Memories of donations past…
Since we’re on the subject of blood donations, I thought it’d be fun to reminisce of my past experiences with donating it. (Side note: I hope this doesn’t hinder you from doing it!)
My first blood donation: When I was 16 and we had our annual blood drive at high school. I went with my boyfriend at the time and we both laid in cots near each other. The nurse who was there clearly wasn’t meant for her job. In fact, I wish I had the power to fire her she was just that terribly mean. For those that don’t personally know me, I am not mean. I can’t be. At least not to people I don’t personally know.
For example, when Matt, Claire and I landed in Minneapolis after her first flight, it was past 10 and she was tired. When the car rental lady tried charging us four times the amount, while Matt was being “Dennis*” on her, I was saying, “It’s OK! Things happen,” with a big ‘ol smile plastered on my face while Claire was trying hard not to fall asleep on my arm and luggage in the other.
My boyfriend at the time was the same way. But after it took her 3 sticks to get him she said, “Wow, you’d think I could get you, perhaps you should quit doing IV drugs…” I looked at her and said, “You’re not a very nice person!” And in fact, me saying that is the translation of flipping her the bird and saying “Fuck off!” (Side note, he never did a single drug. Nada. Zip. Nothing.) Everyone in the gym turned and looked our way and I said, “Yah, I mean it!” Yup, bad girl in training, right here.
Army donation: I didn’t know this was something they did, but hell, it makes perfect sense. Where would you get hundreds of healthy bodies all in one central location, perfect to give pints of blood? Basic Training! At least for most…
They had us line up outside in the field and when they asked us questions we were to step forward or backwards depending on our answers. I found myself forward and into a room where we signed forms and waited in a nice long line. And it was an air conditioned room. I didn’t care if they told me they were taking my kidney. When I signed at the dotted line, I was going to get out of doing pushups and general ass kicking for 24 hours. I even got to go to dinner early. And could eat … a desert!
Finally, when it was my turn, I got on the cot and gave them my arm. I was all smiles. I love to donate! This is great! The nurse stuck me and the blood started to flow. Slowly.
TWENTY MINUTES LATER: Yup, the blood was still flowing. Slowly. I had filled the bag up mostly and I wasn’t going to give up. Lives needed to be saved! My company commander came by and was thanking all of us soldiers for our generous donation. When he saw me still sitting on my cot he came over and decided to give me some words of encouragement. I remember some of what he told me, but mostly I remember the little black dots dancing around my eyeballs.
It was a great nap.
Four years later: I was about to go grocery shopping at Giant Eagle when it was just Matt and I. However, outside the doors was this giant mobile home that had CENTRAL BLOOD BANK plastered on the side. Ooooh! Donation time! So I climbed aboard and immediately got taken care of. The guy who was donating next to me looked like he was from a 70’s porn. I’m not even close to joking. He had a fu manchu, polyester flare pants, leather vest and big bulky sunglasses. It was amazing.
I was completely lost in thought when the nurse pulled the needle and told me I was all done. She said, “Wow! only 7 minutes! That should be a new record for such a little girl!” I smiled, stood, and left the vehicle. I did my grocery shopping while eating a full loaf of fresh italian bread. It was delicious. And an added bonus, people looked at me funny, like I was some crazy deranged person shopping, eating a loaf of bread like it’s a Slim Jim.
My other donations were completely normal, that I can remember. I’ve given so many times, I can’t even remember how many. The bad part, though, is that I have donated through so many different companies, I don’t have a record of how many times. Oh well. I know I’ve done it a bunch. That’s all that matters to me!
*Being “Dennis” is a phrase I use when I say Matt is being firm and professionally dick-like. His boss’s name was Dennis and was the sensei and Matt was the grasshopper. When he’s being “Dennis” it makes me uncomfortable at times. But it’s a good skill to know, I suppose. (Dennis is a really nice, guy, swear!)