Monday, October 5, 2009

Apheresis 5

I had imagined I'd blog during the Apheresis process, what a naif. They started with the needles so fast I didn't have a chance. First were the usual two shouts of Filgrastim. Next a stick for another round of bloodtests.

The the main event: laid on an upgraded blood-donor bed...nice pillow. Got a needle in the right elbow to send blood to the apheresis centrifuge; then another in the same arm to return blood sans stemcells back to the body. Both hurt about like a blood biggie. But then the second point started to hurt real bad andgotwayworseinahurry;eye-bugging, off-the-map pain; I was about to grit my teeth through the top of my skull. Apparently that vein had "burst", and wouldn't work. Someone asked if I was feeling pain: Hell yeah, I'm 'feeling' pain, but so what? The process has to continue regardless. But they shut that vein down and found a vein in my left forearm...after a couple minutes it started blowing out & hurting like hell. So then they used a vein in my left elbow. Thank ya, Jesus. For the next 4 hours it was essentially just like giving blood from two arms, very manageable. I was getting a relaxant in the return line so was pleasantly dopey. It's after 9pm now & I'm still on the 'relaxed' side. I'm correcting this post at a 1 typo per word rate.

As it turns out I have to donate for another couple of hours tomorrow before going home. Since we were going to be here another day, I asked our shuttlebus driver about places to see within walking distance of the hotel. Based on his input, we spent about 90 minutes strolling through Old Salem (settled by Moravians), with houses dating back to before the revolution, and the adjacent Salem College. All beautiful, and recommended.