Saturday, March 3, 2007

It's Like A Purple Sausage!

Please note the following blog is rated "G": for Gross that is!

So I was selling my plasma at Biolife the other day. I do this about twice a week, it's good money for sitting around with a needle in your arm and reading a book! Anyway for those of you that do not know how this works, they stick a needle in you vein and suck a pint or so of blood out. Then in a machine, the blood is spun and all the plasma being lighter, is forced out of the blood. After this the remaining blood (the red cells) are pumped back into your arm. See my wonderful art to the left for a cross section view of this process. Please note the position of the needle. So they do this about 10-12 times and then they have about 800 ml of your plasma and you have $30. Its a pretty sweet deal for poor folks like me. Well Friday morning, I was just about done with my appointment (maybe 80 ml short) when I started to get uncomfortable. I try adjusting myself and I accidentally jog my left arm forwards. Oops! The needle punctures through the back side of my vein and since I am in the phase where they return the plasma-less blood back into my body, my bicep starts quickly filling with blood. See example #2, to the right, again noting the new position of the needle.

So now about a pint of blood is being injected into the inside of my arm and I really have no idea since I can't feel anything and the needle generally does not hurt. Very quickly my arm starts to swell up like a sausage as noted in the drawing as well. Now, I'm noticing for certain. I call over to the nurse and she stops the machine and pulls the needle. Immediately, I start to get pale and dizzy. The doc comes over and takes a look at it but because she can't see the swelling compared to my other, clothed arm thinks nothing is wrong and I'm just dizzy because I forgot to eat breakfast. Oh yeah, and I need to be at work in 20 minutes. To make a long story short, they finally let me leave and I rush home to change and go to work. My arm is very sore and stiff, however other than that I notice nothing.

Friday night I get home form work and sure enough there is a little bruising. Not picture worthy or anything, but cool. "Whatever" I think, "I expected that." Then this morning comes. I am taking off my PJ's, readying for the shower when I notice my arm: Wow! That’s really gross (left pic)! Again, though, not a huge deal. However, when I got home from work Saturday, I found this mess on the right. Sweet! That is the biggest bruise I have ever seen in my whole life. I am thinking of licensing the picture on Wikipedia for the article "hematoma" . My bruise walks all over all those other pussy photos...* I'll try to get more pictures as the bruise worsens.** It should be high entertainment. As it is right now I can barely move it! I normally sleep with one or the other arm under the pillow. Now, I wake up to crazy pain every time I roll over and slip my left arm under. The funny thing is? They still let me donate with my right arm.

I am the king of the purple sausage!!!

*Update One: Me being a little slow on the draw, wikipedia now has better hematoma pictures. Ones that may even beat out mine, although if I had actually gotten pics from that weekend following, I still would have "won." :-) Too bad.*

**Update Two: The bruising did get worse, unfortunately I got no more pictures. It eventually covered my entire arm; from the top of my bicep all the way down to my wrist. As the blood pooled over the coming days, eventually puddling mostly in my wrist, it finally began to heal by turning a wicked shade of green, yellow and brown.**