Monday, April 12, 2010


My first husband was a community spirited, giving back kind of guy, and that is extremely admirable. He may have gone too far, though, when he convinced me, many years ago, to go with him to donate blood. As he pointed out at the time, I was young and healthy. I should feel a responsibility to help those in need. It was an easy thing to do. He did it on a regular basis. They give you juice and a donut when you are done. Okay, all ready. I went with him to the Congregational Church where the Red Cross was having a blood drive.
The volunteer greeting us at the door gave me a sticker: "Be nice to me. It's my first time!" Goody, a sticker. What am I? In first grade?
I was given some paperwork to fill out. Obviously, the purpose of the sticker was to prompt others, workers and donors alike, to say, "Don't worry. It doesn't hurt a bit."
A nurse pricked my finger and knocked a drop of blood into a little vial of some kind of liquid. I think the drop was supposed to sink to the bottom, but it just sat there until the nurse whacked the vial a few times and announced, "There it goes! Don't worry. This doesn't hurt a bit."
So I stretch out on a cot. I hate needles so I look away and close my eyes besides. The nurse says, "Just a little prick and it won't hurt after that." Don't think I didn't notice the change in tune from "won't hurt a bit" to "just a little prick."
The nurse walked away after that little prick and I was left there thinking, "Damn! This does so hurt! A lot! It hurts a lot!"
The guy on the next cot asked me how I was doing and I said aloud, "I don't care what they say, this hurts."
"Oh!" he said. "Oh, nurse! Come here, please. Something's wrong." That's when I looked. There was a large purple mass growing over my elbow. The needle had pierced my vein and the blood was just puddling under my skin instead of going into the collection bag. The nurse pulled out the needle. If she said something soothing, I didn't hear it. What I did hear was her asking me if she could try the other arm.
"Good god, NO. Give me my donut and let me out of here!"Call me selfish, but I happen to be using all my blood.

5 comments:

  1. Sorry for your pain but that was a funny post. I tried several times to donate blood but they never could find a vein. Finally they told me "Don't call us, we'll call you."

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  2. I am sympathetic to your painful situation but your response was wonderful. I don't blame you. It reminds me of Republicans "Not just no, but hell no."

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  3. Oh my gosh! I hope you got your donut! I hope you got two.

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  4. Ouch. I have never given blood; as a young person I was anemic and couldn't. If I'd had that experience, I wouldn't go back!

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  5. I remember that - you had a bruise that was probably a foot long without exaggerating. I never donated blood because of it!

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