Thursday, February 08, 2007

The donor...

~ ...The questionnaire, though only 2 pages, seems long and arduous.
Have I been to Africa? No.
Am I on any medications? No.
Have I had sex with a man who had sex with another man since 1977? No.
He takes my blood pressure. The worst part in my book. I always feel like my head is going to explode.
I complete the survey and scrawl a signature. I'm immediately escorted to the interrogation cubicles.
Put this under your tongue. I'm doing a finger stick, it might sting.
I'm given a t-shirt. Cotton for blood. Seems like a fair trade.
It's not initially obvious that my levels of iron are normal. I'm forced to wait while my tiny blood sample is centrifuged.
The ok is given and I'm put in The Chair.
Squeeze this three times, hold on the third. Good vein you have there.
I perpetually expect this to be the time that I don't flinch and tense. The needle goes in. This is not the time.
Squeeze every 5 seconds.
I always find that disconcerting. I feel the needle move as I flex. I am expressly aware of the blood leaving my arm. It causes a bit of a strange dull ache. The nurse distracts me with small talk. It goes quickly. I have good veins.
Yes. A positive.
Go have a cookie.
Don't lift anything heavy.
Leave the bandage on for half an hour.
I am the only student there at the moment. Just about the entire 6 man crew address me by name by now. They seem inordinately concerned with my well being. Perhaps I appear pallid. I assert my autonomy.
No thanks, one juice is plenty.
I'm feeling fine, but thanks for asking.
After the obligatory refreshments I rise to leave.
Part of me stays.
45 minutes well spent.
~

Yes, if you haven't guessed already, I gave blood today (and got a surprise free t-shirt!).
I encourage all of you who are eligible to take the time to give blood. I realize that my description of it makes it seem worse then it is. That is because I have the habit of taking an everyday occurrence and writing it in as dramatic a way as possible just to exercise my literary skill. It's not that bad.
It really doesn't hurt, it really doesn't take that long, and it really could save someone's life. And you get a cookie for it.

2 comments:

Drewcifer said...

I'm one of those people who feels fine after giving blood. I get annoyed when they're all in my grill like "HAVE ANOTHER JUICE, SIR!"

Renee L. said...

Yo homes, I hear dat!
Seriously, I've never felt the least bit faint or queasy after giving blood. Never even gotten a decent bruise to show off...