Today the Blood Letting Wagon was in the neighboring parking lot. Ok it was the Stanford Blood Traveling Blood Bank. I get a call from the Stanford blood center literally every 8 weeks to the day. You see, I am a universal donor, I have O+ blood and it can be used in transfusion with any other blood type. Funny enough, I received a phone call yesterday asking me to donate and so I made my appointment. Apparently their shortgage wasn't as dire as they first informed me, seeing as my appointment wasn't for 2 weeks. But opportunity knocked and the bus was next door and they would be able to bleed me sooner, rather than later.
But here is the thing (and my nearest and dearest will tell you) I hate blood, the sight of it, the smell of it, everything associated with it, even my own. TheBestFriend Tiff, will tell you a hoot of a story (ok, more than one) where she cut herself and I asked to see (big mistake), next thing I know my head is between my knees trying to get my world sorted out. There is another equally amusing story (amusing to others, not to me) that involves, a well learned lesson of concentrating while using a knife, screaming and tears. That was what I did, no one else.
Back to the story- so I voluntarily let the vampires relieve me of a pint of blood. Am I sure alot of you have gone thru the process of blood donations, you wait, alot. They ask you questions to make sure that you haven't put yourself in any dangerous contaminent situation. Or that you aren't using this as a way to test for AIDS or disease. They are all reasonable questions to guard against passing along diseases, but I swear can't they keep my answers on file and I can update as needed. Then they lead you to this recliner thingy, well today I wore a dress. Not exactly blood donation attire. But the attendants were very sweet to cover me with a paper blanket to save from any embarrassing incidents that could arise while trying to get out of the recliner.
To jump sort of off topic, the last three times that I have gone to voluntarily give my blood, I have had the worst experiences. It would always turn out that the person inserting the needle in to my very visble vein, was an intern. And of course, they would do one of the following, collaspe a vein ( a vein people, its a large-ish tube, its a tiny needle, I mean is it rocket science), poke the needle sideways and manage to butt it up against the other wall of the vein, but thankfully not thru my vein. And last but not least once the intern managed to insert the needle up against the valve in my vein , causing the ENTIRE vein to vibrate with the flucuations of the valve walls. Can you say EWWWWWWW!!!! When either of these three things happened. Women in plastic splash guard masks came over and inspect and whisper among themselves and then look back at me an smile. They move the needle around and whisper some more. Now lets refer back to paragraph #2, where we explored my intolerance for all things blood ( I can't even eat roast beef). I am at this point (all three times) pale, squirming, and staring intently at the ceiling tiles counting the little holes, pray that the Splash Guard Squad will go away or at least put me out of my misery. Thankfully today I got to be in the careful hands of an actually R.N., so you can imagine my excitement when I realized that that I might get out of this experience relatively unscathed. And I did! The only mildly disconcerting this that occurred was when after holdling my arm above my head for two minutes, I took my arm down and the nurse removes the gauze I had been viceing down on my arm, only to have the blood almost immediately geyser out of the needle hole. Whoooops, back up for two minutes. The blood draining out of my face earned me a 15 minutes time out in the recliner.
All in all, a much more positive experience that the other times. And after all this, I swear I can hear you asking, exactly WHY do you donate blood again?