A couple of days ago the local Draculas at Carter Blood Care called and demanded more blood. Supposedly I have some super great blood type that they always need. At any rate I told them I’d go up and bleed for them.
So I finally got around to going up there yesterday and they talked me into doing a double red cell donation. I figured that way I could get two donations done and only get one hole poked in my arm. It was the weirdest sensation.
They hooked me up to some machine and put a rig on the needle that had two tubes instead of one. The donation started out normally enough, they spent 7 or 8 minutes taking out a unit of blood. Then all of a sudden the blood pressure cuff let up and I felt this weird sensation in my arm. The blood was all gone out of the tube and instead it was clear. They were pumping saline solution (or something like it) into me to make up for the lost blood volume. The saline was at room temperature which was 25 degrees cooler than blood temperature so when it went in my whole arm started feeling cold. It was like the way your stomach feels when you drink a glass of ice water except it was in my arm.
That went on for 7 or 8 minutes and then the cuff tightened up and the machine started sucking blood again. Then after a few minutes it went through another cycle of putting water in. That time I got cold enough that my lips felt tingly. The technician said that some people get cold enough they want to wear a blanket but I didn’t get that cold.
But after that it was over like a regular donation and now I don’t have to go back down there for 16 weeks instead of the usual 8.