I did. I'm A- and CMV (cytomegalovirus) negative as well, which makes me kind of popular.
Unfortunately, I've got some crap veins. So blood donation is a crap shoot. For every successful pint donated, I've had another attempt that failed miserably:
- Throwing up at the blood donor site is always a treat. You get handed a plastic kidney shaped tray AS your feet are being whipped up over your head -- usually because several phlebotomists have converged on the scene. At first I thought they were concerned, but after the third time, I realized it was just to use their bodies to hide me from the other well-behaved donors.
- Ice packs on the back of the neck can head off nausea. However, these newfangled chemical packs have to be shaken to start the cold reaction. On one occasion, an overzealous phlebotomist shook the bag violently and it exploded, raining down globs of chemical gel on her, me, the needle in my arm. I had to laugh as the swarm of attendants picked it out of my hair. It did have a quite cooling effect.
- Double arm sticks are common. Miss the vein in the left (try a few times though, just to be sure!) and move to the right, only to have the vein run so slowly that clotting occurs at the half pint mark.
But today was something completely new and unexpected. The needle went in smoothly and with a minimum of rearranging, I was off to the races. Hurrah! A good donation day! Confident that all was well, ice pack applied to back of neck, I sent my phlebotomist off to obtain the golden nectar. [In the blood donor world, my golden nectar is not beer, but Blue Bird orange juice in the mini cans. Donald Duck is my preferred label, but I'll happily suck back the Blue Bird too. In case you wondered.]
And then I felt something dripping down my arm. So I did the sensible thing and looked up at the ceiling wondering where the leak was. No leak. No rain, in fact, a gorgeous sunny day. So I looked at my arm and a trail of blood is rolling down my arm. Not slowly dripping out from under the 'modesty' gauze, this blood was coursing firmly. That can't be good, eh?
So I flagged down my phlebotomist (delaying my Blue Bird fix for several minutes, much to my annoyance) and she came over and stared at my arm in disbelief. She pulled off the modesty gauze [not a technical term] and we both watched the blood flow into the tube and out the hole around the needle. "Maybe you better stop squeezing, " she said. I did and the blood flow didn't alter. So she kept mopping me up as the pint filled.
On the plus side, I got the pint out in 6 minutes flat -- a personal record. I also got called a special case by the phlebotomist. She refrained from air quotes, but I'm pretty certain she'll be on break when I show up for my next donation.
On the plus, plus, plus side and the whole reason I donate: Some person who needs blood will get it. Possibly a completely cool bald chick currently kicking leukemia's ass.
PLEASE DONATE. http://www.vablood.org/ if you live in Richmond. http://www.givelife.org/ for you non-southerners. While I have had a ton of interesting donations events, I can honestly say that the process is virtually pain free for me. So don't be a wussy about one lousy needle. You get quality OJ and Fig Newtons when you are done. And they let you eat and drink as much as you want.
Tell all your single friends, let it flow, let it flow, let it flow!