01 June 2009

3 fucking tenths

So I went to donate blood today. It's been several years, I admit. The last time I donated I was living in Tallahassee and they were kind of jerks. Left me and my arm wrapped with the rubber tourniquet thing for over ten minutes among other things. Hell if I was going back there, y'know? (That donation center wasn't run by the Red Cross.)

Anyway, two states, a couple cross country drives, and several years later, I thought I'd give it another shot. No matter what else is going on for me, I've always liked that giving blood feels like I'm making a positive tangible difference for someone.

I also vaguely had my sights set on the gallon donor pin. I don't even know if they give those out anymore, but I always thought it was cool. Once you've donated 8 pints, or a gallon, you'd get the pin. Has to all be through the Red Cross if I recall correctly though which I think puts me one short. Couldn't find my donor card though. I took it out of my wallet some years ago because it had my social security number on it. (Of course, much later it occurred to me where it probably is.)

Don't think it would've mattered since they couldn't pull up my old record online. Apparently records from other states don't show up.

Of course, it really didn't matter because my iron was too low. They ask for your dominant hand and do a prick of your middle finger to test your blood. I butched it up and watched, not that I could even see the needle in their small rectangle prick test thing. When it was too low, they asked if they could try testing my other hand's finger. Why it's statistically more likely your hemoglobin would test higher in your dominant hand, I have no idea. I foster ambidexterity when I can though, so I said sure. They even up your chances by having someone else test the second time in case it was a technique issue.

The blood from my left hand did test higher but it was still 3 fucking tenths too short to qualify for donation. I'm annoyed because I even meated it up for dinner last night and lunch today. I'm still within normal ranges for women, just borderline anemic it seems. Which pisses me off because that's long been true but I've never been disqualified from donating before.

And they were so effing nice about it.

She sent me over to the snack table. I grabbed a bottle of water and sat down feeling like a jerk. An old female volunteer came over and gave me the rundown: sign here, have a snack. I told her, "I wasn't eligible to donate today."

She said, "Oh, I've got some goodies and a sticker for you."

I really didn't want a donation sticker, but I laughed when I saw the red heart that read: "Be nice to me! I tried to donate blood today." She handed me a coupon for free chocolate covered strawberries and pointed out where I could enter a raffle for baseball tickets. (I passed on the latter since I know there are people who really care about baseball around here.)

I thanked her and got up to leave.

"Don't you want a snack? Go on, take something," she urged.

There were people on stretchers actually giving blood right in front of me, so it didn't feel right, but the staff and volunteers were really pressing the hospitality on me, and I didn't want to be impolite. I flipped through the basket of snack packs and lifted out a bag of animal crackers.

"That'd be my choice too," she said, smiling.

I said, "Thanks again," and retreated out the door.


A year ago on TTaT: Random Scan Sunday 2: Movie records; Don't forget the Venture Brothers!

4 comments :

  1. Same thing happened to me last time I tried to donate blood, and they were equally nice. I wonder how people who donate money to the Red Cross feel about me giving nothing and taking snacks.

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  2. Precisely. I probably imagined it, but it felt like there was some glare or wtf coming from the people with blood pouring out of their veins not 4 feet from me.

    Oh well. I chalk it up to the fact that the Red Cross wants me to come back and try again in a couple months. Which I will.

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  3. Ugh! Well, at least you tried. And that sticker is TOO funny! Hee hee.

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  4. Yeah it was. I did not, for the record, put it on. ;)

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