I've been trying to donate platelets for a month now. I really like doing it because I get to leave the office for 3 hours, sit in a comfy chair under an electric blanket and watch a movie. Sure I've got big needles sticking out of both elbows that prevent me from bending my arms, but it's worth it.
I've gone up to the blood donor center three times in the past month. The first two times they turned me away because I was sick or had recently been sick. Today I felt fine, and I've felt fine for a couple of days now. My hemoglobin level was nice and high (another reason I've been turned away in the past), I filled out all the paperwork, passed the interview with all the not-applicable but still-embarrasing sex questions, picked out my movie (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and settled into my comfy chair.
But then my veins decided not to cooperate. They stuck my left elbow, couldn't find anything, and had to pull it out. They stuck me in the wrist and got it to work. They couldn't draw blood out for testing purposes (even though the vials are vacuums so that they suck your blood out), but they were able to get the saline solution pumping in. Check. On to my right arm. Stick #1 in my elbow didn't work - the blood started pooling underneath my skin. Stick #2, also in my elbow, got into the vein alright ("I saw the flash!" said the nurse), but nothing came out. Grr. I had just gotten to the part of "O Brother" where they follow everyone to the river and get baptized. It's my favorite song from the soundtrack, so I'm glad I got to hear that!
They wrapped me up like an Easter egg (pink, blue and purple tape on my 3 stick sites), thanked me and apologized and said they hoped to see me back there again soon.
Nope, sorry, because TOMORROW IS MY LAST DAY AT WALTER REED!!!