When I agreed to sell my blood a month or so ago, I was approached by Noah in the lab. When I learned that she, not Noah, was to do the arm stabbing, and that I was her first victim, I got nervous. She couldn't seem to find the vein and kept pointing at different spots on my arm and asking, "So I'll go in here, then?" Thankfully, Noah noticed the pleading look in my eyes and took over before she attempted a poke, and I gave plenty of T cell-rich blood without any problems.
When she asked for more blood yesterday, I said yes. But then I learned that she would be drawing. It felt rude to back out, and, after all, she's had a bit of practice since her aborted attempt at me. So I decided to proceed. That was a mistake.
I am convinced she stuck the needle in the right place the first time, but poked clear through the vein. I say this because blood showed up in the small plastic hose for an instant then stopped flowing. So she probed around with the needle still stuck in my arm, twisting here and then there, a full ½- to ¾-inch arc, until I finally told her I thought she was getting close to a bundle of nerves. She pulled the needle out and decided to try my right arm instead.
She stuck the needle in. I doubt she was anywhere near a vein...or maybe she nicked it. All I know is that the needle was hurting me, not unbearably, but then these little blood-drawing needles don't usually hurt me. And no blood was flowing at all. At least not until she pulled the needle out. That's why I suspect she may have nicked the vein, with all the bleeding that occurred after the needle came out.
She decided to find someone else to stick me. Good thing, because I'm not sure I would have let her stick me a third time! This other guy studied my arm intently for a full five minutes. Then he very decisively stuck the needle all the way in. He was going to get blood whether or not there was a vein to give it! And the blood flowed, a nice, thick, deep red broth.
I had to fill eight test tubes to complete a unit. Our initial pricker took over the blood drawing. When it was time to change tubes, she forgot to clamp the hose. She removed the filled tube from the hose, and blood started spraying all over the place -- onto the floor, the furniture, her clothes. All that good blood, gone to waste! And then I dried up, after only 3½ tubes. All that effort for so little....
I look like a heroin addict now: a few holes in my left arm, a hole and a large bruise in my right arm. And both arms are a bit sore. Plus, they want to pay me less than the full amount because I didn't yield a full unit of blood. I think I earned the full amount, darn it!