We Got a Bleeder

I gave blood today. Take that, all you body-pierced sex tourists who whine about the Red Cross’s standards.

They say you should eat before donating, so I ate (with a fork of course) a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Turtle Soup. Sorry about the cholesterol, blood recipients.

I went to Georgetown University and found the Village C building. I guess they’re waiting for the right donor to give that building a better name. I went in, signed in and waited. The TV had a soap opera on.

They asked if I wanted to do the machine that only takes red blood cells but returns my platelets and plasma. I said sure. They tested my blood and told me my iron was too low for the machine but was still good enough to do a regular donation. I said sure.

They had me sit at a computer and answer a bunch of yes-or-no questions about sex, medication and disease. Then I was good to go. I was given a free shirt (yes!) and sent to the donation area.

I sat back on one of the bed-chairs and kicked my feet up. I had put on excellent argyle socks since I knew my feet would be on display a while. The attendant wrapped the blood pressure monitor around my arm and was inflating it when a commotion broke out.

The girl donating next to me had passed out. My attendant rushed over to her, as did a lot of other people. The unconscious girl’s Coke spilled and got on her free shirt. They reclined her chair way back so her head was lower than the rest of her. They held down her limbs. She was wearing sandals and I could see the color going out of her toes.

It all scared the crap out of me. I thought she was dying. I might’ve run away if I wasn’t already connected to my chair by the blood pressure monitor. I’m not always good in an emergency.

Then she woke up and was fine. She said how she had fainted once before while giving blood. Someone cleaned up the spilled Coke and replaced her free shirt. All the staff were unfazed but asked her about 100 times over the next 10 minutes if she was OK.

The attendant came back and iodined and needled me. My blood bag filled fast. I always love watching it fill. The attendant told me I was a good bleeder. Rock. She unhooked me and I went back to the canteen for free orange juice and cookies.

I sat next to the girl who had passed out. I thought about telling her what a scare she had given me but kept quiet since I figured that even if I managed to avoid sounding creepy it might embarrass her.

The best thing about giving blood besides freebies are the instructions for the rest of the day to take it easy and eat and drink more than usual. Awww, yeah!

The Red Cross will be back there tomorrow from 8 to 8. The Village C building is on Tondorf Street, near the intersection of Library Street. Walk-ins like me are welcome. On Thursday they will be at Howard University and on Friday they will be at ARBC-Am University, whatever that is. Details here.

3 Comments so far

  1. Jeremy B. (unregistered) on March 28th, 2007 @ 2:00 pm

    You watched the bag fill up? Ugh. I could never do that. I’ve given blood few times, and the needle doesn’t disturb me much, but the thoughts of a Pint of my sweet life juices draining into a baggie right beside me is unsettling. I could never watch it.

    But I’ve been told I’m a good bleeder to. I don’t know why it makes me proud, but it does :-)

  2. Don (unregistered) on March 28th, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

    I think you’re in the majority, Jeremy. It always bugs me when I can’t see the bag – which seems to be the norm. I’m kinda surprised it was placed where you could see it, Mike.

  3. Mike (unregistered) on March 28th, 2007 @ 2:21 pm

    It wasn’t entirely. I had to cheat and lean over!

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