It’s been a while since I gave blood. Thanksgiving weekend to be precise. I was going to give in January, but then, well, Covid.
I am O Negative, the universal donor. I am also CMV Negative. CMV is a bacterium that is harmless in adults, but it can kill infants. So, my blood can be given to infants. This is why I usually give whole blood. But the last time I gave blood, they told me I had rare antigens in my blood and asked me to consider giving Double Red.
The picture above is of me on an aphesis machine. Double Red means they take out twice as many red blood cells, but give you back most of your plasma. Their website says it takes about an hour and a half. From start to finish, that was pretty accurate.
The actual time of the donation was about 35 to 40 minutes. The machine goes through two phases. First, it takes your blood like a regular donation, then it returns your plasma. The machine was on my left and I was donating from my right arm. The tubing was across my chest, so when it was taking my blood, I could see the tube fill with red. When my plasma was returned, the tube was clear.
When my plasma returns, it’s no longer body temperature, it’s just a few degrees cooler. I could feel the cold enter my arm, and a little while later, go up my neck. When it gets a little freaky is when it does it again on its second phase. When your plasma is returned the second time, they also give you saline to make sure you’re not dehydrated. This saline is room temperature, so when it enters your body, it feels really cold. It made me feel cold all over and I started shivering. But a few moments later, the machine rang and my donation was over.
The saline really works to keep you hydrated. As soon as I got out of the chair, I had to use the bathroom. And as soon as I left the cantina, I had to go again. The water and juice I drank probably didn’t help, either.
There is a shortage of blood right now, and only three percent of the population donate regularity. There are different types of blood donations, whole blood being the most common. You can read about them here: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/types-of-blood-donations.html I started donating when my father needed emergency surgery for a bleeding ulcer. I then became a regular doner, and through my Star Trek fan club, started hosting blood drives at conventions.
If you are interested in donating, you can go to the American Red Cross Give Blood page and find a drive and the requirements. https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html
They now test all donations for Covid antibodies. Maybe my blood will be extra special.
Dennis Amador Cherry
106th blog completed.
First Steampunk novel: 72,191 words.
First Steampunk screenplay: Need to update with notes from the novelization.
Second Steampunk screenplay: 174 pages.
Second Steampunk novel: 0 words.
Third Steampunk screenplay: 38 pages.
After my donation, I went to McDonald’s to treat myself to a Shamrock Shake. You know, to keep my fluids up.