Monday, January 26, 2009

Only I...

Would get kicked out of a Red Cross Blood Drive.


Okay, I didn't really get "kicked out" per se, but that's what it felt like!

My company sponsors a blood drive quarterly (I think - I've only been here for a few months) and I decided that I would schedule an appointment this time. Now. To be honest, I don't like needles. Who does? But I REALLY don't like needles. I have enough anxiety issues as it is, but throw needles into the mix and I'm a panic attack waiting to happen. Add to that the fact that I seem to have bad veins based on the fact that every time I go in to get blood drawn they seem to have to poke around for a while, blow a few veins, and finally stick me somewhere pretty darn uncomfortable (and crunchy. Yuck.) in order to even get blood. I self-determined that I was probably not a great candidate to donate blood.

So why did I sign up, you ask?

Well, mostly because I have quite a history of doing things on a whim. Please see last Fall's Kitchen Demolition if you require proof of my spontaneity. Plus, the last few times I've gone to have blood work done they haven't had as much trouble with finding a vein ANDPLUSALSO I've always really wanted to be a donor. They suck you in with that "Give Life" slogan, I tell ya. My thought process - Meh, it's just a little stick and then I have the satisfaction of knowing that I have done my civic duty and contributed in a positive way. ::pats self on back::

But, back to that spontaneous thing, I didn't really think any further than patting myself on the back for a job well done. Of course AFTER I signed myself up and electronically made an appointment I began to hear about the actual donor process and investigate a bit of what I could expect. Issue #1 - a PINT of blood?! I didn't think past the first prick, I had no idea that I was going to have to be hooked up for 10-15 mins and encouraged to squeeze something to pump my blood out! Eeek! Issue #2 - Okay, number 1 was really my only issue, but that's a scary one!

I started getting anxious and I investigated a bit further. (Knowledge is CLEARLY not power in this instance. I should have remained blissfully unaware of what awaited me) So I then decide, perhaps I wouldn't even qualify as a donor. I HAVE traveled outside the country within the last 12 months after all, thanks to our fab honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. So, I scanned the list of approved non-malaria countries and I see Dominica. Okay, never mind, they're an approved country. (Perhaps you already see the issue and I'm just the only slow one, but I'll proceed to further explain my stupidity)

So, I go for my appointment trying to calm my blood pressure all the way because I just want to get it over with. I don't want them checking my vitals and looking at me over the little blood pressure cuff like they do, questioning why I'm 22 and my blood pressure is off the charts and my heartbeat is acting like I just ran a marathon AND THEN I'm obligated to explain my anxiety disorder. It's a PITA I tell ya. So, I'm there and I'm relatively calm and I'm undergoing the pre-screening process. I have to answer questions like do you have HIV, have you ever taken meds for ________, etc. One of the questions is about travel outside of the U.S. within the last 12 months.

After I complete the survey, the Red Cross Guy comes back and he starts asking me specifics about my out of country travel - dates of travel, what airport we flew in to, location of our stay, etc. Suddenly, he looks at the computer and he's like, "oh... doesn't look like you'll be able to donate today. You were in a malaria location. You'll have to wait 12 months from the date you returned to the U.S. in order to give blood. It takes 12 months for the symptoms to manifest themselves."

Of course I was like A) I have malaria now?! and B) I checked the web site and I thought it was one of the countries that were okay? I was given this little slip about how I'm being declined as a donor, and how they will keep my "sensitive and potentially embarrassing information" confidential, blahblahblah. I just left thinking WTH?! All that worry and anxiety and nothing! I didn't even get to pat myself on the back for donating blood! Gah!

Later, upon more closely reading the list and consulting Wikipedia for my geographical educational needs Dominica is in fact NOT the same country as the Dominican Republic. Yes, I did a big old ::smack forehead:: on that one. That's right, I was edjumicated by the fine educational establishment THE Ohio State University. Never forget the preceding "The" ::eye roll::

In conclusion, I did not donate any blood, but I wanted to and I thought about it, so maybe I deserve half-credit on that one? Maybe.

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