I remember the first time I gave blood. I was a teenager, and a little nervous. “I’ve never done this before,” I confided to the needle man. “Cool! I’ve never done this before, either!” he said, which would have been hilarious if he’d said it to my roommate.
I’ve been giving A+ blood for forty years since. You get used to the routine, although it does change. The questionnaire got a lot longer in the eighties.
Have you personally eaten brains with a spoon right out of a standing cow?
Did the cow look edgy?
Have you spent time adding up to five months or more, excluding Ramadan, in any of the following 413 countries, colonies, protectorates, and sketchy neighborhoods (see chart)?
Have you ever had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or any other immediately fatal ailment?
Have you had sex, even once, involving any of the major three orifices (see chart)?
Have you ever been paid for sex involving any of the major three orifices (see chart)?
Have you had sex, even once, with anyone who has had sex, even once, with anyone who had purple spots?
Really? How cool is that?
In the last twelve months, have you spent more than 72 hours in lockup?
While there, were you admired in any way?
Have you ever taken sipsies, even once, from the martini glass of anyone exhibiting symptoms of any of your more fatal ailments?
Have you ever taken sipsies, even once, from the martini glass of anyone who has taken sipsies, even once, from the martini glass of Charlie Sheen?
Are you feeling well today?
Or do you feel a touch of meningitis coming on?
The donation itself is not noteworthy. It’s never given me a spot of trouble. I’m packed off to the cookie room with a set of instructions that has not varied in forty years. “Drink plenty of fluids. Do not take your bandage off or shower for three hours. Moderate exercise only, and no heavy lifting for 24 hours.” I’d leave the donation center, peel off my bandage, bicycle home, lift my bike up the stairs, and hit the shower before popping the first of a series of beers, which, if you press them about it, are not the fluids they had in mind. Since nothing untoward has ever happened to me, I haven’t changed my protocol.
What they should have said is: “Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and don’t take a hot shower because even though everything will be just fine for the first forty years, there’s no telling what will happen after that.” That would have been more accurate. Last week Dave and I came back from our standard blood donation. A purveyor of particularly fine brew near the Red Cross sells cheap pints on Tuesdays, and we always schedule for Tuesdays so we can get an immediate fluid replacement pint. Then we walked home and Dave made dinner. I might have had a nice Muscat to go with. Then I went to take a shower. We’re five hours into this thing by now, and everything was going well until I decided to hot up the water, and I remember having the thought that I should turn the water off because something was wrong, and the next thing I knew I was staring up at the glass shower doors from a crumpled position at the bottom and swimming in place trying to get myself upright. I stumbled to the towel and things were still wrong and I thought I should probably go to bed before I fell over again, which would have been a good idea, but instead I found myself on my hands and knees next to the bed, and I finally climbed in. While there I tried to review ordinary items of information to see if they were still there, and some of them weren’t. It wasn’t until morning that I recognized that the hands-and-knees part had apparently been preceded by a second crash, as evidenced by the noggin-sized hole in the wall and a pretty good headache.
I don’t think I’m going to give blood anymore. It’s either that or quit drinking, so it’s that. I realize this is a little selfish of me, so I’ll just say that I’m still on the blood marrow donation program, in case anyone needs any. Act now, because according to the Red Cross my stuff is going to go bad in another two years.
WElcome to the club! Actually, I've never had the passing out thing, but after being kicked out for having too-low blood pressure and a possibly anaemic reading, I just said: "Oh well, you've had gallons over the years;maybe I'll just keep what's left."
But well done for bleeding for this long. Have a beer!
I'm with you Brewster. Had to give it up years ago as I got really dizzy at the donation center. Never even got to have a martini before hand. Glad you have a hard head.
That IS a big hole in the wall, Murr! It took forty years to finally take effect, all that beer caught up with you. Same thing happened to me, and I didn't even give blood… Just too much beer, I guess. 🙂
There's a cookie room at the blood donation place? Why didn't someone tell me? All these wasted years. Oh, the humanity….
But, Yikes! Protocol changing time, indeed. Liquid refreshment is essential to our well-being, so it's good you went with that choice.
"How much?" 🙂
Thanks for another fun read with my morning coffee. They go together very nicely.
Yikes! Have you talked to a doctor about this? Two black-outs that close together aren't good. Whether it had anything to do with the blood donation or not, it sounds like it should be checked out.
Dave, I take it, has no such weakness manifesting itself? Isn't that always the way? Although my husband used to faint from losing the insignificant amount of juice they take for routine blood work. Or from seeing the needle, maybe. In any case, sorry about your wall. (I assume your head will heal up ok.)
Fainting in the shower, then passing out again and knocking a hole in the wall with your head. Boy, you do know how to party, don't you? Hope the bruises heal fast.
Thanks Infidel, I did chat up an advice nurse the next day. The hotness of the shower (vasodilation) is the main culprit. As opposed to, say, a stroke or something. And I didn't have a concussion. Linda, I'm thinking it would be easier for me to put a little frame around it on the wall than to fix it (that's wallpaper).
Interesting! The blood van was at our local gym about 10-years ago and after a vigorous 90-minute workout I felt invincible. I donated blood, walked into the shower room, cranked the hot water and crumbled. Unusual for me to shower there but the shower in my apartment was broken that day. I was on the floor of the locker room for an hour with people over me. Naked minus a tiny gym towel. I thought it was the exercise prior to the donation that kicked my butt and I was glad I did not drive home right after it. I would have been better off with the drive.
My husband was even given a t-shirt that says, "3 Pints A Winner." 3 pints of blood, or beer? Maybe both? Then, one time, the needle-woman, batting her eyelashes, chimed to him, "Oooh, I just LOVE your accent! Where are you from?" When he replied, "England," she shooed him out of the bus in no time flat. All because we'd lived in England in the 80s when the mad-cow disease was reeking havoc on all beef-eaters there! Since then, we have not been allowed to give blood in this country.
Hope you recover soon. I would put something in front of the hole in the wall.
Good Lord. This explains the muskrat email.
I have had to deal with needles and blood draws on too many occasions involuntarily to where I cannot bring myself to give blood. What did they do with all the vials they took from me so far? It must add up to several gallons by now. My tests were always "normal" so why did they throw it out? They could have kept it and used it.
I'd have to be nuts to give blood only to receive a cookie in return.
Age sneaks up on us in so many little ways, guess this was one of them. Glad you lived to tell the tale; this could have been very un-funny. I'm wondering – where was Dave during this and why didn't he realize you were nowhere to be found for some time? Of course, he's a man, and they tend not to notice things unless they are placed directly in their line of vision (like anything they are searching for in the refrigerator). He probably didn't look for you until bedtime, and then saw you and thought "aha, I was wondering where she went". Seriously glad you are OK; I always look forward to your posts.
Glad you had a good time giving blood; compensates for the not-so-good, self-inflicted difficulties at home. At least you survived!
I remember just about passing out when I gave blood. Even before I made it to the cookies. (I'm great at bad timing.)
I'm very glad you didn't have a concussion. Those are not nice. (The voice of experience speaks.) Might even ruin your writing, temporarily.
Hey Murr! The photo was worth the entry fee here, but the tale of the dented wall and crawling off to bed after just a couple of beers will be remembered out of context for years! Well, by me, anyway. Perhaps you might have beers BEFORE you donate? Your pint of the red stuff may then have froth on it, tho. Oh, the dilemma! Indigo
Ouch. I had a hissy fit when they told me I wasn't allowed to give blood any more (MS), but now see what I have been saved. Thanks. Great post, as always. Hope your headache goes away fast.
Where's the chart?
I hope the roomate you were referring to above wasn't me, as I didn't think it was so hilarious when I first gave blood our freshman year in college, and the "needle man" suddenly mumbled "Oh, shit." You might remember that he had somehow managed to miss my vein and instead nicked an artery,and there was my blood on the ceiling of Little Commons two stories above my head. I passed out and heard bells and had an unbelievable black and blue mark that extended from my wrist to my shoulder for six weeks. I've never been able to donate since, which is a shame since I am AB+.
As an A+ bloodtype, I should probably give blood, but never have. My ex gave blood regularly, until they turned him away in the late 80's–further testing was inconclusive, and I think it's one of the reasons he's an ex–I guess he thought he was safe enough if they accepted his blood. And to think he figured that *I* gave him one of those (see chart).
I follow the directions. No imagination whatsoever.
Beth! Crap! It WAS you! I'd forgotten about that little incident. I guess that guy really was a novice. Your blood had some serious momentum, girl. If that had happened to me, the Red Cross would be missing about seventeen gallons of blood by now.
Elephant's Child, you have earned your rest. We thank you for your contributions. I don't have a headache anymore but I've had to go back to the chiropractor to whack out my neck again after over a decade of pain-free living. Rats.
DebWard, I have to come to Dave's defense. He's nothing but observant but mostly only when he's awake. He'd fallen asleep in front of the TV where I'd planned to join him after my shower. After a while in bed (who knows how long) when I'd decided my brain was not functioning properly, lucidly, or even consecutively, I made my way downstairs to report to Dave. He was enough alarmed (I don't know what I said but it wasn't real sharp) to take me to the ER, which was, as it turned out, no longer there. By that time, I was all the way back, which is not the same as normal, but we'll let that pass for now.
Islandwonder, welcome! I'm so thrilled to see someone else was done in by a hot shower. Who cares what factors preceded it?
Ack! Littleorangeguy! I wrote that before I plotzed. Do you think it was Dave's meat-and-fruit dinner and the muskrat wine? Gad.
Bloody hell….I'm laughing so hard I can barely breathe. Maybe I'll pass out and hit my head, it would serve me right for laughing at your expense.
I used to donate blood and then got talked into donating plasma and platelets. Did that for a Loooong time, until 3 times in a row, I had almost the experience you had, but out in public.
I think people thought I was drooling lunatic.
Sheet, I am still laughing about the questionnaires….
You donated blood for 40+ years? Wow, I commend you for giving so many pints over so many years!
Add a couple of bullet-points on "espionage" and "intentions" and that questionnaire of yours will be pretty much the same one us foreigners have to answer before entering the US of A.
I have a few more questions for you, Miss Vivi. When are you coming back here for good? And will you bring pie?
My veins are so scarred up from the last 40 years that they either move aside or get poked all the way through. They just can't do it any more. They'll have to get blood from another turnip.
Hugs and hugs. I don't like your head making holes in the wall, though I suppose I'd dislike the reverse even more. We are very fond of that head: please take care of it!
My mom did this. Gave blood, bicycled home, called my dad, fainted and pulled the phone off the wall (old days). Needless to say my dad was alarmed.
So glad you have defended Dave's honor and let me know what a fine, upstanding man he is (when he is not sleeping!) I now have another concern. After re-looking at the photos, one (me, that is) wonders why you already own a hard hat. Could it be that conking your head is commonplace at your place? Just wondering …
SOON! And yes. Remind me to tell you all about Boise(an?) Libraries!.
The questionnaire was really funny. I would give blood if they entertained me this way, but they don't. I just get orange juice or something. I really don't remember what I got. I do have a vivid memory of being assaulted with a needle, though. All I wanted to do was give blood!