I am not a noble person. And from now on, I'm not even going to pretend to be one.
I read in the paper that there was going to be a blood drive, and since I couldn't come up with a good excuse not to go, I felt I had to. I've given blood twice in my life, and both times it was a bit of a struggle, but that wasn't going to stop me.
So I bought a chicken salad sandwich at Panera Breads, and went on to the blood drive, in front of our brand new hospital. Our brand new hospital turned out to be quite busy and I parked way at the end, but it's a gorgeous Feb. 1 day (more like April 1), and I was full of noble thoughts.
I went into the There Will Be Blood trailer, had my blood pressure taken (100/70) and answered a lengthy questionnaire, which mostly asked if I'd had sex ever with anybody even remotely interesting. Apparently I answered correctly and since they weren't concerned about my week in Germany or the baby aspirin I take nightly, I was cleared for takeoff.
Takeoff took quite a while, which is one reason why I never give blood. Apparently I have very shy veins (although the blood taker person thought it was because I hadn't drunk enough this morning). Eventually one vein volunteered, and I squeezed the rubber ball every five seconds, and my blood dripped out at a socially acceptable rate.
Next came the part all sensible blood donors anticipate-the eating of the donut. I went to the front of the trailer and was offered orange juice, apple juice, or water. I went with OJ, and checked out the many sweets alternatives. Since I didn't want them to think I had donated my blood just for a donut (although that was true), I selected the small donut rather than the far more appealing big donut. Having treated a mirgraine with a box of donuts last week, I felt obliged to go with small size today.
The orange juice wasn't very good either.
I left the trailer and my blood behind, and began walking through the parking lot to get to my car and my chicken salad sandwich. Only about a few yards from the trailer, I realized I was feeling very woozy. Then I realized I was feeling very very woozy. Then I realized I'd be much better off sitting. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the pavement with a half dozen people surrounding me.
I give blood and I end up being a Code Blue.
It seems when you faint in a hospital parking lot, they take it seriously. There was much concern over whether I'd hit my head (I said no, but the truth of the matter is, I have no idea) of if I'd had a seizure (again no, this time with even more certainty). They rammed me into a wheelchair and then a stretcher, and zoomed me over to the emergency room.
My blood pressure there was 100/44, which is probably why I fainted, and it was 100/44 because I gave blood. I may not watch Grey's Anatomy, but I have some idea of cause and effect.
It was decided that the best treatment for me was a chicken salad sandwich. They brought me one and I ate half of it, grumbling about the far better one I had in my car. They agreed that a Panera chicken salad sandwich would definitely be better than what they were serving me, but they insisted I eat what was in front of me so I could be cured.
We all agreed I should have had the big donut. Chocolate with yummy crumbs. A definite blood pressure picker upper.
After a while, I hopped off the stretcher and said I was going home. They said I couldn't without discharge papers because then my insurance wouldn't pay. Think about the injustice of all this. I didn't even want to go to the emergency room, and now it would be my financial responsibility.
Eventually the doctor came. He wanted to give me an EKG, but I pointed out I was perfectly healthy and had a chicken salad sandwich waiting for me. I guess that convinced him, because I was given some papers and shown out. I walked the long way to my car (a lot longer now, because I hadn't parked in the emergency room parking lot, not having anticipated being an emergency), hopped in, drove home (five minutes or less) and ate half my sandwich.
I will never give blood again. All you A+ types can find your blood somewhere else.
One good thing came of all this though. I was given my very own hospital ID bracelet, and as a result, Scooter has a brand new toy!