I got up ridiculously early this morning to make it to my platelet donation appointment at 7:00. The black ice and frozen car-sicle didn't stop me from getting there. I was pumped!
Went through the usual check in procedures and then I went to the chair. Donating platelets is totally different from donating blood- blood is drawn out and then returned to your body after the platelets are removed. The needle this time seemed a little bigger than the usual, or maybe it was just a tad more painful. No big deal. And the blood drawing part is a piece of cake- however the return portion is a little uncomfortable.
Blood is allowed to draw out at a natural rate, but it's returned much more quickly so it creates a sort of pressure in your vein. It's also cold- not catscan contrast cold for those who know, but it's slightly cooler than when it comes out. I was glad the phlebotomist told me that before I felt it, it was a little freaky.
All in all, this entire process took a little over an hour. There was no dizzy feeling, no ill feelings at all except for the discomfort of the blood going back in and a slight tingling feeling on my lips from the anticoagulant used in the return process. And I learned my platelet count was 284 which they said was very good. Who knows.
I definitely recommend doing this- platelets are used in cancer treatment and if there aren't any available, it takes 8 pints to get enough for one treatment. Wow! And unlike blood which can only be donated every 56 days, platelets can be done every 3. They are only good for 5 days, so the demand is always there.
It felt awesome to do this. I loaded Office Space on my JenniPod™ and zoned out. And I got to eat cookies for breakfast. Lunch and dinner too (thanks Wil!).