... when the coordinator of the blood drive at work wrote to say that there were openings she couldn't fill at 11:20 and 11:30, I dropped by the collection room and asked if they'd both been filled. The scheduling lady said no, and penciled me in and looked me up and there I was, wah la.
So I filled out my paperwork and the questions that make it so that only 2% of the living population of the world can actually donate blood (uhm, that was just me being cynical, given the questions), and then got my iron checked and it was okay. My pulse was a surprisingly low 52, and I drank my usually two pints of liquids.
They said that they'd try the left arm, which is a hard arm to do, and they pounded it and I pumped my hand, and they said, "Okay, we have it."
And then the technician missed the vein. She then used bare fingers (no gloves, what?) to *TWIST* the needle. Not reposition it, not just poke around a little, she twirled the damned thing, which I've never seen before and never really want to see again, and hit the side of it and the vein gave about a foot long length of tubing's worth of blood and decided that it was a very bad idea and stopped. Just closed one of the valves in the vein and said, "Uh uh, no bleeding to death today."
So they pulled the needle from the left, tied it up in a red ribbon, and then tried for the right.
Prep was fine, etc. Then the technician, already made nervous by missing the other vein, and thinking that I didn't want to see the needle go in (20 some odd years of giving blood, platelets, and white blood cells I'd better NOT be squeamish of needles), she pushed the needle in so damned hard she not only goes right through the vein and out the back but into the connecting tendons of my forearm muscles to my elbow.
I say, quite patiently, "It feels like you've gone right through." As the technician is puzzled as she pulls the stops off the collection bag and no blood comes through.
She pulls out the needle a bit.
"It's still pinching," says I.
She pulls it out a bit more and I feel the very tip come free of the far wall of the vein. "There," says I. The blood flows darkly into the tubes, the vacuum test tubes, and then down to the patiently rocking collection bag. I sit back and freeze in the wind of their damned fan which is blowing cold air at me, but the blood flows and that's okay.
When it's full, which is faster than they anticipated, they let it actually go over the pint mark and finally come over to pull the needle. The ever-generous right vein decides it LIKES giving blood and does not stop. I sit there for nearly fifteen minutes holding my arm up and they check it every two or three minutes as there's now a line forming of people that want to donate, and the vein cheerfully burbles up more blood each time they check it.
When she finally wraps it, she wraps it *tight*. So tightly that I can't even eat with my right hand when I go to lunch. I end up eating with my left hand instead of my right, and when the hour is up for the pressure bandage, I finally loosen it enough to stand it for a while. I still can't really type with the right arm, and an hour later, I finally take both pressure bandages off, and every time I straighten my right arm it *hurts* badly enough that I can't concentrate. I have a few meetings that are actually easier to concentrate on if I don't bring my machine, and from that, I finally go get Jet.
Poor Jet asks me to pick him up and I tell him, "I can't..." and show him my "blood owies" as he calls them, and satisfied by that, he hops into his seat himself and straps himself in.
Jet and I actually had a pretty good evening. John had a church meeting, so we had a really quick dinner of Jet's leftover cheese pizza from another night, and then Jet and I went and got our Crackpot efforts and then got another present for Daddy. That was fun. He was great at just going everywhere I was going and was quite understanding about my not being able to pick him up. Finally we ended up at home, and Jet decided HE was going to wrap Dad's present. He asked me for some instructions, but told me that I wasn't to do anything. Hee.
That was fun.
My arm is much better today, thank goodness. The vein closed itself from both sides, and there's been no seepage, so my arm isn't one Gigantic bruise. Where the muscles connect to the joint still ache a bit, but it's not the "I can't pick up anything" kind of feeling it was. So that's very good.
Still, next time I find out that there's openings I'm going to likely be a bit more hesitant about donating on a whim. Yeesh.