When I was a youngster (in my twenties), I gave blood once, at work, during a blood drive. Everything was perfectly fine. In fact, I went out partying that evening without any ill effects. Even the hangover the next day wasn’t that bad as I recall. Of course not – I was YOUNG.
The next time I went to give blood, they refused me. It seemed I had inherited my father’s heart murmur. That particular heart murmur had kept him out of the service during WWII – he hated that and wished desperately he had been able to serve.
In researching my own heart murmur, I discovered that it was only a mild irregular heartbeat (after a multitude of tests) and so I had a special form signed so that the Red Cross would be absolved of all blame should I croak on the damn table while helping to save someone else’s life. No use…they still wouldn’t take me.
Fast forward 30 years. In all that time I never even tried to give blood. I just assumed they would turn me away yet again. So when I walked up to the table at a recent blood drive for my current employer, and the attendant took my vitals and said, “You can step behind the curtain” I almost fell off my chair!
Yay!!! Woo-hoo!!! They want me!!!
So I sat right there and gave them my blood. And then it took me a full 48 hours to recuperate. WTF is THAT all about?
It’s about age THAT’s what it is about. The old bod just doesn’t bounce back the way it used to. Sigh….
At least I was able to give blood – finally – after over 30 years! I knew I’d give again, I just didn’t think it would be so soon.
Six weeks later I received a call from the community blood bank. Seems my blood has been deemed “pure” because it doesn’t have some kind of virus most of the population has and that makes my blood suitable for babies and cancer patients AND I’m O+ so, in a pinch, my blood can be used for other blood types as well.
They want me…they really want me.
Honestly…they had me a babies and cancer patients.
So I made an appointment and gathered my son and my other son’s girlfriend and we headed to the blood bank bright and early one Saturday morning. All of us very excited to be doing our civic duty.
I signed my blood away, settled into the chair and began squeezing my fist. Once the machine beeped I was ready to go.
Except I wasn’t. All of a sudden I didn’t feel so good. When I said, “I don’t feel so good,” the formerly lackadaisical technicians who didn’t appear to like their jobs very much snapped into action so fast you would have thought someone overhead was yelling. “SWARM SWARM SWARM!”. The chair I was in dropped my head down and brought my feel up. Cold compresses began appearing from nowhere and were placed all around my throat and just when I thought it had passed…I puked…three times. It’s not easy to vomit in that position and so those same techs brought me a new t-shirt and were so sweet to me that I expect to be exchanging Christmas cards with them from now on.
My poor son looked like he had seen a ghost (mom NEVER gets sick) and so I kept saying, “I’m okay. It’s fine. I just didn’t eat enough before giving.” While the whole time I’m thinking, “I’m never giving any of my motherfucking blood ever again. Even Twilight Edward wouldn’t stand a chance getting to these veins now. Nope…holding on to this bloody blood from now on…ain’t nobody draining me…”
But later…I knew. I knew I’d give again. Babies and cancer patients. Babies and cancer patients. Babies and cancer patients.
They just called. I’m scheduled for this Saturday at 2:30 which is AFTER breakfast AND lunch.
Babies and cancer patients. Babies and cancer patients. Babies and cancer patients.