Friday, October 23, 2009

The Dangers of Donating Plasma #19

Lately people have been asking me:

1) What is the bump on your arm after you donate plasma?
ANSWER: Don't worry about it. It just means your lab coat person messed up, and punctured your vein and you're bleeding internally... NO BIG DEAL! (it sounds bad, but really, don't worry about it.) In the following real life story you'll learn of MY experience with having the bump on my arm, so you'll know what to expect.

So I went to sell my sweet sweet plasma the other day… I don’t know WHAT it is… but those doctors just drink that stuff up…

To start the process, they pulled me into a little tiny room that could barely fit 2 people, and just eyed my luscious veins down, feeling it with his gloved hand. I’m not sure at ALL if this dude actually knows what he’s doing, but the white lab coat definitely gets my respect.

This guy could be just another shmo off the street, he looks about my age, but when he’s wearing the jacket… My life is in his hands… I don’t know what strenuous process he had to go thru to get to lab coat rank, but I’m pretty sure that anyone could get to lab coat status by the results of what happened to me… who is HE to judge my veins, when he walks imperfectly?

If any of you don’t know what donating plasma is, it’s kind of like prostitution… you sell part of your body for money. They suck your blood, take the plasma out, and then give it back to you for a price…

This idea intrigued me, partly because of the money, but mostly because of the name. PLASMA! That definitely seems like something you don’t want to miss. Sounds like something from a sci fi movie. Til now, I figured plasma was some radioactive orange goo that they extract out of my body for purposes of fueling a top secret government spaceship that would fly to Jupiter, but it turns out it just looks like apple cider. Someone must just really like the taste or something…

Now if you’re a first time pusher of plasma, they make you go thru this long difficult process of walking in little rooms, answering questions and getting tests done until FINALLY you get to the physical.

Physicals always scare me, cuz I never know what to expect…

“so… are you going to do the whole drop your pants thing or not… Just tell me now, so we can get the awkwardness out of the way…”

I definitely think that these doctors need better senses of humor. During my plasma physical, he got me all laid out on the mini bed, and told me to lift my shirt. And I was half way thru saying, “… I don’t think I should be lifting my shirt for another guy in this part of town,” when he started feeling my bare stomach.  I was just staring into his eyes.  His head was bent over, getting pretty close to mine… it all seemed too romantic for me… so… I LAUGHED! And he abruptly stopped feeling me, and said in a dry tone, 


“I sense that you’re a bit ticklish?” 

 
AWW common! That’s all you’ve got? You’re pressing into my stomach! We both know that it’s awkward, so… you can laugh too! I give you permission! Let’s just rejoice together, and I’ll even share with you those crackers you gave me at the beginning…

Anyway…

To conclude my story:
I got into the plasma room. It looked like a wounded soldier clinic or something. There’s just a bunch of guys laid out on these beds, next to these radio looking machines, squeezing this ball. So they hook me up… and I’m thinking… "OW!"


I tell the lab coat girl… “OW!” And she’s like, “OW?” so she tries moving the needle around to get rid of the ow… and she stops, and does that undercover code language whisper thing that doctors and nurses do… and some other nurse shows up, and unhooks me… then they do some more hush hush talk, and I get a DUDE finally. 


He must be pretty high up on the lab coat rank, and he does some voodoo vein check on my right arm, and stabs me there, and this one wasn’t as “OW” and the blood starts pumping. But they try pumping it back to see if it’ll go in, and I get this gnarly looking goo bump where the needle is… but all the lab coat folk acted like this was perfectly normal.  I asked,  “is that normal…” And he promptly said, "NO!"

How can he be so CALM I’m DYING!!! SAVE ME!
So they unhook me, and still don’t tell me anything, then give me 20 bucks and told me to leave…

And while I was walking out, I was thinking, huh… I just went in, waited a couple hours, and got paid for getting hurt! Next time, I should just request the baseball bat to the head to save time. Don’t worry about the needle thing… just injure me right here and now! They should just have a bunch of bats at the receptionists desk, so I don’t even have to get past there… walk in, get injured, take my money and leave… seems a LOT more efficient…

I’ve attached pictures of what my arm looked like

Initial bump that formed after I took off the bandage

The BUMP (My bicep isn't supposed to be that big...)

2 days after

5 days later (it's a lot darker in person)

32 comments:

Logan J said...

physicals aren't fun.... but after you've had 2 hernias you get kind of used to random men in white coats feeling you up... i'm pretty sure i've had that done on 7 different occasions... but only 5 different doctors.... gross...

JBUDD NEWS said...

5 guys? wow. at least some of them are starting to get familiar with the works.

Andrew Gerald Hales said...

I tried to donate plasma but they didn't let me cuz I supposedly my brain and head were too sensitive because I got in a car accident the summer before. So it sucks I couldn't get paid. Either way, this made me laugh. good job.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you're going on about. It is very normal that every once and a while the needle breaks through a vein (it's called an infiltration and usually happens when you move your arm with a needle in it). The reason the guy wasn't freaking out is because it is NOT a serious problem. You have a bruise and some swelling for a while--then it goes away. I just had this happen to me about a week ago, and I am perfectly fine and have given plasma twice since. What happened to you really is not a big deal.

JBUDD NEWS said...

So you're saying I'm going to live? whew, that's a good way to start the day. CANCEL THE HEARSE!

Anonymous said...

TALECRIS CARES NOTHING ABOUT THE DONOR---THEY JUST WANT YOUR PLASMA

Anonymous said...

TALECRIS TELLS DONORS TO EAT 2 HRS BEFORE DONATING, BUT THEY MAKE YOU WAIT AS LONG AS 6-8 BEFORE THEY SEE YOU

JBUDD NEWS said...
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Anonymous said...

At least they gave you a 20, they did this to me twice: one on each arm. and then sent me away with 5 bucks! Bastards

JBUDD NEWS said...
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connally said...

donating plasma sucks. but more money cannot be argued with.
had three of those painful incidents with the jupiter-sized bruises after. very uncool. but unfortunately not worth never going back...that's my do-whatever-i-want-with not-for-bills cash.

JBUDD NEWS said...

Yeah, I'm to scared to go back now. You're a brave soul. Thanks for following.

Sandy said...

Wow! That looks painful. Man, if I had had that sort of experience, I probably would've run crying like a small child from the room. I will remember to only donate for free and not get paid for it because otherwise it will hurt. Haha.

Epi said...

Crap now I don't want to go in and do this if I'm just going to get stabbed and possibly not get paid.

Time is money.

Anonymous said...

I've donated many times and have never had a bad experience. It sounds like yours was a bad sticking but sometimes it's that the donor isn't hydrated enough... and from what I understand females are twice as hydrated because we tend to retain water. Also, fat in the blood makes it thick and difficult to return. When I was there today there were about 4 people around me who were having malfunctions.... which was a first for me to witness. The good news is that when things are working and the blood is replaced it is replaced with hydration (and that little bag of saline can really make you feel cold!) so I've never felt dehydrated after whatsoever. In fact I've gone IN with a headache sometimes and come out without one. The reason I am researching here tonight is that if it takes 48 hours to replace, and you give 2x a week, how bad is it for the body to be low on plasma for 4 out of 7 days of the week?? Everything I have found tonight says it's actually very safe. I am so sorry for your poor experience! That does look very painful!

tanda1133 said...

Oh my God I feel your pain I just tried to donate today but had the same thing happen. Went through the rest of the day sore and here when it's wwwaaayyyy past my bedtime I am currently searching online to make sure I won't die in my sleep for this. Thank god I found these post maybe I can sleep now

Anonymous said...

I had the same thing happen to me and your right they hire anyone off the streets Ill be sure to request a vetran next time fuck that my arm is killing me!

Anonymous said...

I have given numerous times with no problem until last week at the end of the last cycle my vein blew and is now infected with thrombitis. The center said too bad and now I have medical bills. Not worth it

JBUDD NEWS said...

Your vein BLEW! That sounds horrific.

Felix Taylor said...

I've had that experience. I donated for almost 6 months and never had problems with this. Then one day it just happened. I sorta freaked out.)) And then they tried to restuck my other arm and moved needle around quite a bit, 'cuz they couldn't find it. I was espesially reasured when my nurse person made a cross over herself before sticking my other arm. I'm sure they could hear my scream "Oh for the love of God" from the reseptionist office. I love your idea with the bat. I would definetely go with it.) Cool story, by the way. Very well written. Made me smile.))

Nickole Pugh said...

The same thing happened to me today! I tried to be cool about it and let them stick the other arm and damn it the same thing happened again! I was about to start yelling at people. They pumped my blood out into my right arm and then when it happened to my left arm they told me I needed the saline pumped in before I left and pumped it outside of my vein into my left arm. Right arm is hurting pretty bad and my left is freezing cold. This was my second time and my last. Still got paid but that was a good thing. I'm a pretty level headed person but the pure lack of care and empathy these people showed after messing me up had me to the point I wanted to throw things and act really stupid.

Nickole Pugh said...
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Nickole Pugh said...

Oh and further more people are saying it can happen if you move but that so wasn't the case. I was completely still other then the normal hand pumping your supposed to do. Pure and simple they messed up and the lady that did it even admitted it before I left.

Jessica Showalter said...

I was donating plasma when my blood preasure bottomed out and my pulse dropped to 20..it was fucked up.

Jessica Showalter said...

I was donating plasma when my blood preasure bottomed out and my pulse dropped to 20..it was fucked up.

Anonymous said...

I had the same thing happened in my right arm on my first time donating and the next time I went in to donate they said I couldn't donate "that would've been nice to know when they did it I couldn't donate until the bruise was gone." they need to give you a pamphlet or something of when you can't donate and why. otherwise it's not that bad. I find it kind of amusing cuz you see some interesting people in there. you have the high class people , the casual people, hardasses and those people you think "are they on drugs." 1 guy I ran into was very nice and talkative then I got noticing how much he was moving it wasn't normal moving it was fast like twitching, and he was scratching his self all over. I swear he was tweaking or something. he couldn't hold still for one second and talking a hundred miles an hour.

Anonymous said...

Jessica same thing happens to me, every single time. I'm doing fine, doing fine, utoh.... tingling loss of vision and I'm out. They wake me up, put me on a return make me wait until my blood pressure goes back up to over 100/60. I get my cash and go home. It's gotten to the point they kind of know me and know I'm going out. My doc said no biggy so long as I'm not going to fall out of my chair and hit my head. She said it's from over active vagus nerve.

Anonymous said...

My arm hurt bad....what to do besides going to the er at the moment....

Anonymous said...

My arm hurt bad....what to do besides going to the er at the moment....

J Budd said...

I'm not going to attempt to give medical advice. Good luck tho.

Anonymous said...

I go to CSL plasma donation center. I have been going pretty steady. Then one day I had my first Infiltrate. I knew something was wrong from the start. When they went to stick my left arm, they infiltrate that one too. My left arm hurt so freakin bad. I still got my donation money. But they "56" me. which they say means I can't come back for 56 days, they said because I did not get all my red blood cells back. I just want to say it may not be a huge deal, but the pain was awful.....

Anonymous said...

It's crazy that some people can think "oh it's not a big deal" that a medical procedure is so commonly screwed up. Did you know that with the wrong gauge needle (which is a commonly made mistake) intrusion can lead to severed veins. Internal bleeding is the farthest it can be from not a big deal. On top of that the donation center makes approx $800 per donation that you make so as a buisness you can't beat hireing rift raft to put in needless in arm's for $800 a go around. The procedure, if done in a healthy way to the donor, should have one a small miniscule amount of pain associated with just the needle prick. If it is more than that then you were a lab rat for practice by that guy who couldn't keep his job at Taco Bell... They offer money to those who desperately need it to subject you to possible medical damage. Be wary when donating for money, if you have a good experience make sure you use the same person every time, there are good employees at these places like everywhere, unfortunately they are overcrowded with ones not so great. Too bad you signed a waiver stating you can't charge them for your hospital bills if you need to seek help from a true professional... They make $1 per ml of plasma donated... It hurts knowing you make less than a penny of that...

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