A strange bloody story.
When giving blood the last little chore is to fill 6 test tubes with labelled blood for all the tests they do on my blood before it joins the general blood bank. I am not heavy enough to donate platelets so all they take from me is a pint of blood. The body is a sealed unit with a pump so once punctured healthy blood will flow as we all know. My veins are easy to find, my blood flows hot and thick – no problem.
My body released its pint easily but when it got to filling the test tubes a funny thing happened. The test tubes themselves are held in a vacuum so they will fill. The woman who attended to me would take one tube out and attach the next quite quickly, clicking it into the little dock that was attached to the needle in my arm. There is no electricity needed. The blood is simply syphoned out by the vacuum. The body is supplied with its own heart-pump and mine is good and strong.
Now you will remember that sometimes I get into cars and they run out of battery. I short out machines and get electric shocks from metal, people sometimes touch me and get a shock. Supermarkets are nightmares. Ovens stop, dishwashers perish. John runs the metal coffee machine.
Here is a little background. All up the body holds about 100 milli watts of energy/electricity. Though to call this electricity is (I think) a little misleading – I am sure there is another word for it. The electrical waves are conducted through the potassium and sodium in the blood. These create pathways – little roads of information from the body to the control tower in the brain.
Here is the process of electricity moving through the body.
“When your body needs to send a message from one point to another, it opens the gate. When the membrane gate opens, sodium and potassium ions move freely into and out of the cell.
Negatively charged potassium ions leave the cell, attracted to the positivity outside the membrane, and positively charged sodium ions enter it, moving toward the negative charge. The result is a switch in the concentrations of the two types of ions — and rapid switch in charge.
…this flip between positive and negative generates an electrical impulse. This impulse triggers the gate on the next cell to open, creating another charge, and so on. In this way, an electrical impulse moves from a nerve in your stubbed toe to the part of your brain that senses pain.”
Believe me I have studied this. If I had a port I could charge my phone but it would probably get fried knowing my electrical charge.
Back to the Red Cross blood drive in the Lutheran Church the other day.
OK. Every time she attached the new test tube into the shunt which was attached to the needle in my body, my blood (this is hard to describe) gave a little jolt. Like a small – very small – hit from an electric fence. My arm did not move. This was not a reflex reaction to the change over or anything. This was all inside my arm and chest. It felt like a small electric crunch of the blood. And even stranger: the woman who held the shunt, her hand resting on my arm to prop the tubes going in and out ALSO felt this shock. This physical jump within the vein. And it unnerved her. This well trained red cross technician had been taking blood for years and never encountered such a phenomenon before.
Here is an interesting thing. The bigger the test tube the bigger the shock. I think that my system was reacting to the vacuum. I am of course researching an explanation. Though shock is the wrong word really as the only metal was the needle and the shunt was plastic. That’s just how it felt. What it was I do not know. But it happened SIX times with each change over of the glass tubes.
I told her to fill them all – I was fine after all – and we went through each test tube because I did not want my blood wasted. But we were quite happy to be finished.
And my memory still cringes with that feeling.
My other pump. The vacuum milking pump marooned in the snow waiting to be carried up the steps and into the house. We cannot leave it in the barn in this weather as it is too cold. And Lady Astor is still giving too much healthy creamy milk to be dried up. This is one machine I do not want to short out so I never touch the switch on the machine, I turn it on and off at the wall.
And I have spare fuses at hand.
We have a lot of snow on the ground now. There was another dusting last night. Maybe a little more today.
I hope you have a lovely day.
Wednesday 02/07 40% / < 1 in
Mostly cloudy with snow showers around this morning. High 16F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 40%.
Wednesday Night 02/07 20% / 0 in
Partly cloudy skies this evening will become overcast overnight. Low 1F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
6:57 am 5:17 pm
Waning Gibbous, 51% visible 12:14 am 11:10 am