Yesterday I went to the hospital to donate blood. I hadn’t done it in a while because of health reasons, but yesterday it was time to get back into the saddle. There’s something about donating blood that makes me feel like such a saint. My halo was there even when I got out of bed in the morning, and it only grew bigger as I made my way towards the hospital. I’m pretty sure it was visible from the moon by the time I actually got there.
So I made my way into the correct wing – I’m always impressed at my ability to not get lost there – filled out the necessary papers, and sat down. Then there’s the interview with the nurse. Do I have any open sores? Taken any drugs? New sex partners? Been in a country with Mad Cow’s Disease? Any new junkie sex partners with Mad Cow’s Disease, perhaps? No? Good! Take your blood and sit down over there!
Then comes the needle. Now, I’m not particularly afraid of needles, not at all. The nurse poked my left arm, everything seemed fine, but then – “Hey, where’s the blood? There’s no blood coming out”. The nurse looks worried. Another nurse comes over to see what’s going on. They start moving the needle around in my arm to see if that will make the blood come out. Oh yeah. Hey, let’s stir her veins, that should do the trick! This is where I started to feel light-headed. Little sparkly dots appeared in front of my eyes. Also, my hearing seemed to get wooly. Oh yes – I almost fainted. Now, this is where you would think I would go HELL NO and leave, right? Wrong. You see, I secretly like to think of my self as something of a bad-ass – a fainting bad-ass, but a bad-ass nonetheless – so we decided to have a go at the other arm instead
Now, my nurse was a kind, middle-aged woman who clearly felt a little worried about me. She made sure I had something to drink, and kept asking me how I was feeling. She also had an awesome sense of humor. At one point the other nurse came over to check on me, and their exchange went something like this:
Other nurse: Are you feeling okay, dear? You look a little pale!
Main nurse: Oh yes, nothing to worry about, she was like that when she got here!
Now, I was sitting there with a needle in my arm, blood puring out, and had been about to faint just a few minutes ago, but even then I could appreciate a good pale joke. Because let’s face it – I’m really pale. I’m pretty sure I snorted. I say pretty sure because I was actually getting light-headed again and had to lie down. Hah! Faintsy-pants. I did manage to fill up that bag of blood though, and I felt pretty frickin’ accomplished. The nurse gave me something to eat and made me lie down again.
Eventually I got up and started flipping through a magazine, seeing as I had to wait there for 15 minutes before I could leave. I started to notice that there were other people around me, also donating blood, and that they had all been noticing what had been going on with the girl on the corner.
It’s really hard to laugh something off when people have already decided to feel sorry for you, so I felt awkward and left. I’m sure they all told tales of the poor girl who had a terrible time donating blood. Me? I’ve got an awesome story and the punctured veins to prove it. Huzzah!