While I was home, there was a lady from the Red Cross asking people to donate blood outside of Walmart. These people make me shudder with fear. This is a shocking reaction considering my mother has donated enough platelets and quarts of blood to supply an entire army unit, literally. Over the last few years, she has given all of her blood times three. And she has all the free lapel pins and t-shirts to prove it. If you drop by her house on any given holiday, she will be wearing a “Give Platelets” holiday shirt to match the occasion. Her dedication inspired me during my teen years. One of the highlights of my 17th birthday was knowing that I could finally donate my blood.
However, I found that I wasn’t as brawny as my mother. Every time the Red Cross sucked out my red livelihood, I got lightheaded, my ears began to buzz, and then I passed out. I always managed to give the minimum amount that could be used before I had to stop. In fact, I began to tell the staff before they stuck me, and they usually started me in an incline position with a cold wet towel on my head.
I figured that I could pass out to save someone’s life. The Red Cross staff members were so nice, and they always gave you tasty snacks afterward. I even recruited many of my high school and college friends to give. That changed though.
My freshman year of college the blood mobile set up shop outside of the cafeteria. As I walked by, I knew I wanted to donate but I hadn’t eaten that day. I thought it would be best if I had food in my system. After lunch I made my way to the mobile. Anxiety was building as they tested my iron counts and asked me if I had mad cow disease or ever slept with someone who slept with someone who knew someone with a venereal disease. Once I finally got to my seat, the bus was almost empty. There was only one guy, whose recliner was facing mine and our feet were practically touching. I told the nurse that I get light headed so they leaned me back and tapped my right arm. Everything was fine. I was lightly pulsing my thumb, and I felt it. I told them I was slipping. They gave me a Dixie cup of Sprite. Suddenly I got sweaty and felt nauseous. I vomited into my half full Dixie cup. Then I vomited on my sweater and all over my seat. Then the nurse ran outside the blood mobile, and I watched her vomit all over the ground.
I managed to give enough blood that they didn’t have to completely scrap my visit. I was so thankful that the bus was almost empty. There was only that one guy, whom I didn’t know, or so I thought. I found out the next day that he was in my 8 o’clock class. Every morning I was greeted by his smiling face that reminded me of vomit and Sprite. Needless to say, I don’t give blood any more. I vomit for no man. I figure my mom has given my share anyway.
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