When I went to drain off a little extra blood for the vampires today, they asked me to do the double-red instead of whole blood. Basically they hook you up to a machine that sucks out your blood, then spits back your plasma, then sucks out more blood, then spits your plasma back to you again. It’s supposed to be the equivalent of donating twice in one sitting.
This was the first time doing it – but they seemed to really want me to do it this way, so I agreed.
First, I sit down for a while. There’s another person hooked up to one of these infernal machines, and they manage to dislodge his needle and send some sort of stream of bloody fluid down his arm. “Get me help! I need gauze!” yells the guy watching him, and a bunch of people in blue scrubs came running over. Not exactly confidence inspiring. “Are you ok sir?” they ask me. At this point, all I have on is a blood pressure cuff, so I guess that I am.
Eventually, they get me hooked up, and it’s all fine. And I wait. And wait. And wait. About about 30 minutes of this, the person who hooked me up to this thing says that I’m done with the first cycle, and he’s going to lunch. I ask several times how many cycles I have, but don’t get an answer. There’s a bit of “I’m going to lunch”, “You can’t go to lunch”, “Well, I’m going”, “Who’s going to watch him? (pointing at me)”, “Somebody else”, and so forth. He departs, and I sit there for a couple minutes wondering if I should just unplug the needle and call it a day.
Then there’s a bit of shouting and discussion among the blood collection people about who has to watch me. Apparently it’s complicated because only one of the half dozen of attending folks can do it, (“nuh uh, I only stick, and I don’t do that anymore”) and she only agrees to do so after everybody else refuses.
Another half hour later and I’m munching cookies and have a new red t-shirt. But I don’t think I’m going back on that machine.