Well, I tried to donate blood again this morning and failed. First off, it was a bad sign when they tried to sign me up for doing an "R2" donation - which is what I tried two weeks ago. I explained that I was told not to try that again. Initially, the nurse doing the sign-up asked the head nurse of the group for confirmation. She came over and said something like, "What do you mean you've been banned from using the machines? Who told you that?" She was skeptical that I would have been banned - she said something about it usually being the muscular types who have a problem because the muscles push against the veins. (Hey, wait a second! Was that a jab? Hmmm.... so much for me trying to impress people with my muscles.) Anyhow, she took a look and agreed with the previous assessment from two weeks ago. She said the flow of blood out would be fine, but the return didn't look so good.
So, it was back to the original plan of doing a "whole blood" donation. I'm not sure exactly what went wrong (I try to not look at the needle for fear of creeping myself out) but after the inital prick of the needle, the nurse didn't seem too happy and began to adjust tape on my arm holding the return tube, then began adjusting the angle of the needle, and then finally called someone over for help. Best I could glean from the conversation was the needle went in too far initially and as a result the spot was starting to clot and the blood flow wasn't going to be good. Unlike a blood test where they get to try the same arm repeatedly, it appears due to the sized hole made in your arm, they only get one attempt per arm. And since my right arm is virtually impossible for anyone to find a vein, my donation attempt had to end there.
Oh well. I'll have to try again once my arm heals.