So I mentioned a week or so ago that I started donating plasma.  You can only donate twice in a 7 day period and not in successive days.  So I figured for now, I would do Saturdays and Mondays.  Today was donation number three for me and – after two great experiences – I went in with high hopes.  But those hopes were quickly dashed.

Everything was going well until the phlebotomist had to ask another if everything was okay when he put the needle in. There was a bulge in the vein that showed up pretty quickly.  They asked if it hurt and it didn’t, so they said it was fine.  Then I started to notice that it was taking forever to actually get blood out of me.  Normally I can do almost a whole liter of plasma in 40 minutes or less, but it took nearly 20 minutes just for the first cycle of five.  It kept stopping every two seconds while returning my blood and that is when they noticed something was wrong.  Apparently – according to them – my vein just wasn’t cooperating.  So they switched to my other arm.  Same phlebotomist.  The second cycle went just fine, but once it started returning my blood the same thing happened.  It would just stop every couple of seconds.  One of the other workers came and started squeezing part of the line claiming “when you eat a ton of fatty food, sometimes it makes it get stuck.”

Should I take the hint?

While she was squeezing the tube (tee hee) I felt a lot of pressure (hee hee) in my arm and suddenly it started to swell (ha!) as well.  And hurt.  A lot.  She called over someone else and they decided I was done for the day.  She had to give me most of my blood back or they would have to treat me like a blood donor and defer me from donating plasma for eight weeks.  So I had to sit for another nearly two minutes in agonizing pain while they shoved my blood back in me.  After they finished and she got me a Powerade and wrapped me up, I asked what happened.

Apparently they had pierced through my vein which was causing the issues, so all this blood was pooling up in my arm.  She said I would have to put pressure on for a while and gave me an ice pack.

So here I sit feeling like my arm was run over by a car.  This is where I start wondering if I want to go back.  Am I allowed to ask for NOT that same guy next time?  Do I need to worry about a blood clot in this vein or anything else bad happening from it?  Did she pick the blue Powerade because I was a guy?  These are important questions!

I for sure will probably be avoiding my left arm being poked for a while.  Hopefully it doesn’t still hurt on Monday and impact my working out.  But it hurts bad enough now that it is a distinct possibility.

Other than that, I did about 3 miles of running and walking this morning as I ran around hanging up yard sale signs, then I played some League of Legends and then went to the Pikachu movie with my wife!  I have just over 10,000 steps for the day, also.

Finally… I am probably going to make a decision that will make my friends cringe when it comes to food and eating and all that jazz, but it is something I need to do.  So cringe away!

“Positive thinking is a valuable tool that can help you overcome obstacles, deal with pain, and reach new goals.” ~Amy Morin

2 thoughts on “Day 16 – What The Phlebotomist!?

  1. good grief that sounds awful!!

    Well done for donating, i have lots of friends who are blood donors. I am not one because my veins are really difficult to get blood out of and my friend who works for the blood service told me not to donate unless there is a shortage because difficult veins slow everything down…

    I feel like that is an excuse…

    1. My wife has small veins and they tell her the same thing when it comes to donating. She has thought about trying but doesn’t want to go there for hours and find out that she can’t actually do it.

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