My first platelet donation experience on Saturday was a success! When I arrived at Lifesource, they asked a lot of questions about my general health and tested my blood. All was good. Then they told me to go to the bathroom! Why? Because I was probably going to be hooked up to the machine for well over an hour, and the machine cannot travel to the bathroom. Good advice.
Then the tech prepped my arm for the needle stick. I jumped when she stuck me, but soon all the tubes were hooked up and the machine was on. How it works is, it takes the blood out and then separates the platelets from the blood. Then it sends the blood back. It was sort of noisy. Since I was hooked to tubes, I couldn't hold a book, I had to hold a pressure ball and squeeze whenever the machine was taking blood out of me.
So, I got to watch a movie. Yep, I was there long enough to watch an entire movie. (And yes, I got to choose the movie.)
At the end of the process when they asked me how I was feeling, I said, "A little lightheaded." I guess that's not a good thing, because as soon as those words left my mouth, three techs were hustling to help me. They tipped me back, turned off the heat, whipped off the blanket, and shoved an ice pack beneath my neck.
I was a little shy, so I didn't get a lot of pictures this time. The platelets are collected in something that looks like a flattened freeze pop plastic. My tech told me they are very sticky. When she showed the plastic to me, they sure didn't look like much. But then she mixed it with my plasma, and it looked much better!
After I got off the cot, I got to have a snack (they like you to sit and eat to make sure you're A-OK before leaving). My snack:
I'm so tough--NOT!