Friday, April 10, 2009

Plasma plumping pockets...

Phew. I am feeling better.  The Z-Pack is completed, and the Kleenexes are less needed.  (Behold, I rhymed.)  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of a little hammering creature trying to escape my head for several hours, along with eye twitches.  That was rather interesting.  Moving on..

So today I had to have some blood drawn for health biz-nass going on with me.  (I'm really not as sickly as it seems..I just always let things build up and build up until they all have to be dealt with at once. Thank God for free insurance.)   Anyway, I'm sitting down in the giant black blood-drawing chair and expect to feel some sort of panic about a needle. I don't really. The lady seems so monotone/mellow that I have no doubt that she will stick it in the correct throbbing vein. And I'm right.  A finger prick hurts worse than that.  I watch the tube filling of ounce after ounce of blood, and I expect to feel faint.  But no. It just feels kind of cool that I'm watching blood that used to be rushing around in my body being trapped in a tube.  

Then I remembered my giving plasma for moolah days... and a few of the incidents that happened there.  

Nothing prompts a desperate trip to the infamous plasma-taker place than a $500 phone bill.  Yes, that's right.  Little Miss Stuuuupid Aubrey liked to act like she had unlimited text messages/minutes  when she first started dating Evan.  (He lived a kajillion miles away, so...the phone was our relationship for awhile.) So, I quickly picked up 11 shifts at the restaurant where I worked at the time.  I knew that would be interesting, since I was a full-time student and I just picked up 11 out of 14 possible shifts for one week.  Then I drove to where I had heard that you can prostitute your plasma for fast cash.  

I went through the whole rigmarole where a few different people figured out 101 different ways of asking if I do or do not have an STD.  I passed with flying colors.  I gave my plasma while watching Van Helsing on their monitors (Ironic, I know..), got $40, and walked out.   If you are not familiar with the process, you can go twice a week (with at least 2 days in between) and the money you are given depends on how much plasma you are able to give.  I would get $20 the first time in the week, and $30 the second time.  The first week you go, however, you get 80 bucks.  The first week went fine.  I got my $80 and promptly paid a little on my phone bill.  

The second week was a different story.  You see, you're supposed to drink plenty of water before you go and eat a good meal.  Well, I was in a hurry and completely forgot to drink any water.  I figured I would be juuuust fine.  So I'm reclining in the chair reading a book, arm out and hand squeezing, with my jacket strewn across my legs.  

I hear the machine beeping, but pay no attention.  An attendant that was not in charge of me came over, looked at the machine, and then started to fiddle with the needle.  It's a long needle.  She started pulling up on it where it was stretching my skin.  I immediately started to feel light-headed.  That would probably be an understatement, actually, because I kept blacking out.  She kept yanking it around.  I tried to scream at her, but I was so dizzy I couldn't even think.  I tried to form the f*bomb and several other expletives, but they just kept being screamed in my head.  Presumably noticing the look of pure hatred coming from my direction (when my eyes weren't rolling in the back of my head), the death attendant finally walked away.  A few minutes later, my attendant walked to me--noticing my pale face and the beeping of the machine.  She wasn't too happy about the death attendant messing with her patient.  I wasn't either.  She explained to me that my blood was clotting, while she moved around the needle herself.  It wasn't as bad, but my head was still swirling.  She informed me that I can either switch arms or leave.  If I were to leave, however, I would not get my money.  Hellls no, I thought.  I did NOT just go through that for nothing.  So she took out the needle, put a cotton ball and tape on the area, and walked around to my other arm.  

Well, then my blood decided not to clot any more.  After she put the needle in my other arm, she looked over at the old plasma-drawing arm with wide eyes.  I slowly looked other with dread, and see blood splattering EVERYWHERE.  All over my jacket, all over the floor.  I couldn't move because I was hooked to the machine.  When she walked over to the other side, the blood splattered all over her lab coat.  I start to feel light-headed again (Surprised? I think not..), she stopped the bleeding, changed lab coats, and I finished my plasma giving.  She also gave me a parting gift: a bag of some kind of liquid that got the blood out of my coat.  I walked out of there, grabbed my money, and tried to convince myself that I'd be back again.  But I didn't go back...for a year.

The reason I decided to go back (dragging my fiance with me) is because we were engaged with wedding and honeymoon expenses looming over us.  I had constantly reassured Evan that he would be fine.  I can't even tell you how long it took me to convince him to come.  Bubbles in your vein are very rare, I told him.  Blood splatter and blood clots are avoidable, I told him.  My experience was mostly my own fault, I told him.  We drank plenty of water and ate.. I kept assuring him that he's bigger than me so he would get more money, and we'd make a lot of easy money in the next several months before the big shebang. We both went through the rigmarole again with the 101 different questions that want the same answer: No, neither of us have an STD. Still. 

Once we made it to the donor floor, I kicked back, relaxed, and began reading from the many bridal magazines I had stocked up on.  My blood was flowing smoothly, and no attendants tried to kill me.  Evan, looking rather green, was across the room from me.  I watched the attendant (he was mine too) stick him, and noticed Evan glaring at me and shaking his head.  He wasn't too happy.  I also noticed the attendant walking away, getting someone else, and then coming back to Evan.  They finally went away, and I carried on with my reading.  I finished before Evan, so I got my money and waited for him in the lobby.  When he finally got out, he was pale and still glaring at me.  I looked at his arm and it was bruised pretty badly.  Apparently, Evans veins were harder to find than mine.  The attendant stuck him like a freaking voodoo doll until he got someone else to do his job.  Apparently, before the other attendant came for help, Evan was able to experience the rare vein bubble.  His arm was bruised for weeks, and any time I suggested we try to go again, I was shut down quite resolutely.  He still gets mad at me when I mention it.  :)   We haven't been back in almost 2 years.  

But...I think I might give it another try....It'd be nice to have some easy cushion in my wallet...

(The picture has no meaning with this blog whatsoever, but it's me zip lining in Puerto Vallarta last summer.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ailments and Injuries

Here I am. I have been in a circle of Kleenexes, groin strains, mucus, and deadlines for about a week now, so I have been a little absent from the blogging world. It took everything in me to turn in all of my deadlines on time, and everyone else is left with the somewhat dilapidated Aubrey.

I know that reads rather pitiful, but I have to tell you—I’m pretty sure I look and sound pitiful too. I am constantly getting sympathetic looks with the question of, “Feeling better?”
I’m not bitter about the looks or the questions. At all. In fact, it’s all I can do to not whimper and crawl into the said sympathetic person’s lap, asking for a brief cuddle. I don’t live off of sympathy or anything, but when I’m sick, I don’t mind sympathy one bit. What I do mind when I am sick are all of the cons that go with it.

Take stopped-up noses, for instance. My poor husband is only getting pecks on the lips because when we try for a real “we’re in love and let’s be passionate” kiss, I start snorting for air. I almost suffocate to death from kissing him. It's infuriating. I hate stopped-up noses.

I hate not being able to taste. It is absolutely earth-shattering. I tried to eat some Easy Mac last night because it’s soft and warm and gooey and comforting for my throat, but I couldn’t taste it. I bought some Ghirardelli chocolates for my occasional treat, but I cannot eat them because what’s the point of eating those delicious calories if you can’t taste them?! [Quick side-story: A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law sent me some Dove chocolates in Evan’s birthday package because…well, she’s always supplying me with Dove because they’re some of my favorites. I let them last for quite a while..just getting one or two a day…okay, sometimes five…Well, then a few days ago, I went to get one and there weren’t any left. I quickly shot a look at Evan who had just eaten several. “You ate all of them?!” He shrugged and told me he gave me the last one. I then proceeded to look around our house for any form of chocolate. I returned to the living room, somewhat dazed. “We don’t have any chocolate,” I said, panic thick in my voice. “We don’t…there’s none left. It’s all gone. I need chocolate.” Evan’s eyebrows quickly reached to the ceiling. I wanted to laugh because I could see him trying to figure out a way to comfort his irrational wife who was having a panic attack about not having chocolate in the house, but I couldn’t laugh because I could not fathom not having any chocolate in the house at that moment. “It’s okay,” he said slowly in a not-too patronizing tone. “We need to go to the store anyway. We’ll get you some later.” I resisted the urge to stomp my foot and whine, “But I want it nowwww.” Instead, I went to the kitchen, grabbed a bag of semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips that I had for baking purposes, and popped some in my mouth. Grrrrross. Not as good as when they are in cookies. My craving for chocolate soon left, and my sanity returned. BUT the real Ghirardelli chocolates that were mentioned in the beginning paragraph were the calming purchase I made later in the day…So, you can imagine how I felt when I realized I wouldn’t even be able to taste them..]

Now to catch you up with my other ailments. I pulled my groin. And as much as I would love to tell you I pulled it in a very exciting way, I didn’t. I pulled it at the gym, and I don’t even know when. I just know that on Friday, as we were walking to the car, I had some real pain at the top of my left the groin region. God, I hate that word. I never realized it until this week when I’ve said it about 20 million times. We went to the public library, and I was still limping—even crying out in pain when I had to get up from sitting. We went to rent some movies, and it still hurt. We went home, and it still hurt. I thought it would go away in a few hours, but on Saturday it still hurt. I was still walking like Quasi-freakin-moto. Add to that my throat was beginning to get really sore, I was not a very happy camper. But I was DETERMINED to go to the Medieval Fair. It is one of my favorite things that happens here. I love to watch all of the weird people, and all of the dogs, and all of the weird people, and I love the lemonade….and watching all of the weird people. Well, we go. And we bring along my fellow Hot Librarian. And we meet up with our other friends and their dog who I love dearly. And then it comes to my realization that I probably should have taken Claritin. Why? Because the wind is INSANE in this state right now. And at the Medieval Fair, there are all sorts of things being swirled around my nose and eyes. And then I start to feel it. “It” being the allergy attacks I experience at random points in my life. My eyes start to pour (thank God I had sunglasses), my throat begins to close in more, and I start to sneeze. I sneeze every. five. seconds. No lie. I was miserable. I wandered around, looking at the booths, trying to see all of the weird people. But I couldn’t. Because Mother Nature decided to blind me with allergy tears. I had to ask the Greyhound Rescue people if I could have a few Kleenexes. I ran out quickly, and had to ask the food people for several paper towels. That was nice--walking around with paper towels sticking out of my skirt pockets. I even bought a lemonade, but I couldn't taste it. I wanted to shake my fists in the air, but instead I wandered around dazedly trying to make sense in conversation.. I don't think I succeeded. Whether or not I meant to or not, I would usually say something completely ridiculous that would result in all 3 of us laughing hysterically. And then I would sneeze. And blow my nose. And sneeze again. At least I wasn't alone. Well, I was alone in the sneezing..but not alone in speaking incoherently Archimedes/Hot Librarian was having a little trouble making sense of things too (but for different reasons).. Finally she convinced me that she would understand if I wanted to leave. So we did, and I stocked up on allergy stuff. We returned our kidnapped friend to her home, and I ended up covering the bed with Kleenexes that night.

I went to the doctor yesterday and was able to get medicine...but I still feel like crap. Still look pitiful, sound pitiful, etc. And my ability to taste goes in and out.

Oh. Groin update: Better on Sunday, worse on Monday, better today.... and I'm still not allowed to go to the gym. Hopefully my lack of appetite will counteract the no-gym timey.

Another random story: I was finally hanging up my clothes that have been in a huge pile on the bedroom floor for at least a month now, and I was somewhat appalled. I have an insane amount of adorable clothes. The appalling part, a lot of them (mostly the things from last summer) do not fit at the moment. Or, if they do, there is a danger of popping buttons and obscene exposure. Another appalling fact? I stopped counting at 24 pairs of jeans. 24. pairs. of jeans. What makes this even more appalling is that I don't even wear jeans. I wear 1 pair of the 24. To give myself some credit, I have probably 6 pairs of jeans in about 4 different sizes. Ugh. That just makes me feel worse. That's what makes me want to go to the gym, but I can't because I'm a 23-year-old with a strained groin!!! Don't worry. I will be getting rid of many of them, but not until I'm down to the size I want.

I'm off now.

Hope you all are in good health, and let's hope I will be the next time I post! :)