November 22nd, 2011


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. ;-)

Now that I think about it...

Today was the first time anything's ever been added to my bloodstream. I've never had a transfusion, and never needed an IV. I've had injections, but I'm pretty sure those were all into tissue, rather than my bloodstream.

So, the warmed saline is the first addition to my bloodstream that my body didn't produce on its own. Weird.

I'm feeling better, and still full after that comfort-food lunch.

In the meantime, check out Diamond, a kitty who donates blood for cats who need transfusions. And, if you're of a mind to, donate to City Kitties or the Tompkins County SPCA, or the awesome animal welfare charity of your choice.

Off riding a dragon somewhere, I'd wager...

Sad to see the news this afternoon that Anne McCaffrey died after suffering a stroke yesterday. I haven't read as much of her work as I know some of you have, but she was certainly a pioneer of fantasy fiction, and sparked an entire sub-genre.

I hadn't known that Anne was born in Cambridge to Irish-American parents, and then moved to Ireland just two years after her first visit, when she was in her mid 40s.