yes, it's true. the opportunity of money is currently like sand between my fingers. bills keep coming as the calendar keeps marching on. stupid time. the necessities of life are harder to fulfill. and my dog wants food. so what do i do? what any other slightly insane person might do.... i donated plasma.
yep! i subjected myself to 4 hours of a long line of questions, finger pricks, urine tests, and the reflex hammer. then i let them stick a very large needle in my right arm, take my blood, process it (one cup at a time) and then return my red blood cells happily to their veins for 45 minutes. then they gave me $40. *cha-ching*
teresa and i collected our books, our lease (which is our only proof of address), and identification proving that, yes... this plasma is MINE and i am Kallay A. ****. we cheerfully drive to ABC Plasma and see that the parking lot is something of a sight. not that i am egotistical or have a superiority complex, but i do have to say that if you are ever having a bad day.... go donate plasma. the crowd will make you suddenly optimistic about your situation. i might be poor but i have all my teeth, have access to a full pressure shower head, and while i might feel kind of crazy, i am, in fact, sane in comparison.
we sign in to the long list of NEW DONORS ONLY and carefully choose a seat on the light seafoam green hard plastic chairs. so there we were. sitting. and waiting. and giggling like we're 5. finally my name is called and i am asked for ID, proof of address, and my social security card... now go sit down you minion. teresa is next and provides the same. we walk outside to enjoy a smokey treat and i read her a chapter of my hilarious book. at this point we both have to pee. badly. 40 cups of coffee will generally have this effect so we enter the toilets of doom. upon entering we encounter this....
i proceed next door and leave teresa to the task. i determine that this bathroom is indeed a squatter and try really hard not to let my cheeks touch the seat. and then i giggle, laugh, and full blown guffaw. maybe flushing twice wouldn't have been so bad. reaching for the toilet paper... i discovered this...
mmmm hm. welcome to plasma donation. the sign said "women's bathroom" so one would only assume that... well, you know. i shudder, pull down my skirt, adjust my shirt and walk out of my stall completely grossed the fuck out. i'm supposed to believe that this place is sterile and that my chances of contracting some sort of strange STD are slim to none? yeah, ok. i take one look at the sink and decide that my hands are cleaner now than if i "washed" my hands in it. teresa and i walk to the lobby in a fit of silent laughter and take our seats one again on the dreaded green chairs. we are called up to another counter, asked about our piercings and tattoos and are told to go waste away. an hour later they call me back into an office to take my picture (i didn't smile), poke my finger and take my blood... of course i am freezing so the bleeding continues for the entire time i am in there. they have their a/c set at arctic freeze... probably to test you. someone in back is secretly hoping some of these people will leave due to frostbite.
so remember how i said i peed? in the scary potty with the strange signs? well, i was unaware of the urine test at the time and right about now is when the nurse comes over and tells me to fill this plastic dixie cup half full. i told her i would try my best. so back into the freaky toilet i go and manage a 1/4 cup. she seems pleased so i don't stress and continue on my donation journey. a 1/4 of a clock later i am sitting in a room being asked a barrage of questions... have i had sex with a male who has had sex with another male since 1977? (no, at least i hope not! i don't typically try to sleep with gay men.. just saying) have i had sex with anyone that has traveled to or lived in BFE, east jesus nowhere, and/or ghana? (hm... nope!) have i ever injected an illegal drug? have i ever colored with a hunter green crayon? have i slept with anyone who has colored with a hunter green crayon? do i like long walks on the beach? what's my sign? i'm starting to feel like i might not be donating blood but perhaps applying for a position in the porn industry. no lady, i don't have AIDS or any other VD of any kind. i am healthy and happy and able oh my. she takes out a flashcard presentation on a giant spiral and begins to read to me. what is plasma.... what is it used for? don't smoke for 30 minutes after your donation. (eff word!) you might wanna barf halfway through your donation and or feel faint. good thing i'm laying down! air in your bloodstream is bad in large quantities... bad, very bad. (this is an important sentence to keep in mind for later) do i understand? do i still want to donate my plasma? yes and yes, thankyouverymuch.
and off we go to the room with trash bags on the windows. i assume it's for privacy but it feels a little like there might be fluids flying since it's plastic and not paper. woo. scary. so she hits my knee, looks in my ears and my eyes, listens to me breath (wheeze lol j/k), listens to my heart thump thump thumping away, pushes on my liver and my gallbladder, and we live happily ever after. time to donate some plasma y'all!!!
i am led into a room full of strange people, teresa isn't here yet and i am beginning to think that she didn't pass the iron test since the girl doesn't eat a ton of meat and we're too poor for salad. :) don't be jealous.... eat your damn veggies. everywhere i go i have a purple sign attached to my chart that says NEW DONOR! they even hang a cute little sign on my anticoagulant pouch that says WELCOME NEW DONOR! i'm surprised my needle didn't say... FOR NEW DONORS ONLY! i'd be ok with not announcing this fact as it seems that everyone else is a donation veteran. so the nice nurse hooks me up to my giant needle and 7 bags of something or other and my donation begins. did you know that plasma is yellow? 1/4 of the way through and teresa enters donation land. she begins her donation and i am happily giggling to myself that she has a NEW DONOR sign also. tee hee and in true teresa and kallay style... we entertain the room. our side of the room is laughing and happily donating their plasma. the lady next to teresa donates 1/4 bottle of green plasma and starts to drink sprite. not sure what the hell was going on there, but she sure was grumpy. guess she doesn't get her $40 today. better luck next time cruella.
t and i are happily chatting away about food and dane cook when all of a sudden i start beeping. LOUD! BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEPY BEEEP BEEEPER BEEEEEP i'm alarmed. no, i'm scared shitless. i lean up on my chair as far as i can without showing my no no place (note to self: do not wear a skirt to donate plasma) and look at my screen and yeah... there's air in my line. oh fuck i'm gonna die!!! so i start harrassing the boy nurse patrick. "patrick!!!! i'm beeping!!!! hello patrick!!!??? what do i do??" as i consider ripping out my line the machine stops beeping and clams down to a quiet buzzing noise but all donation has been halted. patrick saunters over and says that the machine automatically shuts down if there is air in the line and removes the air. well thank the lord. and donation begins again with patrick happily pushing my button.
whew. dodged a bullet. who's afraid of air anyway? (ME!)
all of a sudden... i'm done. donation complete. i'm unhooked from the tubes and am told to hold about 50 gauze pads on my teeny hole. so i do. but then everyone starts giving advice. these fucking donation vets. know it alls. don't bend my arm. raise it above my head. walk around like a window licker. no no no!!! i will just fold a gauze pad in a little square, throw my band aid on and collect my $40. or not. patrick informs me that i may only wear the band aid out of the center. i cannot pass go or collect my $40 until the bleeding stops. i explain to patrick that it is freezing cold and therefore i could very well bleed to death if i continue to sit in this freezing cold room. my teeth are chattering you shit dumb. afraid of the plasma police. i obey and wait for my hole to clot. a few minutes later i am bandaided and ready for my payday.
this turns out to be the easiest part of the process! i'm given a piece of paper. told to go to the ATM, type in my 4 # password, enter my birth date and BOOM baby... here comes $40... in cash. real money! YAAAY! off to the car to wait for teresa. and 30 minutes later i am happily smoking away with an iodine stain and a band aid on my arm.
then we came home to this...
the little assholes. i love my dog but he gets mad at me sometimes. after 4 hours of crazy people, needles, and getting hit in the knee... i didn't want to clean up trash that i had already thrown away. what a couple of meanies.
they say the next time we donate it won't take as long... we'll see. no guarantees regarding the dog trash attack though.