Friday, August 6, 2010

Am I a Masochist?

I kind of enjoy donating blood and having my blood drawn.  Is that weird?  I guess I sort of have a thing for needles.
I don't enjoy the brief sting of getting poked by them, but I do think it's funny to watch them shove this giant needle in my arm, and then see this thing sticking out from my skin.
I am always amazed at how easily those gigantic needles slide right into the vein.
As long as I get a good phlebotomist it is a pretty interesting experience.  I have had experiences with bad phlebotomists, and let me tell you...those were awful!  I will spare you the details of my bad experiences, but luckily I haven't had too many of those.  Most phlebotomists are very good.

Another thing I like about donating blood is all the compliments and positive affirmations I receive.  I have type O negative blood, which means that I am the universal donor.  That means that they are always happy to see me whenever I come to donate.
Also, I always get compliments on my veins.  I have very good veins, and I have a particularly good blood letting vein in my left arm.  The phlebotomists always notice and tell me about how good my veins are.
I also sometimes get fun compliments about my low resting heart-rate, or low blood pressure.  Compliments are fun!  I always feel good about myself after giving blood. :)

 My favorite part of the whole thing though is when they open the pinch-valve and you get to see the blood rushing out through the tube.  I also kind of like at the end when they fill up all the different vials for testing.  You get to see a ton of blood just squirting into each little tube!  It's cool how fast those things fill up, and know that it's all squirting out of your body!

I also enjoy prepping myself for an efficient donation time.  I drink a lot of water anyway, but I usually drink way more the day before I donate, and the day of, so that I can bleed out as quickly as possible.  It's kind of like a fun little competition with myself.

I went and donated blood on Wednesday.  My time was 5:22.  Not too bad.  They used a 16 gauge needle, which I'm told is pretty much the biggest needle they use for this sort of thing.

The phlebotomist who helped me was really cool too!  She got a kick out of how much I liked the whole process.  We had some pleasant chit-chat for the ten or so minutes I was in the chair, during which time she accused me of being a masochist.  At one point a doctor person came to see how I was doing; before I could even respond she said, "Don't worry, we've already established that he likes needles."  It was funny.

Here I am sitting in the comfy chair squirting blood out of my arm through that little tube. :)
Notice something weird about this photo?  It's actually two separate cell-phone pictures that I spliced together.  It's sort of a cool little panoramic effect.

My least favorite part of the whole thing is when they have to rip the tap off your arm.  Pulling out arm hair hurts way worse then getting a giant needle shoved in your arm!  Especially if you happen to have really hairy arms like I do.  Despite that, it's all a lot of fun.  Getting juice and cookies afterwards is pretty cool too.  :)


Emmy said...

murrr...Robby, not gonna lie...I HATE needles soooo much, and honestly, I was cringing during this entire post! But, still...good for you and kudos for donating blood! It's an amazing gift that you're giving to someone else! I have to say that I admire you for that!

Chess said...

Ewwwww! I am NOT reading this. I saw "needles" and I skipped right to the end. I HATE needles. HATE them. But, I do not mind giving blood. Now. I was freaking out the first time, and almost cried. Now I can stand it. I just don't want to read about it, or imagine it, or look at pictures of needles.

Robin said...

Gross and weird! :)

Erica said...

... I never noticed you have hairy arms.