Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Moments of Achievement

Today was round two of me vs platelet donation. This round went to me.

First, this business of hydrating heavily for three days before a platelet donation does seem to help the blood vessels. It is less kindly to the bladder of someone my age. When giving platelets, one is skewered in place by each arm. When the bladder fills before the process is done, there's no choice but to hold it. I was flanked by male donors more or less my age, who made it through: I took that as a sign. Having plenty of time to reflect, it did seem I might have overdone the hydration. One should have the balance right next time.

I discovered that it's possible to move and shift one's arms a little in this. This relieved some guilt from the first failed effort, when I was sure I'd screwed things up by moving an arm. As it happened, I had to move the pumping arm quite a lot to keep the pump primed. Once I realised I could see, and interpret, the screen, I got up a pretty good bit of biofeedback keeping the flow rate within acceptable limits. Now that required a fair amount of arm moving.

At any rate, it worked, and I'll be back next month. It's worth doing. A pint of whole blood can provide platelets for three people, and one can give it only once every 56 days. The platelet product of one such session can help up to 18 people. And there's still just one source for these blood products: other people.



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