Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nothing That I Would Not Try

Here is a nest in the top of my lilac bushes.

So, I did something weird tonight....I donated plasma for the first time. As most of you know, I bought a house in November and my mortgage payments are a couple hundred dollars more than my rent was. Then, of course, a month later I found out that we had to take mandatory unpaid days off. Great. All of that left me with very little wiggle room financially. I thought about getting a second job, but then I wouldn't be available to see my girls play sports or perform in anything and I'd probably lose most of my weekends. I decided to check out giving plasma instead. It won't give me a ton more money, and I may not be able to do it every week, but it gives me so much more schedule freedom, and basically I'll get paid to read for an hour.

I originally started the process a month ago, but had a little snag because I have a very slight congenital heart murmur. Doctors can usually only hear it if I alert them to it. When I was 19 and it was first diagnosed, the doctor told me that if I'd been running since I was 10 and never had a problem, not to even worry about it. The plasma people made me go to my doctor, so she could check it out again and give me the okay. Anyway, it was all fine.

A lot of the students who work in my office have given plasma, so they were telling me all the ins and outs of it. They all said that my life would be much easier if I drank lots of water. Because I'm me and I want to make sure I do a thing well, I came in there about as hydrated as a person can be. The only problem with that, is that all that water can affect your crit count. You have to have a certain amount of iron and protein in your blood before they'll allow you to donate. My iron levels were okay, but barely.

The nurse who had to do my health history scored big points with me at first, by saying, "Oh, they must have your birth date wrong." I asked her what they had down and I told her that was correct. Then she said, "Holy cow! I seriously thought you were in your twenties." I thought she might be my new best friend, until we got to the part where she had to feel my stomach for whatever reason and she asked accusingly, "Why are you so skinny?" Huh? For one thing I don't think I'm all that skinny, and for another, how rude. I bet she wouldn't have asked anyone why they were so fat. Anyway, I guess I'll just have to call it a draw and I won't ask her to go have a beer with me after all.

So, since I was so hydrated and my weight put me in the lowest category (which still doesn't mean I'm too skinny) I only had to give the least amount of plasma, and it just took me 33 minutes to donate. The tech people were pretty impressed. I do feel a little weak afterward. Some of it might be that I haven't been sleeping the best this week, but I'm sure it takes something out of a person to have their fluids drained, farmed and given back to them. I'm supposed to go again on Friday, so I'll see how I feel after that.

15 comments:

.j.william. said...

hmm....sounds better than my plan to sign up for UM medical studies! Take a new anti-depressant for a month for $300....maybe no. But maybe.

rel said...

Churlita,
We do what we have to to get by.
rel

Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

We don't have that here with donating blood or plasma.. we get no money for it.. so you are lucky that you are able to dod that.. hope it all goes well and rest up for the next time..

AlienCG said...

I was a blood donor in the past, but that was always voluntary. I should really get back to it since there are people who might need a pint of A+.

Brando said...

Glad you can get paid for donating. And, really, when will people learn that commenting on anyone's weight is generally a bad idea?

Pamela said...

You get paid to do that?? Interesting. Another way to make money is doing psych experiments with psych students at the university. I got money in college doing that. You could likely do it on your lunch hour.

Tara said...

How do you donate plasma, is it the same process for giving blood? No matter how many snacks and juice they give me after I've given blood, it still gets to me and I have to chill out with a towel on my forehead.

Mnmom said...

A very scary society when we have to volunteer our bodies for science experiments to make ends meet.

I tried giving plasma at the U when I was in school. They had so much trouble finding a good vein, and getting any amt of blood out, that they told me never to come back and never to try to give blood. And that was going to be my beef money!

Mnmom said...

I mean BEER money

laura b. said...

Harrassing people about their weight it just not cool. But it is very cool to get paid for doing something that is going to be so useful to people.
Sounds like it has advantages over a few other money making schemes that come to mind.

SkylersDad said...

My wife is VERY athletic, and gets called skinny or too small all the time. Usually by people who could stand to lose a pound or 80...

booda baby said...

What a good way to make some cash! (And writing stories, that'd work, too. Have you ever considered teen books? You have so many memories - oh, and those teenagers.)

It's too bad you can't give sperm. I lived with 7 guys (oh yah, in a snit, I moved out of my very cool apartment so my newly ex-boyfriend wouldn't know where I lived. He still laughs at the strategy to this day. :\ ) ANYWAY, they all made the rent by making donations. Maybe you could be an agent for sperm donors. That'd be fun. Ish. Maybe not. Maybe it only sounds like fun on paper.

thisnewplace said...

wow!!!! (I dont know what else to say) But WOW!

Dexter said...

I donate blood regularly but have been too chicken to try plasma. But times are tough. DO you get a bonus for referrals?

Johnny Yen said...

I don't think she meant to be rude. We have to ask all kinds of uncomfortable questions. When I went to the my doctor last year for what turned out to be asthma, she asked me all kinds of questions-- do I have a gun in the house? How much and how often do I drink? Do I ever get depressed? As a student nurse, I've had to ask questions about peoples' diets, how much they drink, their bowel movements-- it just comes with the territory.

And I'm with you on being mistaken for much younger-- I'm not one to turn away a compliment!