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Good thing I like RED (207.0) - Mark's Journal
Good thing I like RED (207.0)
When I got to the blood drive today, I was asked if I wanted to do a Double Red Cell donation. I said "Sure, but I'm A positive," and for the first time ever, they wanted me!

Since it's never been that relevant to me, I've only vaguely paid attention to DRC apheresis, which involves taking your blood out through a vein the same way they usually do, but then running it through a machine, stripping out the red blood cells, and then putting most of the fluid (plus a little saline) back in through the same vein. They do it in two stages, removing and returning one unit's worth, then the second.

It feels weird. Not the blood removal, but putting fluid back. I definitely felt flushed and a little lightheaded while that was happening, but that faded quickly. Then, of course, I got to enjoy it again. After the few minutes while the phlebotomist finished up and put the stretchy bandage stuff on my arm, I felt OK -- just a touch lightheaded as I meandered over to the canteen area.

The nice thing about giving blood at the Tabernacle Baptist Church is that they have loads of fresh baked goods, not just the usual bags of pretzels and pre-packaged cookies and Fig Newtons. I had a fresh brownie and an almond bar with my teeny can of cranberry juice before heading over to the Lincoln Street Diner for my usual post-blood-donation lunch. I was cold when I got there, but the tomato florentine soup and chicken and biscuits cured that!

I'm thinking I will stick to regular blood donations from here on out. It means I can donate more often (they tout the less-often donation as a benefit to donors of the DRC) and don't usually feel quite as oogy. Another drawback to the DRC? I don't get the instant one-pound weight loss. ;-)
9 comments or Leave a comment
queenmabwords From: queenmabwords Date: November 22nd, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ha! I figured you were an A Positive!

I am too short to give Double Red Cell, which seems odd to me. I mean really, aren't I closer to the ground if I pass out? Maybe it's just a volume thing....

I will look to going to the Tabernacle Baptist Church for my next time, I think fresh baked goods make a much better treat.

And as always, thank you for donating. *hug*
helianthas From: helianthas Date: November 24th, 2011 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)

It is volume.

helianthas From: helianthas Date: November 24th, 2011 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)

You can probably give platelets, tho!

queenmabwords From: queenmabwords Date: November 24th, 2011 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)


I'll ask about that!
From: sylrayj Date: November 22nd, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mark, for donating. My sister needed several whole-body transfusions when she was born, and my daughter needed blood when she was in NICU. Someone like you kept my sister alive, someone like you helped my daughter be significantly healthier. *HUG* Thank you!!
cannedpopcorn From: cannedpopcorn Date: November 22nd, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love donating double reds! The only bad part for me is that the saline makes me have weird muscle contractions and get really jittery for about an hour. Other than that, totally awesome!
helianthas From: helianthas Date: November 24th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)

So it's saline they add? For platelets, they pump back in your plasma and reds plus an anti-coagulant.

I told them im uber-sensitive and to give me a smaller amount. They said "the machine figures out." i reiterated and asked them to pls give me a smaller amount. The anti-coagulant BURNED then felt super cold all the way up to my shoulder. Then, on the "out", it was like regular donation. Then again it BURNED and I kept cringing and wincing and they lowered the amount a little, but not too much. Cycle kept happening, then I said, "um, it still hurts, and now my lips are tingling, is this normal" and they're all "oh shit" and lowered it a LOT. "oh, guess you are sensitive, haha. Now we know" *faceplant*

queenmabwords From: queenmabwords Date: November 24th, 2011 07:59 am (UTC) (Link)
It really makes me cranky when health care professionals ignore what you say about your own limitations. As if they would know you better than you know yourself.

My personal favorite is a new yoga instructor telling me to to keeping trying something I found extremely uncomfortable even though I'd just had surgery. What was more surprising is the ladies I was with were so surprised that I just told her no. "You were so brave!"
mwuah From: mwuah Date: November 25th, 2011 12:25 am (UTC) (Link)
my friend donates plasma for money, and they do the same thing. i've thought about it, but the thought of stuff going back into me kind of freaks me out...
9 comments or Leave a comment