Elise Brianne Todd
My First Time Donating Plasma
Updated: Dec 12, 2020
This story can basically be summed up in three main points:
Still got paid
Do I have your attention now? Yeah, I thought so. Here's the full story of my first adventure donating plasma...
My sister initially referred me to donate plasma. Since there really wasn't anything else to do, I decided "Why the heck not? It's really needed right now because of the pandemic and I'm not doing anything else useful with my free time." So I made my first appointment.
First of all, I'd like to point out that they called me the day before to explain what I needed to bring with me and ask if I had any questions. They were very kind and professional on the phone... That wasn't really the case when I showed up at the donation center.
I walked in and was greeted at the front desk. I did all of my sign in stuff and questionnaire. I was then taken to the donating floor for a "vein check". I could tell the girl leading me was very new to her job. It was the kind of situation where you're new somewhere so you don't even know your coworker's names, but you have to know who they're talking about when they name another person, but you don't so it's super stressful. I could practically taste her embarrassment. Anyway, she leads me around the floor asking different people if they are free for a vein check, but no one is. Eventually she finds this boy who can. They sit me down and he begins looking at the veins in my arms.
He has curly blonde hair.
He's really cute.
We make some small talk.
He tells me I should try to use the veins in my left arm each time I donate. I say "okay" and then I'm brought to the doctor's office to do my physical.
After my physical and everything is ready to go, I'm lead to the donating floor again to do my actual donation! Coincidently, I'm brought to the section of the boy who did my vein check. As he starts preparing the machine and my arm, he says, "I already used all of my talking points during your vein check!" I say, "Yeah, what are we supposed to talk about now?". He laughs. My heart melts a little.
To be honest, I'm terrible at deciphering whether a boy is flirting with me or if he's just being a decent human being for once, but I like him, so I've decided to fool myself into thinking he WAS flirting, just for the heck of it.
Now for my second point:
I basically live in a perpetual state of dehydration. I THOUGHT I had drunk enough water the day before to do this donation, but alas, what I think is "a lot" is not enough. At all.
He tries sticking the needle into my left arm, but the vein ruptured basically immediately. So he tells me he's going to take it out and try the other arm. He wraps my first elbow in a bandage with ice and preps for the next one. When he sticks the needle into my right arm, he breaks the skin but I can tell he didn't get it into my vein. He calls across the room for a girl who must have been his superior or at least just more experienced than him to come get it in all the way. She comes over and does so successfully. She gets a sample of blood out of my arm, but then explains that my right arm is already bruising pretty bad, so she says, "You're gonna be done for today."
I could tell they were kinda worried but we just kept talking as they got the blood sample and took the needle out of my arm. Then I saw the girl realise that there was blood on the floor near the machine. She went to go get something to clean it up and as she walked back to me she saw that there was not only blood there, but around to the other side of the bed. Simultaneously, I realized that there was blood on my pants. She kept apologizing profusely and started cleaning it all up. The boy went to get a wet paper towel to help me with my pants. He kept apologizing too. As they finished cleaning up, I realised there was also blood on the boy's lab coat!
I was just thoroughly confused because I had no idea where all the blood came from. I still don't really know, but I assume it came from the blood sample. Maybe it wasn't closed properly or something.
Once everything was cleaned up, the boy lead me to a seating area and told me I had to wait 15 minutes there so they could monitor me and make sure I was okay before I left. So I waited there for 15 minutes and as I was cleared to go, I waved to the boy and he smiled and shouted, "See you later!"
Finally, the punchline to my story: when they were cleaning up my blood, the boy turned to me at one point and said, "Well, we got your sample so you'll still get paid!"