When I sat down to write this blog post, the title immediately jumped to the screen before anything else did. But it felt familiar somehow. I knew that I had written about trying to donate blood before... I thought I should look at some previous posts.
They Finally Took My Blood! Look at the date... November 5, 2010. I guess it's been awhile since I've given blood! And I was pretty damn excited the last time too! To the point of using essentially the exact same title. Weird.
7 years ago I had decided to try to give blood for the first time. I felt that it was an easy way for me to "give back". I made 3 or 4 appointments over a span of a few months but I was only able to donate once. Why? Apparently your blood pressure can not be sky high at the time and no matter how much you try to convince the nurse that if she takes some out, the pressure will lessen, she won't listen. Apparently blood defies the laws of physics. Or I'm not nearly as smart as I think I am. I think we can all agree that blood is to blame.
So I took a little time off to get my blood pressure under control. 7 years, to be exact, although I honestly didn't think that it had been that long.
Seven years is a lifetime for Canadian Blood Services! The last time I was there they had an abacus on the desk, and the nurses all carried a chunk of slate to scribble on. Welcome to 2017! Now there's an app for that! I could book it all online, AND pre-fill the questionnaire. My donor card is in my app. The questionnaire was saved as a QR code that she scanned. This was truly the promised land.
"You checked that you have epilepsy or have fainted in the past."
"Yes, I fainted at the U2 concert." Did Bono just single me out of the crowd of thousands and motion for me to come up onstage to serenade me with With Or Without You??? *FAINT*
"You also checked that you have consulted a doctor for a health problem in the last 6 months."
"Yes. Apparently I had a prostate infection. Fun times!"
"OK, looks good. Do you have any questions for me?"
"Yes. What's with the monkey?"
The questionnaire is 62 questions long. #61 is Have you, in your past or present job, taken care of or handled monkeys or their body fluids? I'm not sure if I'm more intrigued by the question, or the fact that it's NOT THE LAST question... like #62 Did you make your last donation or last attempted donation at Héma-Québec? is somehow the absurd question that they are forced to throw in there at the bottom. I don't know what those people at Hema-Quebec are up to, but I'm gonna steer clear of them!
Oh, and in case anyone is interested, the answer to the question is... mind your own business! What happens with BooBoo stays with BooBoo.
So after clearing the interrogation room it was time to go out onto the floor and get comfy in a big chair.
"Which arm do you prefer?"
"We don't have any chairs ready with right arms available right now."
Well why did you ask me then?
"That's OK, the left is fine."
After the nurse told me to make a fist with my left hand and tried unsuccessfully to find a vein she liked, I looked at her and said "You know... I make a better fist with my right hand."
They found me a new chair.
Unfortunately the same nurse was having difficulty finding a vein that she liked on my right arm too. Apparently my veins suck. She didn't say that. I just figured that out from all the tapping around she did trying to wake them up. She asked one of the more experienced nurses to come take a look and that nurse found one and said "What about this one?"
"No, I need something bigger" the first nurse replied.
I couldn't let that one get away from me.
"I hear that a lot. I'm sorry."
The look on their faces before they broke out laughing.
Ah... my work here is done. Thank you, thank you. Please tip your server generously. Gnite!
Thinking back on it now, maybe it wasn't the brightest thing to say. I've always maintained that there are a few people you don't want to piss off. Your time keeper. The dental hygienist. And now the woman who is going to jab you with a large needle and remove a good amount of vital fluid. I'm sorry! Please be gentle.
I felt it going in, but it was a hell of a lot better than that prostate infection was. As I sat there and watched my life-force leave my body, I asked her "Trust me, I'm not in any hurry, but I'm curious how long this takes."
"Well, all depends on how hydrated you are. Have you been drinking lots of water and juice today?"
"Or are you a coffee drinker?" she said with a slightly disapproving tone.
"How about Coke?"
Wrong answer. Caffeine. Sugar. Blah Blah Blah.
It was over in 5 minutes, so apparently I AM hydrated, although perhaps not with the best liquid option.
After they slapped a couple of bandages on me I was over to the snack table to grab some cookies and a drink box. Hey! This juice stuff isn't half bad. I should try it again sometime! Yeah, right.
Time to mark my calendar because Oct 6 is my next date I can donate. I would like to make it a regular occurrence. I feel that I have the last 7 years to make up for!
I found this chart quite interesting. My blood type is A+ which unfortunately means that it can only be given to other A+ people (It's ok - at 36% of the Canadian population we A+ers are the second most common group behind O+ at 39%)... and AB+ people, but they're the universal receivers so they can take anyone's blood. Also known as vampires.