how ugly it was.