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Ever "Donate" Plasma?


I just called the place on Superior Street today.

I'm wondering if anyone has had first hand experience. The person on the phone was quite nice and said they just got Wi-Fi. Just looking for some insight.


I sold my plasma about 25 years ago. They ruptured my vein and filled my bicep muscle with whole cells (which they put back in your arm after they spin out the plasma). In addition to the cool purple and green bruise, I got an extra $1 for the extra needle poke!

Drink lots of water the night before and morning of; this will speed up the process considerably. Also bring a book!

It is relatively simple and not too painful as long as you have good veins. Don't do it if you have a problem with needles. When they put a cotton ball over the needle insertion point and wrap it with a bandage after you are done, make sure the bandage is wrapped tightly and apply pressure for a minute or two to make sure any bleeding stops. I've wrecked a handful of shirts by not applying pressure only to find blood oozing out a few minutes later. Also, it can make you feel a bit tired afterward so don't donate plasma if you are planning to engage in any vigorous physical activity later that day. Lastly, the first time you donate they do a brief medical exam so allow about 3 hours to make sure you have enough time. Aside from that it is easy money and allows you a chance to get caught up on some reading.

I did one time when I was at UMD. The idea of selling my fluids and being in that nasty place made me feel gross for weeks.

Plasma donation is awesome. Advice:

-- Make sure you've recently eaten something with protein in it. They'll turn you away if your protein level is too low. (I used to live on breakfast cereal and tomato sandwiches and was turned away often).

-- Don't eat any super-greasy food beforehand. It'll slow the process and you'll be there forever and ever.

-- Go early in the morning, if you can, to beat the rush. The wait is waaaay shorter. Most every college student in the world donates plasma and the waiting room gets to overflowing.

-- And yeah, bring a book. I've gotten so much of my best reading done with a needle in my arm.

Also: the West Duluth plasma center, at 22ndish and Superior, pays a bit more, and features leather sofas in the waiting area. They also have a flair for promotion that the downtown one lacks: the week before Christmas, they had me write down my "Christmas Wish" (with a value no greater than a hundred dollars) and put it in a big cardboard box. If they'd drawn my wish from the box, I would have won a hundred dollar Electric Fetus giftcard.

One guy wished for a "date with the receptionist". He didn't win, either.

Contrary to popular belief, they do not make flat panel television sets with your body fluids.

Nah, that's to keep the Cray super computers cooled.

The West Duluth Plasma Center also used to give away a plasma television once a month. So... I'm pretty sure you're wrong.

The DCI Plasma Center is located on 17th and Superior Street, almost two miles *east* of West Duluth.

Great, wifi! That helps!

Mm, however I went in ZR whatever sometime and was a bit dissuaded by the array of sleazy looking people in the waiting room. Do I really want to share blood equipment with Downtown's finest drug addicts? Not really... at the least I felt like I'd contract lice or some killer mites, at worst probably hepatitis.

I tend to label any area West of me West Duluth.

Does this make blood an urban "crop".

Thank you to Barrett for clearing up that egregious geography error, so I didn't have to do it myself. The officially recognized boundary between West Duluth and West End/Lincoln Park are the elevated railroad tracks near Stadium Lanes.

I tried to sell plasma long ago, but I started to faint before they even got the sample needle in my arm. They said I should try to find another way to earn money.

The officially recognized term for those "elevated railroad tracks" is "ore docks."

But to get back on subject, when I go to the plasma center I always refer to my veins as "elevated railroad tracks."

I go to ZLB and it's really pretty nice in there. The people who work there are always pretty nice as well, no pushiness or anything like that.

Go in the morning (before 10am at least) to beat the rush. Drink a lot of water the day before, eat a good breakfast, both of these make it go faster.

I don't really get the feel of sleazy drug addicts, but I guess growing up in Duluth has made me immune to the wiles of downtown people.

Depending on your weight you can make up to $60 a week for sitting in a comfortable chair and reading/watching a movie/using their free wifi. Plus donating plasma is actually a nice thing to do anyway.

I know they're the ore docks, but I felt that may have caused more confusion. I mean we're already talking about people calling an area in the easternmost part of the West End, West Duluth. Technically speaking the ore docks would be the end of the tracks near the water. While the boundary is actually a ways a way from the water in the area of Stadium Lanes and Jake's Tire.

You should have said that the border was DM&IR Dock #6.

If everything west of you is West Duluth, then everything south of the Buffalo House is the Twin Cities Metro Region.

I once made the apparently-very-serious-mistake of telling a native Duluthian, when asked where I lived. "pretty much downtown". I lived at Emerson. I was reprimanded, harshly, that Emerson was "waaaaaay" far from downtown.

I explained that my point of reference was based on years of living in central Minneapolis. Back then, when I explained to non-central-citiers where I lived I always said downtown, even if it was actaully Stevens Square, north Kenwood, Loring Park, North Phillips, etc. To non-central-citiers, these places were all "downtown". Being specific with them wouldn't make any sense.

Anyway, I am constantly amazed at the obsession many native Duluthians have with the deliniation of East Duluth, West Duluth, Lincoln Park, etc. I hate to sound like an a-hole, but it's kind of parochial. I wonder if it's based on some sort of identifictaion of class.

Anyway, this is a very long comment.

My annoyance just stems from being an almost life-long resident of West Duluth. And it honestly rubs me the wrong way when someone says I live in the West End. They are two completely different communities, that just happen to both be on the west side of town. I wonder if people from Lakeside get as annoyed if someone mistakenly says they live in Lester Park? Personally I don't know exactly where the dividing line two those two neighborhoods would be. So I can see how a longtime Duluthian may not know all the dividing lines for neighborhoods other than their own. But generally I would expect they would know which neighborhood it is when your talking about a location smack dab in the middle.

Okay, so when I am renting a home on N. 16th Ave. E. during the week (We go to our real home during the weekends.), what neighborhood am I in? I seriously want to know.

Zoe, in my opinion that is the 'east hillside'.

Here's a PDF of the official Duluth neighborhoods.

If you travel through the West End (aka Lincoln Park) and West Duluth (aka Denfeld, Oneota, Irving, Spirit Valley, and Cody) you'll see that they grew from their own small towns and still have distinct "downtown" areas of their own. They are separate communities, with (dare I say) different demographics and cultures.

West Duluth is proud of its community and history. Witness how vocal that neighborhood has been regarding the recent changes in Duluth's school system. To group the entire 120+ blocks west of Lake Avenue as all the same thing feels very insulting to a West Duluthian.

I like the Lincoln Park and West End neighborhoods very much. I like their bars, their thrift shops, their walkways by creeks, their breakfast restaurants and their plasma donation centers. But I will never ever learn where the divisions between West End and Lincoln Park and West Duluth and Morgan Park and Norton Park and Gary New Duluth and Fon-Du-Lac lie. And so, whenever I refer to something that's West of, say, 7th Avenue West, I just label it West Duluth. When pressed for details, I give a street address or say something like, you know, it's by the Salvation Army, or The Blue Crab, or the Seaway Hotel.

If I were a native West-Duluthian, this sort of fast-and-loose geography would probably irritate me, too.

For the record, I live behind the Wendy's on London Road and have no idea what part of Duluth I live in. If you live east, but you're below the hillside and west of Congdon Park, where do you live?

I live in Endion.

Thanks for the link, Barrett.

you live in lower endion ... that being anything below 2nd street. .. btw jkjk!

wikipedia entry for Endion

I live on the border of Near-Mid-Lower-East Hillside and Upper-Outer-Under-West-Downtown. Otherwise known as Duluth.

the boundary of Lakeside/Lester Park is 51st Ave. E.- and yes, if you live in Lester Park you get pissy about the Lakeside-lumping. Probably more so when Lakeside school was still open.
And hey!! half of them want liquor!

Anyway, I am constantly amazed at the obsession many native Duluthians have ...

well, if you ever spend any time in Chicago, you'll see that they have the same obsession with neighborhood borders. a little bit of it can be about segregating yourself from people of a different class (or race) from you, but i think that most of it stems from neighborhood identification and pride, and a bit of working class bravado.

in the PDD community, it's also about preserving the history of different parts of Duluth. witness the insistence on "West End" rather than "Lincoln Park."

when i sold my plasma a few years ago, i had a negative reaction that made the attendants very nervous and insist i should see a doctor about some sort of blood imbalance. a blood imbalance that only apparently shows up when they take out the good stuff. so i just decided my body didn't want me to sell my body fluids.

i also had this sickly sort of vision while lying there, with that metallic odor of desperation all around me: pipes of golden fluid snaking up the hillside into the homes of the rich, where it dripped out of faucets into crystal goblets.

yeah. i think i'll do just about anything rather than go back there.

also, as a non-native Duluthian, and an active participant in Freecycle, i have often had to bite my tongue in order to prevent me "schooling" people about their faulty naming of their own neighborhoods. "No, lady, you don't live in Hunter's Park--you live in KENWOOD. I don't care what the realtor told you."

I live right on the border of Chester Park/East Hillside. I think I'm going to make a new neighborhood called EastChestParkSide.

And I remember donating plasma simply to stay afloat for about three months before I found work... good times....

One of the things I found most obtrusive when I first moved to town is people here want to know where you live. Specifically. I just found it a little unsettling that strangers would want to know what house you live in.

I grew up in Duluth and so recognized most of the names on Barrett's link. I have never, on the other hand, heard the titles Fairmount, Oneota, Endion, or Morley Hts. And Bayview Hts we just called Proctor; and, of course, Lincoln Park was always -- and may always be -- West End to locals.

You can avoid annoying people by saying "western Duluth," which is what you mean, instead of "West Duluth," which is a specific community that doesn't reach the westernmost part of Duluth.

I live in Waverly Heights. No one knows where that is; and frankly, I don't really mind if someone calls it East End, Woodland, Morley Heights, Hunter's Park, Hidden Valley or Congdon. I am ashamed to even take part in this totally ridiculous debate.


"the triangle below skyline."

I knew I live in Endion but I never knew there was an upper or lower (maybe every block in town should have its own name), or how it's pronounced. En-di-on, En-de-on, End-ion?

i almost got attacked by a man in a captian's hat like the skipper's in the midway (now the blue crab) for calling that neighborhood (lincoln park)west duluth. then i promptly wrote a song about it.

I can't believe I read every single damn comment! and I don't even give a crap about plasma except when it erroneously leaks out of me somewhere.

I used to sell plasma during my first bout with grad school in Minneapolis. We used to watch movies, but you'd (of course) come in at the middle and then watch to the end and then catch the beginning--which made me feel very warm and nostalgic because when our family used to go to movies in Roseau, about a half-hour from our town, we'd always see them the same way. "Flashdance" lost nothing in this treatment.

and yeah, Oneota used to be a separate town, west of Denfield, whose name survives now in the cemetery where my baby auntie Randi was buried on Christmas Eve night when she died of diphtheria at age 3. Family story includes my grandfather trudging up the hill from their house at 50th and 10th in the falling snow to pick out a plot, because she had to be buried from the house the same day she died--quarantine.

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