Hello again all!
Well, I have been absent for quite some time. No, I haven’t given up on this blog, if some of you were wondering. No, the reason I was gone is as follows (As I write this I am not sure how squeamish you are but if you dislike needles, tread carefully…):
College. A time of higher learning and to find out what life has in store. A time when we meet those that will affect the rest of our lives. We strive to achieve blah, blah, blah. NOW, enough with that bs, we all know what it’s about. Trying to get a degree to “better ourselves” so we can live a decent life. I am one of many who really has gone broke during this summer! I am so excited about being back in school just for the refund that I am almost giddy. I am broke, I mean, i think it is kinda funny but sad a bit as well. I am actually laughing as I write this. I remember the other day I was eating Top Ramen and thinking, “How many days in a row is this now?”
I try to eat healthy but it’s hard on like a 25 dollar a week budget for groceries. So, this leads into the next situation. Why can’t I get a job? Well, i tried. A lot. I worked at a newspaper then when I came to college I was able to focus solely on school because I didn’t need a job. Well, that has bitten me in the butt harder than a bear defending its territory. I am qualified for career jobs but (completely true) am unable to get a job as a tray runner. If you don’t know what that means it is the job where at the hospital you are responsible for taking trays of food to people. The hardest part is not getting burned. Needless to say I found myself in a bit of a spot.
(Now the fun stuff)
A friend told me an easy and quick way to make 50 bucks was to sell plasma. It’s used for vaccines and medications and such and I figured “Why the hell not? I mean it’s just coursing through me anyway”. I wish I could say there more altruistic things in my motives but I was thinking how much gas and food I could get with it!
I get there and well, I guess I never really thought about the clientele that went there but I was thinking it would be normal people. FALSE. While there for the complete 4 hours prior to actually having the massive gauge needle inserted into my body, I met people who were drunk, angry, homeless sometimes but all having an exhibiting erratic behavior. I am a big guy; I feel as if I can handle myself yet I hid in the corner of the waiting room for hours. I ate a protein bar and drank a huge liter of water because I they kept saying it is easier if you have hydrated and eaten well prior to. Then I finally got called back for my physical. Mainly they were doing a medical history and body check for needle marks. I will admit I talked up the nurse who was there. She was older and very funny and smart. The only redeemable part of this story….well second redeemable.
So! I FINALLY get in there and I lay down on the table. I knew it was going to be a piece of cake because X-men: First Class was on, a favorite of mine. Then I see a nurse walking up to me. She is closely followed by a man with a clipboard who is watching her every move as she prepares to stick me. I immediately have flashes of “oh god, run now!” but I thought, “no,no, we need the fifty bucks.”
She has trouble finding the vein, although the nice nurse did not. She seems new, asking some questions about the machine. She gets everything set up for me and finally shoves the large needle into my left arm that was about the circumference of a q-tip. It burns like fire and blood shoots up the tubing and into the machine. Ah yes, the infernal machine.
This is how it works: It drains your blood and spins all of the plasma from the amount taken and then it gives you back the red blood cells minus the plasma. So you are not too dehydrated, they give you saline solution but usually not as much as was taken out of your body. OK, BACK TO THE STORY.
I’m in the chair, blood pouring out of me. Then I feel an extreme burning sensation as the machine kicks back, pushing my blood back into me. At first it is annoying then unbearable and I grimace. The nurse walks over and asks how I am. i politely say that my f***ing arm is on fire and she feels for the needle and immediately shuts the machine off. She feels the spot on my bicep that has gotten huge. Another nurse comes to check and says, “Oh yeah, hematoma for sure. ” I had this once after a car accident. It’s basically a deep tissue bruise where blood is trapped in the tissue. I know immediately she damaged my vein. I think, man, I need to get outta here, and start to get up when she tells me to lay back down. She sticks me in my other arm, this time it is literally in the muscle and it burns worse than the other one. A large bump begins to rise on my arm and I wince.
“Yep, you’re done,” she says to me and I start to get up.
I am extremely woozy and feel kind of drunk. She tells me that it took out about 450 some units of blood or half of what was to be taken and also nothing was put in. I was drained of a massive amount of blood, Vampire style.
She tells me that my veins may be damaged and how it was my body rejecting it and I knew it was bogus. I am a semi-smart person. I get that you are new and had no idea what you were doing. Plus, I heard the guy say to a nurse that he was worried about MY nurse! Ah!
After she tells me about my sh***y veins I put my sunglasses on and yell, “This is an exit only body!”
I get my ticket and take my number up to the machine which I need help at figuring out for two reasons:
1. I had ice packs held on by ace bandages on the bends of my arms making movement a bit hard.
2. I felt drunk from blood loss (blood drunk?)
The nice man who had watched the whole thing go down and new I had a bad nurse came and helped me get my fifty bucks and apologized for what happened to me.
“Hey,” he said,” at least you get paid fifty bucks.” Then he handed me a gatorade.
I struggled to open it and took a massive gulp. I looked at the money and then at the Gatorade and said, “Nope, I don’t do it for the money. i do it for the free gatorade and ice packs. Excuse me, this is warm.” and I put the gatorade in the crook of my arm where the ice pack was to cool it off.
I stumbled out, their howling laughter following me and I thought, this was worth it. Get gas, get food, GOOD FOOD! Then I spent it on alcohol that weekend.
So, I have been recovering from that little injury. Just now able to to fully extend my arms. Hope you enjoyed my painful story!
P.S.-Here is a little visual aide. Just took this. It looks way better now. Imagine how it used to look: