Apheresis Adventure

As many of you know, my blood donation experience has a rather broad range. I have a 50/50 chance of going in and walking out fine or going in and passing out and having a seizure and throwing my pepsi all over the wall of the bloodmobile. I either stumble out with a case of the wooze or they have a defective vial pop-on thingy for the end, which breaks, leaks my blood all over (terrifying the new donor in the chair across the way, for which I whistle nonchalantly to assure that everything is just fine), clamps it shut, backs up with all the pressure, then refills a new vial, leaving me with an extra bad case of the wooze.

Anyway, even on my good donations, I’m generally useless for a day or two afterwards. My dad (who gave me the O neg blood which the Red Cross covets so) has suggested apheresis several times, because that’s what he does all the time. With that in mind, a cancer patient in need inspired me to go down to the Red Cross today for my first try donating platelets.

I must say, this is highly, HIGHLY preferable to giving whole blood. For those of you unfamiliar with apheresis, they take the blood out of one arm into a machine, spin out whatever part they need (in this case, platelets), then put the rest of the blood back in through the other arm. Because you don’t really lose any volume, you don’t get the woosies. On the other hand, it did take over an hour (but you get to watch a movie), and the blood going back in is rather cold (but they do good about piling you up with electric blankets), and your face gets all tingly (something to do with calcium?)

I still felt a little off, but on the whole, I might start doing this regularly. Meanwhile, here’s a little chart that shows the blood need in my area! I actually think it’s a trick, and always on urgent, because really, has the blood supply EVER been “excellent?”

2005 Review

Year-end Review:

I must admit, 2005 started off pretty grim. I was unhappy up north and disappointed in theatre as a whole. I was miserable doing something I loved. After juggling over whether to stick it through or call it quits, I decided that it was the best course of action to end things at Long Wharf and head back home to initiate plan B, which meant ceasing the dating of Carleton as well. It was a hard time.

There were some highlights to ease the rough edges, though. A visiting trip to New York, ending my internship on a decently-run play, and confirming my adventure to Japan that would happen later in the year. My birthday was a pleasant one with the Coffrins, through which I acquired my GameCube, which has been a wonderful addition to my console repertoire.

My sacrifice for Lent of 2005 was irrational fear. Every time I felt the fear creeping in, I pushed through it and did whatever was causing it. This led to several good things, one of which was visiting Steph, and thus strengthening a friendship. I am very happy to know Steph better, and I hope to continue the trend!

The emotional blow of coming home from Connecticut was softened by welcoming arms of friends and family. The spring months were rough, though. I was job-hunting in addition to freelance web work, and anyone who’s ever been in the jobhunting phase knows how it can run you into the ground. I recall healing sleep at Brendan and Maria’s for not being able to sleep at my own home.

But there were plenty of good times to balance it all out. Playing Nobilis was a wonderful creative outlet. I got to foster mom two wonderfully loveable ratties. I started working with Will on ARG! Productions stuff. I strengthened small acquaintenceships into blossoming friendships, and got over timid fears to turn people into huggable buddies: Wheeler, Will, Ian, Yale.

The year swelled up to a high point with three events: Acquiring a job, going to visit Andrew in Japan, and moving out of the house into my own place. The Japan trip is like a dream now, and I still haven’t gotten all the pictures up from it. It was a magical place.

More lows and highs. Fish, my beloved pet, passed on that summer. On the other hand, there was much to be done with animating and learning and working on the JamJams trailer. Ken was back and Wheeler got to visit. Having an income through a job I enjoyed was a tremendous relief, but at the same time the mysterious illness crept in and took its toll on me.

Adventuring to Atlanta to play with new friends, discovering my knack for cooking, Tuesday night basketball, visits from D Flo–all wonderful. Weird emotional burdens, the loss of Mr. Laguna—not so much.

The year ended off in the best possible way. Christmastime was refreshing, especially among friends. New Year’s itself was a positive time–I got to spend time with the people I love the most, and we rang in the new year with Guillotine, The Great Dalmuti, Donkey Konga, Mario Party, and Munchkin. I am so very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

It has been up and down, yes? But I try so very hard to be grateful for the wonderful things I have. There continues to be things inside of me that I have to work out, but perhaps this year I will stop being a dragon who thinks she is a rabbit, because the rabbit hole is too small.

Year of the dog, that’s my year!