Sunday, December 20, 2009

Platelets

Well, I promised I'd post about this.  I'm guessing you're all enjoying break so much that no one will look at it, but a promise is a promise.

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.)

The process often makes a person cold--and you know me, I am always chilly any way, so they covered me with a blanket, turned on a heating pad, and gave me some hot packs.  Except for the needle stick, I didn't feel any pain at all.

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!

They thanked me a lot.  Platelets are so valuable, people like Sarah need them often, but healthy people don't like to give up two hours to donate them.  I was told that it can take eight blood donations to make one "serving" of platelets, and those platelets can make sick people sick because they're a mix.  Platelets from one donor are best.  Platelets can only be kept for five days, but they said I shouldn't worry, mine wouldn't expire.   I was told that by Monday they'd be helping another person's body fight a disease.  That made me feel like it was all worth it.

I also learned I can donate again in seven days, and my body could give 24 times over one year.  So, I did the math, and I figured out, that's twice a month over the next year.  I have made a promise to try my best to do just that.  I hope to stay well over break and give one more time before I see you again.

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:

My "wound."


I'm so tough--NOT!


8 comments:

  1. Well, I'm very glad that you had a positive first experience and are planning to do it again! The fact that you're doing something to help someone you don't even know is awesome. And who knows, maybe next time I get platelets, they'll be from you! : )

    I do have a problem with this post though. Weren't you ever taught how to eat an Oreo the RIGHT way? You're supposed to eat the cream first, silly!

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  2. Miss Sarah,

    Oreos are something I crave only after such a donation. They are a guilty pleasure because in actuality, they are really just Crisco between two brown pieces of cardboard. Can't handle the shortening without the thick paper, you see...

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  3. I was very sad to receive a letter from Lifesource stating that my platelets were not acceptable for donation. I may only give blood from now on. :(

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  4. What movie did you wach?

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  5. Sorry I forgot the t in watch.

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  6. Since it was right before Christmas, I watched a movie about Christmas. I can't remember the name of it, but it's more for teens and adults, and the main character lights up his house like crazy, their Christmas tree burns down, and then a squirrel comes out of the new tree and wrecks the house.

    I think it was maybe called "Christmas Vacation." It's been around for a long time, and lots of people think it's very funny. It was okay, I give it two stars!

    Since I can't give platelets again, sigh, I guess I'll have to catch up on my movie watching at home...

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  7. Why cant you give platelets again?

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  8. My Dad dose that a lot!!

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