On Sunday evening I left my hometown to go to Cologne.
All pics taken by Tiny (2010)
There is a special clinic for stem-cell donation and the DKMS chose me to donate stem cells for a patient suffering from leukemia. So after stimulating my body to produce stem cells with subcutaneous injections (I've done it myself, super easy, no pain, not even a little hematoma) I was all set and ready to do it on Monday.
In the crook of my left arm was a pretty thick needle which took all my blood and led it into the centrifuge.
I had to squeeze a little red heart made of foam the whole time because when I stopped squeezing it, my venous valves closed and the centrifuge gave the alarm (It felt like a mobile phone vibrating in my arm, I'm not kidding!)
In the crook of my right arm was an intravenous catheter with a three-way-valve (they infused me some calcium since the citrate that keeps your blood running in the centrifuge steals some of your calcium (At first your finger tips start to prickle, then your lips, then your nose, I can say for myself that I found it a little difficult to breathe too but nothing too serious. After they infused some calcium the symptoms vanished pretty quickly)) where I received my blood back again.
A very cute Russian Doctor wanted to put the intravenous catheter into a vein on my wrist but it didn't work out. A single tear was running down my face because she infused some NACL into my tissue but hey, shit happens.
When she put the catheter into the crook of my arm she said: "You are a very brave girl, don't look at me, look out of the window into the Wallachia!"
They started the whole process at 8:00 am and it was finished at 1:30pm I think.
After the donation I felt pretty battered. I walked like the little elephant from "The jungle book"
I slept the whole afternoon but in the evening everything was fine.
The whole team was very nice and caring and they tried to keep everything as comfortable as possible.
You can see me here posing for the camera after the donation still with my compression-bandage on.
So yeah, that was it in the end. I think I would do it again. I hope the patient will get well soon.
I wish him or her all the best.