Tuesday, June 27, 2006

a dismal victory at best

when i was in high school they had a blood drive for healthy seniors. you had to be in good health and weigh over 110 pounds, and they actually had a scale at the ready if you appeared to be of questionable weight (sadly, they didn't ask me to step on there - alas). erica and i decided to be brave and sign up together, choosing time slots right before some field trip to university of maryland (i think). the drive was set up on the auditorium stage with reclining chairs scattered around and teams of uniformed nurses tending to the brave teenagers that had decided to donate.

one of my most vivid memories was this poor nerdy girl named amelia giving blood in the reclining chair across from me. if i remember correctly (and i am 99% sure i am not making this up), she started having a SEIZURE that involved drooping heads and foamy mouths. seriously. it freaked me the shit out. they took good care of her, though, and all ended well...

...except for the fact that erica and i were STRUG(gling) and wandering around the school hallways feeling completely doped up. we had missed the bus that would take us to our field trip (is that right E?) and had to drive ourselves over there. she was too strug to drive, so i drove her minivan (affectionately known as "the chub") and we toughed it out together.

since then, i've only been able to give blood once or twice (maybe not even once? i don't remember) b/c they always reject me based on the random countries i've been to. i'm happy to help out and donate, but i always felt discriminated against because of my love of foreign travel to exotic locales. so i've been to costa rica! so sue me! i swear i don't have malaria or parasites or whatever (even though i remember being convinced upon my return that i had indeed contracted malaria, which ended up just being regular old dehydration).

anyway, our company had a blood drive today, and i am happy to tell you all that i was successfully able to pass all the screening questions and donate blood. they had me stare at maps and identify which portions of argentina i had visited, and what dates, and for how long, etc etc. when she said that i had passed and that yes, they would accept my well-traveled blood, i was filled with immediate euphoria.

...and then i realized i still had to actually give the blood. i forgot how much it sucks to sit there and pump your fist as you pray that you have filled your bag, and how dizzy and woozy you feel as you sit there and sip juice and munch on crackers, and how sore your arm gets for the rest of the day, and how much it sucks when they insert the needle at an awkward angle and you wince every time it moves the slightest bit.

or maybe i am just a wimp... at least i am a wimp that did a good deed? although the good deed is slightly questionable, because my bruised arm makes me look more like a heroin addict that a heroic donater of blood. hmm. i know! maybe i'll write a memoir with fabricated stories around my heroin addiction and make tons of money and be asked to guest on oprah.

oops, guess that idea's already been taken.


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