I gave blood the other day. Usually, this works out just fine. They look at my arms, and choose a vein in the right arm. And poke, dig a bit, and then wait while the blood collects.
This time, they dug around in the right arm and couldn't get any blood. Four of the nurses tried, and four failed. They said there might have been a clot or something in the needle. The digging around gets unfun fairly fast. Usually, the poke and a quick dig don't hurt. But sometimes, the needle sitting there for even a little moment between people trying really hurts. It's like it's sitting at a nerve or something, and just ouchies.
So then they tried the left arm. Let me tell you about my left arm. It's pretty whussy. Basically, it knows how to hold down the paper when I write, and that's pretty much it. So the veins are even more difficult to get.
The nurse who was in charge of me decided she couldn't find a vein, so called over one of the others, the "go to" nurse for bad veins. So she found a vein and went for it.
Poke. Dig. Dig a bit more. Another nurse dug around for a bit. Nothing. So the "go to" nurse dug some more, and then, voila, she got something. What she got was bright red.
Now usually, when you give blood, the blood is sort of a dark purple. But this was bright red, the sort of bright primary red that little kids use when they draw blood. The "go to" nurse gave the other nurse a look. The other nurse gave a look back. Then another nurse came over to look at the bag. And then the supervisor came over to look.
They were worried that she'd gotten an artery rather than a vein. But they told me that they weren't sure, that maybe my blood was just really well oxygenated at the time. They told me it doesn't really matter for the person receiving the blood stuff, but that they try not to use arteries because they're harder to stop the bleeding and also can hurt a bit more.
So they weren't sure.
But the bruising is impressive, isn't it? (It doesn't hurt now, but the first evening was a bit sore and swollen. I have a theory: if they have to dig around very much, then I feel sort of blah the next couple of hours. If not, then I don't feel blah at all.)