4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Recession Proof

Tequila shooters,Santana's carne asada burritos,buckets of Coronas,pizza,buffalo wings,g-strings,pigs in a blanket,Jaeger bombs,jello shots,jumbalaya,Jumbo Jacks, lap dances,sushi,donuts and dvd's ...Mcdoubles and Mcgriddles not to mention a steak night or two.Those are just some of the wonderful things that come to mind when thinking of Midway Drive just off of Rosecrans .

As our economy was tanking in 2008 I often remarked that Midway was recession proof . I was working and well paid so for me the Midway district ( aka fun zone) was the place I spent most of my free time and cash.

I even recall telling a friend its a recession when you lose your job...but its a depression when I lose my job . Kinda wish I had never said that.

Because all that Midway fun came to an end on September 3rd,2009.

I lost my job and those fixed costs like rent and a car payment, cell phone and insurance began to consume a lot of my money. More like all of my money . I did land some odd jobs here and there but even those disappeared as 2010 rolled around .

So on March 23,2010 after seeing an ad in the Reader I ventured to Octapharma Plasma on Duke Steet just off of Midway Drive to donate my plasma for money. Let's first say I am really afraid of needles and looking back I was desperate to have made this decision. As I turned onto Duke I remember breathing rather rapidly and as I approached their building my first sight was of an ambulance . Just great ! That hardly made me feel comfortable but I did notice it was in front of a senior living building on the other side of the street and somehow I was a little relieved .

As I entered the building the waiting room was full of people and a lot of staff moving about all in white lab coats . Breathe . Just breathe was what I was telling myself.I signed in and it took awhile but I was processed as a new patient. A photo ID, and verification of your social security number and proof of residence gets you through the first stage. And completing a questionnaire gets you through the next stage. During my wait names were being called and people were shuffling off to the back which at the time I wasn't too curious about.

My next step was a visit with the Doctor .It appeared that there was only one available . So the process went quite slowly. Getting the once over by the Doctor is not quite what I would call a physical but apparently satisfactory for donating plasma. In order to get approved for a donation I was glad that I hadn't had any recent tatoos or piercings and had not been in prison recently . The actual question is whether you have been in prison for more than three days - guess bad things can happen after three days . I was deemed healthy which allowed me to pass onto the next stage the vitals . At this point your weight,blood pressure and temperature are taken . Also the nail on your pinky finger is colored with a glow in the dark marker. Plus a finger prick ( that does hurt a little and worried me a bit ) is done to check your iron and some other things that I wasn't totally sure of like fat in your blood.

The time I spent in the waiting room passed very slowly . Some people bring a book which made me assume that they had been here before. I considered bailing and some did just that. Probably wondering as I did ...do I really want to do this . Mmmmm . Maybe I can sell something else . Again do I really need to do this ...mmmmm yes I do.

Bottom line is I really needed the money . The first visit pays $ 30 and the second visit $ 50. After the first two visits its $ 20 -25 for me since my weight is under 174 lbs. For those over 174 lbs its $ 25- $30 . I wasn't really thinking that far ahead. But I did wonder just how much my plasma was really worth.

The individuals in the waiting area many of them chatting among themselves made me feel somewhat at ease. The professional looking staff was reassuring. A movie playing on a tv helped to distract me . And people watching also helped to deal with the wait.Oddly almost all the staff are asian and scanning the room I noticed no asian donors. Eventually my name was called and a mild feeling of excitement overcame me.

Heading to the back where another smaller group of individuals were waiting I got to see the entire operation . It appeared very sterile and orderly . But I still had my reservations. I also got to thinking about how long this process was taking. Doing the math in my head I realized this wasn't the greatest paying opportunity I had ever signed up for. But it was a sure thing - right ? Well I noticed a few people turned away at this point because their veins weren't sufficiently large enough. But thankfully mine were and I was called on to proceed.

Your only decision at this point is whether you wanted to have your right or left arm stuck . I decided on my left .

There appeared to be about a dozen or so staff in those white lab coats and visors with shields processing people. There wasn't any blood splattered on those white coats either. Again just looking for something to put me at ease . After you settle into a brown vinyl curvy padded recliner you are greeted by one of the staff that sets up the system . Seemed like lots of clear plastic tubes are needed and a fairly large plastic bottle ( not sure how many ounces) that has a label affixed with your name and social security number on it . I did notice what appeared to be the headquarters address listed in Charlotte, North Carolina . And the words NORMAL DONOR were also noticeable to me . Felt pretty good about that .

As I settled in I was positioned fairly close to one of the overhead televisions so I became much more relaxed and than I would have imagined . Soon THE moment was about to happen. A blood pressure cuff was affixed to my arm and my arm was prepped with some sort of brown liquid and then you make a fist ... I did not look and then the needle is inserted into your arm ...and it was done . Just like that . No pain . I figured the people working here must have done 100's if not 1000's of needle insertions. But hey you never know it is a needle.

For close to an hour the system does its thing. The blood pressure cuff alternates between tight and loose. You have a little squeezy thing in your hand which you squeeze when the cuff is tight. Initially it seems the bottle fills up fairly fast but then time drags on a bit. I noticed even though everyones bottle has similiarly colored plasma the hues of each bottle does differ . Some are very light brown almost yellow and some others are darker with a little bit of reddish . A few times I heard the mention of fast food and fat in your blood slowing down the process and also that you maybe declined if the plasma is too cloudy .

So you pass the time by talking or in my case mostly listening to the others around you chit-chat. It seemed that most of the donors had been here a lot . What I would refer to now as regulars. Plus you have the movie playing above you to pass the time. And this was one ironic twist . Wesley Snipes in Blade-Trinity was playing. A movie I had not seen and in one scene he comes upon a warehouse full of people in a coma like state that are hooked up to machines for their blood . I did glance around to see if anyone noticed and it appeared no one did. At the time it hit me way too close to home. But I put that out of my mind because I really wasn't going anywhere with a needle in my arm . The people here are for the most part I imagined were like myself very much in need of money and were going to stick it ( no pun intended) out until getting paid .

You are officially alerted when you are done by three beeps from your machine and your container is nearly full. To let the staff know that you are done you raise your hand and rather loudly exclaim DC ! I wondered what DC meant . I did finally ask someone. It means disconnect . Makes sense. I just raised my hand and tried to make eye contact with a staff person so they could disconnect me. The needle is removed from your arm and your arm is wrapped very tightly with some gauze and tape where the needle had been . After that day whenever I saw someone on Midway with tape wrapped on their arm I always assumed that they had been to Octapharma. I was self concsious of that arm wrap and for that reason on future visits I always brought along a long sleeve shirt .

After months of visits the process seemed to go by much faster . Less than a half hour to get called. No more visits with the Doctor. And about an hour for the draw and to be on my way. Of course sometimes your file was misplaced or staffing on a particular day may have been short which increased the wait. But I also did notice that those delays that were initially irritating eventually didn't bother me at all and I began to really appreciate the staff and their service. Everyone was nice and they were helping me . I even began to feel that I was helping someone else. Maybe it was the sign in the lobby that proclaimed - Be someones hero ! Whatever the reason this large sterile building of last ( financial resort ) became a liitle more comfortable .

I went to Octapharma periodically for almost a year until my last visit on February 28,2011. I landed a full time job and even though I thought about coming in on Saturdays I decided some time off would be a good thing. In February I had visited six times. Which was the most visits I had made in one month. That was even enough visits to get entered into the raffle for the Wal Mart gift card...which I didn't win.

I guess I was right about Midway being recession proof ...especially for me .

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Luman Gaskill and the bloody gunfight at Campo, Americans invade Baja

Little Landers farm San Ysidro, Salton Sea's creation, history of eucalyptus in San Diego, Charles Hatfield makes a flood, Colorado River unchained

Tequila shooters,Santana's carne asada burritos,buckets of Coronas,pizza,buffalo wings,g-strings,pigs in a blanket,Jaeger bombs,jello shots,jumbalaya,Jumbo Jacks, lap dances,sushi,donuts and dvd's ...Mcdoubles and Mcgriddles not to mention a steak night or two.Those are just some of the wonderful things that come to mind when thinking of Midway Drive just off of Rosecrans .

As our economy was tanking in 2008 I often remarked that Midway was recession proof . I was working and well paid so for me the Midway district ( aka fun zone) was the place I spent most of my free time and cash.

I even recall telling a friend its a recession when you lose your job...but its a depression when I lose my job . Kinda wish I had never said that.

Because all that Midway fun came to an end on September 3rd,2009.

I lost my job and those fixed costs like rent and a car payment, cell phone and insurance began to consume a lot of my money. More like all of my money . I did land some odd jobs here and there but even those disappeared as 2010 rolled around .

So on March 23,2010 after seeing an ad in the Reader I ventured to Octapharma Plasma on Duke Steet just off of Midway Drive to donate my plasma for money. Let's first say I am really afraid of needles and looking back I was desperate to have made this decision. As I turned onto Duke I remember breathing rather rapidly and as I approached their building my first sight was of an ambulance . Just great ! That hardly made me feel comfortable but I did notice it was in front of a senior living building on the other side of the street and somehow I was a little relieved .

As I entered the building the waiting room was full of people and a lot of staff moving about all in white lab coats . Breathe . Just breathe was what I was telling myself.I signed in and it took awhile but I was processed as a new patient. A photo ID, and verification of your social security number and proof of residence gets you through the first stage. And completing a questionnaire gets you through the next stage. During my wait names were being called and people were shuffling off to the back which at the time I wasn't too curious about.

My next step was a visit with the Doctor .It appeared that there was only one available . So the process went quite slowly. Getting the once over by the Doctor is not quite what I would call a physical but apparently satisfactory for donating plasma. In order to get approved for a donation I was glad that I hadn't had any recent tatoos or piercings and had not been in prison recently . The actual question is whether you have been in prison for more than three days - guess bad things can happen after three days . I was deemed healthy which allowed me to pass onto the next stage the vitals . At this point your weight,blood pressure and temperature are taken . Also the nail on your pinky finger is colored with a glow in the dark marker. Plus a finger prick ( that does hurt a little and worried me a bit ) is done to check your iron and some other things that I wasn't totally sure of like fat in your blood.

The time I spent in the waiting room passed very slowly . Some people bring a book which made me assume that they had been here before. I considered bailing and some did just that. Probably wondering as I did ...do I really want to do this . Mmmmm . Maybe I can sell something else . Again do I really need to do this ...mmmmm yes I do.

Bottom line is I really needed the money . The first visit pays $ 30 and the second visit $ 50. After the first two visits its $ 20 -25 for me since my weight is under 174 lbs. For those over 174 lbs its $ 25- $30 . I wasn't really thinking that far ahead. But I did wonder just how much my plasma was really worth.

The individuals in the waiting area many of them chatting among themselves made me feel somewhat at ease. The professional looking staff was reassuring. A movie playing on a tv helped to distract me . And people watching also helped to deal with the wait.Oddly almost all the staff are asian and scanning the room I noticed no asian donors. Eventually my name was called and a mild feeling of excitement overcame me.

Heading to the back where another smaller group of individuals were waiting I got to see the entire operation . It appeared very sterile and orderly . But I still had my reservations. I also got to thinking about how long this process was taking. Doing the math in my head I realized this wasn't the greatest paying opportunity I had ever signed up for. But it was a sure thing - right ? Well I noticed a few people turned away at this point because their veins weren't sufficiently large enough. But thankfully mine were and I was called on to proceed.

Your only decision at this point is whether you wanted to have your right or left arm stuck . I decided on my left .

There appeared to be about a dozen or so staff in those white lab coats and visors with shields processing people. There wasn't any blood splattered on those white coats either. Again just looking for something to put me at ease . After you settle into a brown vinyl curvy padded recliner you are greeted by one of the staff that sets up the system . Seemed like lots of clear plastic tubes are needed and a fairly large plastic bottle ( not sure how many ounces) that has a label affixed with your name and social security number on it . I did notice what appeared to be the headquarters address listed in Charlotte, North Carolina . And the words NORMAL DONOR were also noticeable to me . Felt pretty good about that .

As I settled in I was positioned fairly close to one of the overhead televisions so I became much more relaxed and than I would have imagined . Soon THE moment was about to happen. A blood pressure cuff was affixed to my arm and my arm was prepped with some sort of brown liquid and then you make a fist ... I did not look and then the needle is inserted into your arm ...and it was done . Just like that . No pain . I figured the people working here must have done 100's if not 1000's of needle insertions. But hey you never know it is a needle.

For close to an hour the system does its thing. The blood pressure cuff alternates between tight and loose. You have a little squeezy thing in your hand which you squeeze when the cuff is tight. Initially it seems the bottle fills up fairly fast but then time drags on a bit. I noticed even though everyones bottle has similiarly colored plasma the hues of each bottle does differ . Some are very light brown almost yellow and some others are darker with a little bit of reddish . A few times I heard the mention of fast food and fat in your blood slowing down the process and also that you maybe declined if the plasma is too cloudy .

So you pass the time by talking or in my case mostly listening to the others around you chit-chat. It seemed that most of the donors had been here a lot . What I would refer to now as regulars. Plus you have the movie playing above you to pass the time. And this was one ironic twist . Wesley Snipes in Blade-Trinity was playing. A movie I had not seen and in one scene he comes upon a warehouse full of people in a coma like state that are hooked up to machines for their blood . I did glance around to see if anyone noticed and it appeared no one did. At the time it hit me way too close to home. But I put that out of my mind because I really wasn't going anywhere with a needle in my arm . The people here are for the most part I imagined were like myself very much in need of money and were going to stick it ( no pun intended) out until getting paid .

You are officially alerted when you are done by three beeps from your machine and your container is nearly full. To let the staff know that you are done you raise your hand and rather loudly exclaim DC ! I wondered what DC meant . I did finally ask someone. It means disconnect . Makes sense. I just raised my hand and tried to make eye contact with a staff person so they could disconnect me. The needle is removed from your arm and your arm is wrapped very tightly with some gauze and tape where the needle had been . After that day whenever I saw someone on Midway with tape wrapped on their arm I always assumed that they had been to Octapharma. I was self concsious of that arm wrap and for that reason on future visits I always brought along a long sleeve shirt .

After months of visits the process seemed to go by much faster . Less than a half hour to get called. No more visits with the Doctor. And about an hour for the draw and to be on my way. Of course sometimes your file was misplaced or staffing on a particular day may have been short which increased the wait. But I also did notice that those delays that were initially irritating eventually didn't bother me at all and I began to really appreciate the staff and their service. Everyone was nice and they were helping me . I even began to feel that I was helping someone else. Maybe it was the sign in the lobby that proclaimed - Be someones hero ! Whatever the reason this large sterile building of last ( financial resort ) became a liitle more comfortable .

I went to Octapharma periodically for almost a year until my last visit on February 28,2011. I landed a full time job and even though I thought about coming in on Saturdays I decided some time off would be a good thing. In February I had visited six times. Which was the most visits I had made in one month. That was even enough visits to get entered into the raffle for the Wal Mart gift card...which I didn't win.

I guess I was right about Midway being recession proof ...especially for me .

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close