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We're going on vacation soon, and so won't be online all that much for a few weeks. But, between fun things like reading, being outside, and reading outside, I'll continue that writing related stuff. You should hear about future projects by the end of summer, if all goes well. 

My oldest daughter approached me with a simple request: Her twins were being asked to bring someone to their school to donate blood. You want to do something for your grandkids. After all, they're your ... wait for it ...

Blood relatives.

Blood relatives! Hey, the dog thought it was funny.

There was a short period of time, a few nanoseconds, in which my mind wound up to deliver a powerful, definitive, final, "hell no". Scream it. I've always had an issue with needles, which abated some over the years as I got used to allergy shots and annual blood draws. But the needle they use for an allergy shot is like, say, a BB Gun. My brother shot me with a BB gun once; it left a welt on my cheek (no, not that cheek), close enough that it could have put an eye out, but otherwise harmless.

The needle they use for blood donations is closer to Dirty Harry size.

"Go ahead: Open a vein."

But in the short amount of time I spent winding up to scream "No!" the way teenagers used to scream at the Beatles, I heard a voice. It said, "Sure, okay." It was squeaky and shaky, but it was me.

It's not the first time I ever spoke before I thought. There was the time I agreed to a BB gun fight with my brother, for instance.

Worse, it's notoriously hard to get a needle stick into my tiny veins. I suppose they shrivel in fear when they see the needle approach, just as I do. But I made a blood promise, literally, so I showed up to talk to the Red Cross people.

"Hey, you can't draw blood from people who are taking allergy and acid reflux medicine, can you?"

"Sure we can, no problem."

"Oh, right good. But what if professional nurses have actually taken early retirement because they couldn't find my veins?"

"Not to worry, we deal with that all the time."

"Yeah, but, if somebody faints ..."

"You'll be laying down, it's okay."

"Oh, cool. What if I ran for my life?"

"No problem, I was a defensive tackle in college."

Long story short, I sucked it up while getting my blood sucked out. The whole process only took about half an hour, of which twenty minutes was paperwork and ten actual sucking. The biggest shock to me is that they found my vein on the first stick; this is so remarkable I'm thinking of hiring them to do all my future blood draws, even the ones with the BB gun needles.

Smiling through my pain.

And no cost. Well, none to me: I had the good fortune of feeling a little lightheaded when it was all over, so I got three cans of juice and a bag of cookies out of the deal. I also got Red Cross blankets for the grand-kids, which is great, but I think it's their turn to give blood next time. I mean, they're almost ten.

Now that I've done it, I have to say, I understand people who make multiple blood donations. There's a certain satisfaction in giving when it's done, the idea that you've contributed in some small way.

Just the same, it would be nice if they could come up with some other extraction technique. Maybe something similar to squeezing it out, like from a sponge. Or collecting it from a BB gun wound.

Maybe I'll try that on my brother.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
curiouswombat
May. 8th, 2018 07:58 pm (UTC)
Well done you. I tried to give blood when I was much younger, and in the end they told me to go away as, although they could find the vein OK, by about 100ml it would just stop - then they would change arms and get a similar amount out of that. When they admitted defeat and took the cannula out I would then faint. After the same sequence three times in a year they told me to go away, with their thanks.
ozma914
May. 9th, 2018 06:40 am (UTC)
Some people just aren't made to give blood! What you described is pretty much what I thought would happen to me, but once they got going they had a bag full in about five minutes.
kazzy_cee
May. 9th, 2018 06:53 am (UTC)
Heh! Over here they give you an acrylic tube to squeeze to help pump the blood. What blood type are you? Mr Cee is O+ which is the universal donor type so he gets called in when blood supplies get low.
ozma914
May. 9th, 2018 08:54 am (UTC)
They told me to "play an imaginary harp". I guess they were out of tubes!
I don't honestly know what blood type I am; I used to years ago, but I've had remarkably little reason to know. They said they'll type it at their lab, but I don't know whether I'll get word back on that or if I need to look it up in my old records. A person should know!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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