Tuesday, May 6, 2008

In which I fail to donate blood

A mechanical tray tilts the bag to prevent con...I've always planned on giving blood. It's odd: I don't like the sight of blood, and I despise needles. I never even got my ears pierced. But even as a little kid, I always planned on giving blood.

In high school, I signed up the first year I was eligible. I was one pound below the weight minimum.

After 9/11 I inquired about giving blood. I was told I couldn't since I was on antibiotics. That's only half true -- if you're on long-term preventative antibiotics, as in for acne, you can still give blood. Which I was.

Twice after that, I tried to give blood, but my iron was too low. But I was planning on starting a multivitamin anyway, so I found one with iron supplements in it. The next blood drive, I passed all their tests. Finally.

The nurse promptly began trying to psyche me out. "No one will judge you if you change your mind. If you're uncomfortable, just say the word and we'll stop. You don't have to do this." And mind you, this wasn't said in any kind of compassionate, commiserating, "I've been there and know it's rough," kind of way. This was condescending. This was, "You're an idiot and I wish you wouldn't waste our time."

This was not a good idea. Implying that I'm afraid isn't going to make me back down; it's going to make me persist. I'm stubborn like that.

Well, given my size, age, gender, blood pressure, and the fact that I'd never given blood before, it's typical that I would be a less-than-great candidate. (Of course, they also insisted that my low-ish blood pressure had absolutely nothing to do with it, which I think is a load. And my GP confirms that.) All of which they told me after I'd spent about an hour on the table, only to give enough blood to ban me from giving for the requisite 6 weeks, but not enough to use. I actually was issued a donor card that doesn't have my blood type on it; they don't test bags that are only 90% full, you see.

If I'm a bad candidate for blood donation, just tell me. Don't try to scare me away. I don't find your tactics helpful; I find them grossly unprofessional.

And you know what? You need my blood. I don't need your attitude.

The good


I stood up for myself and did something good for other people. I'm in the Red Cross's system, should I decide to try again. And hey -- free cookies!
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2 comments:

Sor Cyress said...

As a recommendation --try looking up your local friendly hospital and seeing if they host blood drives or take walk-ins. I've been seeing an increase in the Red Cross being asinine to their patrons, where my two experiences with the local hospital's blood drives have been nothing but good.

It won't necessarily stop the "it's been too long, we can't use your blood" thing, but hopefully you'll get less attitude.

~Sor

Laura said...

Thanks! I'll have to look into that!

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