Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Plasma Donating

I just finished writing this post and thought I had copied and pasted it to today's date, so I went ahead and deleted the old version. Oops. I wish blogger had an edit and undo button. In case they do, don't tell me or I will feel like an even bigger idiot. The most painful part about deleting this post was having to re-type the sensitive subject matter.

Several years ago when times got hard I decided to donate plasma. Donating plasma is not the kind of thing you brag to your friends and neighbors about. There is a certain social stigma that accompanies this practice. It's definitely not the most prestigious way to earn money. I knew plasma was used for a variety of good causes like treating burn victims, helping people with clotting disorders, and making snack foods for vampires, but I still felt like I was prostituting myself for money. The facility I went to was kind of old and run down and sometimes it felt more like a homeless shelter than a medical facility. It was a depressing environment so I only ended up donating for about 3 months.

Recently I decided to start donating again. It's not that I need the money, I just do it because I am just so bored. I was unable to get into the old place I used to go because they were so busy but I found another facility. This one was new and clean and had a professional staff. The donors were even normal people. They used sterile equipment, played movies while you donated, and they even gave you Powerade and money after. Sounds pretty sweet doesn't it?

While I'm listing all the advantages of donating, another one is that admitting you are a plasma donor basically tells everyone you are healthy. There are about a million things that can keep a person from donating and luckily I don't have any of them. So maybe donating plasma is a prestigious activity reserved for society's super elite after all, as opposed to an easy way to make some quick money by selling your "precious bodily fluids". (Dr. Strangelove reference)

I have been donating now for several months. I was recently told that one of the side effects of regular donations is the build up of scar tissue on your skin where the needle is inserted. The phlebotomist who pointed this out to me tried to assure me that it isn't really that bad. She said she was a regular donor for years and she just had a small scar. She showed me her arm and I tried not to scream like a girl as I gazed into an enormous hole that looked like the sarlacc pit that Jabba the Hut tried to drop Luke into in Return of the Jedi.

I'm still trying to figure out how to replace plasma money with blogging money but it is a very slow process. I would appreciate ideas from any of you professional bloggers who may have actually figured out how to make money while doing something you love. Until then I will continue to sell my body for money.


dwrichy said...

Make sure you don't fall into that pit, Tom. Some winding tentacle might reach up and grab you!

Jeanne Estridge said...

I've been getting allery shots weekly for over ten years. The scar tissue buildup in my ass now makes it tough for them to get the needle in. Feels like she's throwing darts back there.

Good luck with the "money through blogging" thing. I orginally planned, once my visit rate hit 1000/week, to put ads on my site. But once I found out that my visitors have to actually click on the ad for me to get $.001, I decided, "screw it, this is just a hobby." Now, I don't even have a counter (and I've never been able to get Google Analytics to work). I just try to write like there's nobody reading.

Video Zeta One said...

My first couple months into blogging, I put up ads and the result was downright embarassing - I think in three weeks I made 36 cents.

Now, many months later, the number of visitors has significantly gone up. I'm actually making a few dollars a day via Adsense and Amazon. It's not a lot - this probably translates to something like coal miner wages. I've been pleasantly surprised nonetheless because now I can rationalize it to my wife. :-)

Tom said...

Zibbs and Kristina, I tried posting your comments but I'm getting an error message from blogger. FYI- I didn't reject them.

Maui said...

This post just made me look down at the track marks in my arms...

I've purchased a few snowboards and season passes over the years with blood money, and every time I have someone remind me that you can sell it for money, I start thinking why did I stop. I should start going again.

Dawn Parsons Smith said...

I have contemplated many ways to bring in an extra buck these days..I completely forgot I could be a plasma "ho"! Wow! lol!

Seriously, it's awesome donors like you who save the lives of people like my husband who needed plasma donations during his whole bypass nightmare. I appreciate your donations! My husband would have died without his.

Thank you, Chaka!

peewee said...

HEY...My roommate and I donated plasma RELIGIOUSLY in college. It paid our rent! We used to devise plans between two centers to "sneak" in and donate two places (that wasn't allowed)

It took like an hour and a half...for $15 the first time and $20 the second (in one week) WAS pretty low rent. And yes, i do have a scar...on each arm. Small...but the memory will be forever!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Well you learn something new every day now, don't you?

I had no idea that you could get paid to donate blood. I guess I've been doing it wrong all these years.

MJenks said...

I can't even resort to this. When I was in the hospital getting the gall bladder snipped out, the nurses told me never to give blood because my veins are so, so, SO deeply buried in my arms. Being that I'm only somewhat over my crippling fear of needles, I followed their advice.

Beckalita said...

I've heard that if you have mono and you donate plasma, it pays something like $500. Something to look into.

Anonymous said...

Beckalita is right, there is a company that looks for people who are sick and they do pay alot of money to their donors, they have a website

Lisa said...

As prestegious as it may not seem there are many lives that are being saved, my 6 year old son for example. He was born without a functioning immune system and has to receive weekly infusions for the rest of his life. Because of you and others that donate my son can live a relatively normal life and for that me my husband and son THANK YOU!!

Anonymous said...

Plasma centers are sometimes demeaning. The scar sucks, i was just looking at mine and that's how I found this site. i wanted to see what other people do about them, i keep neosporin on the freash holes and rub vitamine E on the spot , seems to keep it all good as far as dryness and all that. still hurts though a little. i alternate arms - tuesday is left arm day and friday is right arm day , I get 55 measley dollars a week, steady.

You need to drink water, that's the key, drink a lot the day you go before and after, eat right also - try to stay away from eggs and fatty foods as much as possible. a few days ago I pigged out on some killer Tacos, they were so greasy it was crazy, YUM! lol then i donted the next day nd poof, my plasma looked Nasty as hell.
There are some weird people in there, staff included really. the cool thing is, LOL.. as far as desease and all that goes, if you do find a chickadee in theer you like, you know shes pretty clean, and probably just as poor as you are. LOL If she can accept that fact she probably actually likes you. REALLY! I mean she might like yiou better if you had enough dough to take her out but hey, ya can't have everything at once generally.

here is teh real deal though, sometimes the staff miss your vein, when that happens they start digging around in there and it hurts like a bitch, if you complain they will screw you over bad. they will pull the rig out and try the other arm and post that you can't donate for a period of time (If you really need the cash, it screws you out of a few weeks! I gotta buy food!) so if you can try to keep a straight face and let them get it right even if it hurts. if it's just way too much start freaking yelling and ask for some one else to help you. sometimes the staff is totally numb to you being human in which case, they need a asswhoopin. remember these people are just like you and me, no special college training or years of experience needed. For some it's thier very first job. None of them make more than about 14 bucks an hour.

Tom said...

Anonymous- I love your insights! Spoken like a true plasma veteran.

Mr anonymous again said...

Anonymous again, I wrote that well before chistmas, says dec 28 though, must take a while to get posted I guess. I don't know why i can't post a name. cool though, keeps me from being thrown to the wolves I suppose.
Now here it is, middle of january, thought i'd check back to see if anyone had any cool stuff to say. :O)

New BS that happened to me, i went to donate as usual, they freaking said I couldd not do it after I had waited longer than I ever waited before, over 2 hours! they said they could not find my file and they gave me ten bucks to go away. Can you believe that?!!! I was so mad.
K so I came back on my second vist for the week expecting I'd donate and get my reg cash (35.00)
and they told me after I waited another 1.5 hours to get screened, that I could not donate becuase they have looked everywhere and cannot find my file. Then they had that gual to tell me i already got ten bucks for nothing and they were not going hand me cash for that visit. LOL no joke. even though it was all thier fault. Then they told me that they were not going be able to find my file ever, they had stopped looking and that i could not donate till I got a new one.
( I was ready to go off but i am a very Big hairy person and getting even a little loud with reg sized people generally prompts a 911 call so I maintaned my composure) So I said, let's get that done now so I can continue on my schedual and have no more delays. they told me I could not donate that day and I had to leave. AAARG!
So I called after got home and asked how long it would be before my new file would be ready and I could come back in and they said monday, 3 days away!
Monday rolls around and I go back in, I sign in as useual and sit down waiting. 45 minutes rolls by and they call my name.
whew! i am thinking, they got it right finally. so i am ready to get screened in and they hand me a cup. Just like the first time I ever ame in, a clear dixie cup with my name written in sharpie on it. I said I have already done all that man. They said No, we have to make you a new file. i was liek what??? they said I had to get the whole physical and everything all over again. No Joke. I said this has to be a missunderstanding. I have been donating since last october twice a week. They said since my file was lost they had no records, i asked, well what about mmy previouse donations? thier answer was SCRAPPED! I was so pissed. I asked the guy if he thought I was there for fun, i said I cannot believe that all this time, all My Pain and efforts have been for nothing for all this time becuase some jerk carried all my personal information out of this building illegally and you just act like i should not care one bit. This is seriously the most outrageouse BS i have ever encountered in any center.
They do not give a rat's ass though.
I re did the entire physical with flying colors and donated and guess what the SOB's handed me? 20.00 YUP. 20.00. I protested and asked to speak to the manager who told me that I recieved 10.00 for nothing 1 time before and that since I was not REALLY a new doner and since I had not donated 2X's that weeki woudl only be paid 20.00 and when I come back in that same week I would get 35.00. talking to me Like i was some kind of scammer.

i have been donating now a few times, pissed about my lost file, lost plasma and the loss of funds i endured just before christmas, also they nocked me out of the drawings for the month becuase you have donate a certain amout of times to qualify. but i'm back in the ring.
I can't wait till I win that lotto. I think I'll buy the place and fire them all. Bajajajaaaa!