Friday, January 13, 2012

Donation Day

Today was donation day!!

I got to the infusion center at PSL @ 0645, and was greeted with a flurry of medical personnel. First the doc came in to assess that I was indeed healthy and who I said I was. Then the medical techs started priming the machine and my veins. Rhonda and Sarah were absolute sweethearts! Melissa my RN was sweet as pie. They explained every step, walked me through each action, encouraged me, and made me as comfortable as possible.

The 5th injection was given and about 45 minutes later I was starting to get hooked up to the machine. An IV was started in my R arm, where the return line was also hooked up to. Melissa, the RN, gave me a little adavan upon request to help calm me down for the stick in my L arm. Once we were ready, I was stuck with the needle in my L arm that would take my blood from my body, through the filter (centrifuge) and run the blood back into the line via my R arm.

They filtered 22 liters of blood, to produce a half bag of rich blood full of platelets, WBC's, stem cells, mast cells, and all the other components that my recipient needed.

After five hours of keeping my L arm still, the procedure was done and the bag was whisked away, where it hopped on a plane about an hour ago to go somewhere in the US to my recipient. I know only that she is domestic, an adult female with acute leukemia.

Now I'm at home, completely exhausted, sore, my bones still quite achy, a little light-headed from having my body not only go through the procedure but also having my own HCT, platelet and RBC count drop! It was all well worth it :-)

 At 24 I still need my mama!!
 All hooked up to the "circuit" L arm was covered to keep the veins warm
 the machine
 the bag filling up during the 5-hr procedure
me with the bag before it got whisked off to go to the recipient tomorrow morning!! 

You can be the match!! 
Thank you to those at the National Bone Marrow Registry and the staff at the Infusion Center at Presbyterian St. Luke's who were so wonderful, caring, and compassionate during the whole process!! :-)  

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