Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stuck Twice

Normally I wouldn't write about something like this, but it is so comical...and typical, I just couldn't help myself. Squeamish readers's about giving blood.

A little background information is needed before I begin. First, I have A- blood, which only around 6% of the U.S. population has, making it kind of rare. I caught onto this in college, when the Red Cross called me almost every week to donate.

Also, I don't mind giving blood. I have probably donated 10-15 times and have seen the importance of donating, due to family members needing blood in critical situations. With that said, I'm not a very good blood giver. I don't get anxious, however I have either passed out or got light-headed and had to be propped back, feet up, cold rag on forehead, hand-over mouth and nose coughing, etc. on more than one occasion...okay probably 75% of the time--but I've always successfully donated. Then came yesterday.

You ever have foresight...when you just know something is going to happen? Well as I was waiting for my pre-screening at the donation site, I glanced around to see who I wanted to draw my blood and who I didn't...and then I saw her. One girl, that I knew I didn't want, but would probably get. She wasn't wearing a sign that said "I'm brand new," but she had that ora about her. The usually process followed: pre-screening, big glass of water, escorted to the bed by the nice volunteer...which bed? The newbie. The one I had picked out from the very beginning. Why do I call her the newbie? Because she flat out told me she was new. Fine. I don't care. As long as she was good.

I told her my history, that I get light-headed, which she said was fine, she'll lay me back...okay. Then she started hunting for the vein, and couldn't find I switched sides, still no luck. I think my veins knew about my inclination, because the Red Cross has never had a problem finding one before. She brought over another nurse, who found one right away....great. Then apparently it went away. She called another nurse, Jim, over--he found it again...great. Then Jim squatted next to me and started asking me questions to distract me...poke...waiting...waiting, Jim and newbie switch sides, I feel the needle being moved around, Jim says he can't find it...light-headed...take it out.

Now, I know I'm a little stubborn, and I could have walked away then, but I've never not been able to donate, and the Red Cross started their old trick again, and have called me the last two weekends--Saturday morning, 9 a.m., like clockwork. So I gritted my teeth and asked Jim if he wanted to try the other arm...forget newbie. He said okay, found a vein, went through the whole process again, marking, iodine, iodine again and then...poke...nothing. Finally a third nurse came over, moved the needle around and found it.

The best part was, that I had told newbie from the beginning that I only wanted to be stuck with that damn needle once..but no, two pokes, two fiddling around with hour and a half later, two bandaged arms, two cookies in the canteen and one successful A- blood donation. From now on, at least when it comes to donating blood, I'm going to trust my more newbies.


Jordan said...

oh yucky friend! It probably didn't help that it was a million degrees outside ;) I'm A- also, by the way...we really are twins! And if I need a blood transfusion, I'm coming straight to you :)

Jesse said...

remember how Weber used to give extra credit for donating blood? I thought it was a good idea to go after football practice one day...dehydrated...hungry...not a good idea. It took many pokes to find the vein and then they finally cut me off after about 30 minutes because I had filled only half the bag. Luckily, I have A+, so I'm not in big demand.