I have been giving blood on and off for years, but have been extremely consistent with it for the past year or two. Since the spring I have been doing platelet donations for no reason other than one day I was asked to do one because there seems to be a higher need for these type of donations. With platelet donations I can donate every 2 weeks. I typically can get in there every 2-3 weeks and have kept this going for the past 6 months or so.
The donation process, or at least the time you are actually donating platelets last usually about 100 minutes or so. I think I have seen my time start as high as 110 minutes and as low as 94 minutes. Both arms are used so you can’t move either arm. Thankfully, they provide tv or movies and headphones. There is really nothing else to do, which is tough because I am not much of a tv watcher – not for that long anyway. But it’s worth it so I make due and try to keep my fidgeting confined to just my legs when I start to get antsy.
So I scheduled an appointment for this afternoon, which was perfect for me. It was after some morning errand running, a workout, and then donating blood would be my last stop before returning home.
The problem is I drink a gallon of water a day, which normally isn’t too much of an issue but after every workout, my bladder seems to go into overdrive for a while. I don’t know why.
I was fine when we started and in my mind was comforted by the fact that I remembered the first time I did a platelet donation one of the nurses had said it is not like whole blood, so if I needed to stop and use the restroom they could do that. Well I was 40% complete according to the monitor when I thought it was a good time to use the restroom because I was going to burst and couldn’t take it anymore. So I asked. No problem and they shut the machine off. Then they told me that they can’t restart me today;once they shut it down there is no resticking me and starting back up. That’s when I became extremely disappointed in myself. I knew I had to stop because I held it as long as I can, but I didn’t realize that would be it for the day. The staff was confident they had taken at least a unit or two, and I think 3 is the max, so I guess it is ok, but it still bummed me out that I couldn’t complete the whole time. (104 minutes today I think)
So moral to the story – don’t drink too much water before donating blood for 1 1/2 – 2 hours!