1.18.2013

Lara Reviews: Plasma Donation

Rating: Two Awkwardly Posed, Pitifully Exposed Thumbs Up (Because my index finger hurts too much to do anything.)


THE EXPERIENCE
Dramatic Music Plays


As you know, I went to donate plasma. It was a traumatic experience. I'm certain my arm will forever be yellow.

So. Here's what happened.

First, I decided that I was a poor soul who had a heart of gold, and wanted to do good. How does one go about doing good AND making money? OH! I know. Donating plasma. Or killing bad people and collecting the reward. I'd rather do one, but the other one is more legal and easier. So plasma it is.

I notified my family of my decision to sell my body to science, and went forward with the choice. My father immediately started having nightmares on the spot.

"Let me know how your visit to Dracula's castle goes."

The next day, I found myself in the car, driving around. I arrived at the center, walked in the front doors, spotted a drinking fountain, remembered that fritos and peach juice don't count as a nutritious meal, so I drank 15 gulps of water in a row (I COUNTED!) and made my way up the stairs.

Got to the center.

I missed some rule that said we had to wear our pajamas to donate plasma.

I got in, I learned lots about HIV, it terrified me, I grew afraid that they were going to come across stuff on my background check that would affirm that I'm a criminal, even though I didn't even know, because I turned in a library book late...

So I just sat there, as they asked me scary questions, like "What's your first and last name?" "What's your birth date?" And I sweat bullets.

Then I went back for the physical. I sat in the chair. Everything in the room was marked as a biohazard. Including the chair. She pulled out a chain saw, and sawed off the tip of my finger, to fill up a gallon jug with my blood to make sure I was  hydrated.

Maybe that's not what happened. But there was so much blood gushing out of my finger and holy hannah it hurt like heck.

And still does.

All was well. The 15 gulps of water did little to help my hydration levels since I was still a little low, but I had to race like a pee horse, that's for certain.

Went into a room, dripping with blood, the doctor took off her white lab jacket and pulled on a black cape, and fangs shot out of her mouth.

Er.... excuse me.

Sat in a chair. The nice old man sitting next to me gave me the one two. "Pretend like you're going to throw up, they'll give you a juice box."

They had a hard time getting the needle in, because the veins were really little and really close to my tendons. But they got it in without me screaming in pain, and I stared at my arm wide eyed jaw dropped and started breathing deep and then she told me to look away and that was ok.

Then I had to squeeze my fist a ton to get the blood out.

Then they put salt water into me. It was freezing. Felt like they were turning me into one of their vampires, they just liked me that much.

Pulling the needle out hurt like crap, and she made me hold the gauze on it while she got a wrap and I got really grumpy because I couldn't  turn the page of my friggn book.

And then it was all done.

And they gave me money and sent me out.

And I could have died from lack of plasma in the parking lot, because I'm pretty sure I could have filled up a swimming pool with how much they took. A swimming pool for mice and gerbils, but a swimming pool all the same.

Now that you have an image of rodents swimming in my yellow plasma...

I leave you with this.

Donating plasma saves lives. They use it to derive life saving medicines. They use it to give to people who are in desperate need of it. And that saves lives too. And if you happen to make a few bucks a week doing it, that's just fine.

I was stressed about the needles and the strangers and that doctor with a really long beard and my tendons and the hospital, but when the shock of it all wore off, it was fine. And I was able to enjoy my book in a quiet environment.

It takes about an hour to do. And it really isn't that bad.

So if you're looking for a service project, or even if you're looking for some money. Donate plasma.

There you go.

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