Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Morning at the Red Cross


I warned you all.

So I gave blood this morning. No, I'm not going to show photos of blood spurting everywhere. As far as I know, that never happens when people give blood. Doesn't happen to me. But I am going to encourage you to find your closest Red Cross donation center and set up an appointment for yourself. The reward? Other than saving a life, you get cookies when you're done! Woot!

First there's a book about 800 pages long that you're required to read. I lie. It took me about two minutes to go through the book. Have I been to Africa? Have I been to the UK? Do I have Mad Cow Disease? Do I have HIV? Growth hormones ever? Stuff. None of which applied to me.

Next they took me into a small room with a glass door and asked a hundred million questions. Things like, are you a female? Okay, just five or six questions, really. I hadn't had coffee yet. Took my pulse and blood pressure, pricked my finger, let me answer a computer questionnaire. Done.

Finally to the blood area. Oh yeah! Sit me in a big, comfy chair. Strap on a loose tourniquet, give me a squishy football to squeeze, find the vein:

... then swab. See?

Gross, huh? I thought she'd never finish swabbing. In fact, I asked if she sang the Happy Birthday song twice in her head while swabbing (like kids do when they brush their teeth?). The answer was no. Dang.

Then she got out the monster needle. I'm not supposed to show you this part, in case you were thinking of giving but needles scare you, but I'm going to anyway. It fascinates me.

Here it is, sucking up my blood:

After my pint was drawn, she took six vials of my blood, I assume for testing, to make sure I'm safe and whatever:

Here's the lovely Shamekia:

She looks like trouble, doesn't she? Like someone who'd be fun to hang out and get into mischief with.

Last but not least, the very best part of giving blood - the cookies! I am very, very sad to say that they no longer give out Little Debbie's Oatmeal Creme Pies. Breaks my heart. These are nearly as good, though:

And the me at the end? Exhausted. I'm going to take a nap!

Until I write again ...



Daryl said...

I give blood quite often because they love me .. I am O negative .. a very very popular blood type, I am the universal donor! Hooray for me.

Anyway in all the times I have given blood, not once has anyone ever put that much whatever that was on me .. a wipe across the crook of my elbow/veins with a disposable alcohol swab and I am good to stick.

Mental P Mama said...

That is a big bunch of goo! But good for you! Hope your nap was nice;)

Leenie said...

You're right--the toughest part of giving blood is trying to pass the entrance exam. I have the sweet spot located on my arm so no more probing for the perfect vein. All those photos...I never watch that part. It tends to make me want to hurl. (runs for the potty room).

MIT Mommy said...

I walked through a farm in Asia in November. I even picked fruit there. I am SO out.

I haven't given blood successfully since I had to lie about my weight to do it (That was sort of embarrassing - but I was in charge of the blood drive, so felt silly not giving blood).

Thanks for giving!! I hope others (who don't pick fruit in Asia) do the same.

Krista said...

Yeah, I told you on FB about the whole mad cow thing. But after reading this post, I feel I am deprived not being able to experience it. I'm sure if you called ahead and requested Oatmeal Creme Pies they would supply them for you. It's the least they could do. What the heck, you deserve 'em. Go to the $ store and get you a WHOLE box of 'em!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

You rock Flea.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I never got a bag of yummy cookies!!
Good for you Flea, you are a hero! Who knows, you posting about it might encourage some scaredy blogger to start donating.

And yes, there are times when blood squirts everywhere like when someone is competing with another blood donor for who can pump their blood out the fastest and has her arm lifted above her head, holding the bandage when she passes out from the quick loss of blood and then unbandaged arm bleeds all over said person's shirt before the worker notices.
Ok, it's a rare thing, but it DOES happen.
No good times like that for me anymore. I was banned in 2001 from blood donations (UK, mad cow etc).

CanadianMama said...

Your last post about giving blood totally inspired me and I was so excited to do it too. Then I found out my blood pressure is WAY to low and I can't :(