Friday, April 25, 2008

I've been doing the work. I'm not a slacker. Please take my blood.

Dear San Bernardino Blood Bank,

Tomorrow I will be donating blood at the drive you're having at my church. It will be the first time I have even attempted to donate blood in over a year because you always reject me. And it's a little hurtful. I'm not going to lie to spare your feelings. You call me every month and say, "We love you. We love your blood. O+ is the best! Please come." So I come and you tell me that you can't take my blood that you love so much because my iron is too low or my temperature is too high or you don't like the shirt I'm wearing and frankly, I think that makes you a tease.

But I do like to donate blood and I like the cookies and juice that I get afterwards so I'm going to give it a shot tomorrow. And I've been preparing myself for it. Here's a list:

1.) I've had Cream o' Wheat for breakfast every day this week.
2.) I've taken my iron pills every night
3.) I've had plenty of water and have exercised regularly, without passing out, all week so that my blood vessels will be at their best pumping performance and we will not have to relive the "we can't find a good strong vein that will hold the needle so we'll just keep digging around and then eventually switch to the other arm but not before we leave you with an 8 inch bruise" experience of '95, or the even more terrifying "HEMATOMA!!!!" experience of '97 or the "Ah... your blood vessel has dried up and isn't it a shame that you made it this far and can't fill up the bag" experience of '01, '02, and '04.
4.) I have not shared a needle with a man who has had sex with another man from a Sub-Saharan country since 1977.

Not that #4 has ever been an issue (and I personally think you're a little fresh for even asking) but I want to cover all of my bases.

I'll see you tomorrow and you had better be nice. I don't want my mouth tasting like I've been sucking on an I-beam for nothing. And could you please have Oreos? That's my post-blood-letting snack of choice.



Amanda said...

Didn't you have a successful attempt back a couple years ago? I remember coming home and seeing that beautiful colored gauze around your elbow.
I'll be saying a little prayer in your behalf

Valerie said...

I feel your (literal) pain. I too had a "that vein keeps moving so I'm just going to feel around for it with this needle" experience. Though, I kind of love battle scars. They give me something to talk about at parties. So, Rach, keep on the sunny side.
I hope all goes well. That Cream of Wheat move is genius.

Anonymous said...

You know, I just don't get it. I can draw my own blood just fine, needles, knives, ninja stars or otherwise. It takes very little intelligence and only a little pressure to make blood be on the outside of a human's body. How hard a science is this? Frankly I'd rather the ninja star to the acheologist/alien needle probe.

Tell us how it all went, or if your blood took a stand and decided to stay where it belongs.

Jennette said...

Okay, you have us on pins and needles (haha, couldn't resist!) How did it go? I have had a few similar weird blood donation stories myself. One was when they wouldn't use my good donating arm (weird veins in the other)because of the mark left by rolled up sweatshirt sleeve. They thought it could be a rash. Weird... Let us know how it went!

Anonymous said...

You do have the worst luck I've ever seen when it comes to donating blood. I think I remember the hematoma of '97. It put me off from trying to donate for a long time. Then I went and found out I'm banned for life for being in Italy during the mad cow season. Moo.

Jenn said...

That was fantastic. The blood bank has stopped calling me because I keep getting pregnant. I hope it all went well.

Anonymous said...

I've been declined several times because I shared a number of bush-taxis in Sub-Saharan Africa with men who may or may not have had sex with other men. I feel your pain.'d it go?

courtney said...

june, 1995: i pull myself out of bed the afternoon after grad night and trot over to the bloodmobile parked at the lutheran church. there i am insulted in a way i thought not possible: the phlebotomist says to me, looking my arm up and down, her eyes narrowing with disgust, a veritable snarl on her lips, "guess you don't do much housework. let's try the other arm."