Bloo-duh! Not fun-ee!

Posted: November 6, 2008 in 101 in 1001, bitching, Health/Fitness, Journal, misc, Video

1iconepicfailI attempted to donate blood yesterday. It all went down like this: Jen and I were taking our usual morning walk around the campus, outside since it’s no longer a hundred-and-fuck degrees outside. We rounded one of the buildings, and I saw the mobile blood donation truck parked outside the main lobby. I said, “I think I’ll donate blood today!” She said, “SEE YA.” And she took off. Because she’s a big damn baby. But I love her anyway.

So. I read the required materials and signed the required paperwork. The technician took my temperature (98.1) and blood pressure (120 over 78) and pricked my finger to test the iron level. It was 12.1, which she said was too low to allow me to donate, and would I be okay with her supervisor coming in to re-test me? So I said yes, and he pricked another finger, and that test came back as something like 13.3, which apparently is okay. They both commented that I’m “a bleeder” because the blood (and that video will NEVER get old, just so you know) just “came right out” when they POKED A HOLE IN MY FINGER (hello???), instead of them having squeeze my fingertip to force it out. Umm… okay. Happy to make your job easier. I guess.

They sat me in a reclining chair and stuck a blood pressure cup on my arm and gave me a ball to squeeze to pump up my veins. And then they (two different techs) proceeded to search, and feel around, and search some more, looking for a vein in my left arm. They gave up and tried my right arm. They looked, and searched, and looked some more. Went back to my left arm. Pumped up the blood pressure cuff until my fingers tingled, and finally found a vein. Long time readers will recall that my veins are notorious for their lack of presence. I usually instruct the tech to take blood out of my hand when they pull for a blood test, but you can’t donate blood through your hand.

The technician doused me with iodine, marked where the vein was, told me to look out the window and think of puppies and fluffy clouds, and stuck me. Which didn’t hurt. What DID hurt a bit was when she, and then her supervisor, shifted the needle around, trying in vain (hah) to find the vein that had mysteriously disappeared. After a few minutes of this I said, “Um, hi? Can we stop now? That kind of hurts.” They were all apologetic and ceased their torture.

They recommended that the day before I try again to donate bloo-duh, I should over-hydrate to plump up my veins. I’ll try again the next time the bloodmobile comes around, since yesterday’s experience was apparently a worst-case-scenario and any new attempt will be cake compared to it. At least, according to the tech. So. If it fails again during my next attempt then I’m going to consider my duty SERVED and give myself credit for #13 on my 101 in 1001 list.


I wrote an entry yesterday that will probably send me to hell. It was about a person at AcronymCo that creeps me the hell OUT and it was all judgy but it’s been festering in my BRRRAAAIIINNNN for MONTHS and I just HAD to get it out. I had Jen read it before I published and she said it was okay to post, but I felt bad. So I posted it as Private (NOT a feature I use a lot – you know me, Keeping It Real). That way my blog readers don’t leave me in droves AND I feel better.



On a happy, final note, Marie finally got a new job! She starts Friday! Plus she has a new roommate who absorbs about $500 of her monthly expenses, AND her boyfriend is back in town. She is in a good mood, as you can imagine. She called me yesterday and was all, “Hi! First, we have a black president! WOOO HOOO! And second, I got a job! WOOO HOOO!”

Girl has her priorities. Heh.

  1. Kim says:

    I used to give blood a lot, mostly because the places I’ve worked the bloodmobile always comes by and makes it very easy. Once though, my sister and I went downtown to the actual red cross (the radio station was there and was giving away cd’s – don’t think we were THAT selfless!). It turned out to be a disaster. My sister is a notorious fainter and just sitting there watching people give blood turned her gray. I told her, “Guess what? You’re not donating today because I’m not watching you pass out!” Then we SAW a girl pass out, which almost made my sister check out anyway. THEN I got the worst ever blood taker and for the first time ever, got hurt giving blood.
    Those people better be glad they gave us free cds. Mine was the Toadies’ Possum Kingdom, so every time I hear that song, I think about our adventurous day at the Red Cross. Yuck.

  2. Taoist Biker says:

    I dunno why, but I get all woozy about having blood drawn, too. I’ve never been able to pull the trigger and donate – just getting blood taken for life insurance, doc visits, etc. makes me go all Victorian-lady.

    I also remember being in line at a fast food joint when I was in grad school and hearing a “uuuuuuhhhhhhh…THUD” sound behind me. Kid passed out in line after having just given blood. He hit that floor HARD, too. Yikes.

  3. Jeanette says:

    I always have trouble when they try to take blood. There is one very shallow vein in my right arm that they use most of the time. Just imagine how good that felt when I had a glucose tolerance test and they had to draw blood once every half hour for 2 hours! Many years ago I tried to give blood at the Red Cross. They managed to get it but not without a lot of digging (ouch, damn!!) and I ended up with a bruise the size of a grapefruit on my arm. Never again.

  4. Amanda says:

    Well now I’m all curious about your private entry!

  5. iamheatherjo says:

    I hate when they have to dig around for my vein. They have all kinds of cute names for it. “Warm veins”, “tiny veins”, “rolling veins”. I give blood three or four times a year and have been rejected twice because of my iron levels. I’m the opposite end of the spectrum, my fingers never bleed when they do that test so a couple of times they have taken it from my EARLOBE.

    Why do I keep going back?

  6. Laura says:

    Kim – I laughed at that, sorry! 😀

    TB – “…makes me go all Victorian-lady.” Okay, have you seen Little Britain USA? Cuz when you said that it reminded me of this character.

    Jeanette – Okay, I’ll add the glucose test as one of the things I hope to never experience in my lifetime.

    Amanda – And NOW what do you think? Heh.

    Heather – YARG. And you keep going back because you have a generous heart and it’s a good thing to do.

  7. Taoist Biker says:

    Uh, no. I don’t usually mind British humor, but everything I’ve seen of that show so far has seemed a bit painful.

    Just gimme my Eddie Izzard and nobody gets hurt.

  8. Taoist Biker says:

    Whoops, meant to say, I suppose maybe it would be more like Southern-lady fluttering.

    Or like Lafayette in True Blood saying “Ooh, lover, you gon’ make me clutch my pearls.”

    Damn, I loved that bit. 😀

  9. Laura says:

    TB – Lafayette is my FAVORITE. And that line just ’bout made me pee my pants.

  10. Sharon says:

    Hi Laura, I’m starting to suspect you might be my long lost American little sister. It just seems so much of what you are writing about lately reflects what is going on in my life way over here on the other side of the planet. It’s a little bit spooky even! Like a little while ago you wrote about how you were sorting out your affairs by writing a list of instructions for Calvin just in case anything were to happen to you. You wrote this at the same time my friend who is only 35 lost her husband suddenly. He didn’t leave a will and this has caused such horrendous heartache and stress to my friend. Imagine how I felt reading your post at this time. I felt so proud of you for having the foresight to plan ahead. You are wise beyond your years Laura. Then, and I haven’t been reading your entries in order. I read about you being an emotional person and not be able to suppress your tears. Yesterday my sister asked me to go with her to visit my Uncle in the hospital who is dying. I couldn’t go. I knew I should but I also knew one look at him and I’d burst into tears and I didn’t want to do that to my poor uncle. I wished I had more control over my emotions but I so don’t. My mum rang me this afternoon to tell me he died today. I missed my chance to say goodbye because I couldn’t trust myself to hold those tears in. Then I go back some entries and here is your blood donating entry. I give blood every 12 weeks and they always have trouble finding my veins. They tell me to drink heaps beforehand and it’s good advice because it does make it easier. Also I ask for a heat pack when I arrive which they put on my arm to coaxe(I think that’s spelt wrong sorry) my veins out. Also I find if I exercise just beforehand it also makes the veins come to the surface. I used to think it was because I was too chubby but I’ve lost weight and my veins still hide. I’m with you though I don’t mind them sticking the needle in but that digging around is very painful. Please don’t give up. It’s a really important thing to do. My uncle needed several blood transfusions in the days leading up to his death. I don’t know how it is over there but we are always short of blood donors here. And also, to finish on a lighter note, apart from the very important fact that you are giving someone life it’s totally worth it because here you get a free medicinal milkshake and some medicinal cheese and crackers and sometimes if you act all woozy you can score a bag of jelly beans – see we are kindred spirits I think eating and drinking is a perfectly legit hobby in fact it’s my favourite (now that spelling is the english version I can’t spell it without the u because that would look wrong to me and irritate me). Sorry for leaving the worlds longest comment but thanks for your entries they have been speaking to me lately and it always comforting to know that there are people out there going through the same experiences and feeling the same emotions. Especially when they express themselves so elequontly as you do. Cheers Sharon

  11. Laura says:

    Sharon – You do indeed win the award for the longest comment yet to be authored on this site! It’s funny, because Kim mentioned that she and I have been attached at the brain lately, too. It’s odd how that happens sometimes, isn’t it? I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s husband, and your own uncle. It sucks that we have to be prepared for such things, but the older we all get, the more of a reality loss becomes. I’m going to try donating blood ONE MORE TIME, and if it doesn’t work then, I’m going to have to find some other charitable outlet. Because OUCH, man, OUCH. I’m glad you took the time to leave such a lovely comment! Cheers back!

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