at giving blood, that is.
so in all my years of living, i have yet to donate blood. my hospital i work at is having a blood donor drive this week, and so i decided that TODAY, may 29, would be the day to give my first pint of blood. i make sure to eat a nice breakfast and i psyched myself up. (important foreshadowing: for those of you that don't know, i'm incredibly squeamish about needles being poked into me to get blood since i've always had a hard time giving blood up for medical reasons. i've had blood drawn all OVER my arms, my fingers, tops of my hands, you name it, and so naturally, i'm squeamish.)
i have a nice intimate "interview" with a pleasant guy. questions consisted of "have you been to a foreign country in the past 3 years?" i answered yes, and then was surprised to see cochabamba, bolivia, on a list of "bad" countries, but since it's been over a year of being there, i was ok. another question was "have you ever had sex with a man who has had sex with another man?" my word! that's such a horrible question! and i was thinking, how would the general population ever know the answer to that? pleasant guy then stuck my finger to see if my iron levels were high enough, and i passed that test, but felt really squeamish about the finger prick. uh oh.
then i was sent back to the bloodletting area, and at this point it became known to all the bloodletters back there that i was a first timer who was quite nervous, which was the exact truth. i lay back in a chair, a lady says that she'll "take care" of me, which i believe her. she sticks me with this HUGE needle after finding a vein in my left arm. i appropriately turn my head away, not looking. i thought to myself, "wow, that didn't hurt too bad at all!" then i ask "is blood coming out yet?" no answer. i keep asking it, no answer. then a whole SWARM OF BLOODLETTERS descended upon me to "see what was going on" and then i got REALLY nervous. what was actually happening was that she was digging the needle around to get my squeamish vein, and the more she ignored me, and the more people descended around me, the more nervous i got and *poof!* my vein "rolled away". the whole time i could feel the needle moving around, which while it didn't hurt, it felt really weird, and i could feel myself getting very lightheaded and fainty feeling. then they claim that they couldn't get a good vein in my right arm, so i was sent away. BEGONE!
mind you, at this point my ego was incredibly deflated, and all that adrenaline in my system had nowhere to go, and i was quite pissed. i mean, i've worked myself up to the point where i CAN give blood, because i feel like if i'm going to be a good doctor one day then i should be donating my blood anyway, and then i go to do so, and they can't stick my damn vein! needless to say, i wasn't very happy, but the bloodletting supervisor told me to come back on thursday and he would personally do my stick. they gave me a t-shirt and i don't even want to look at it because i know it's ALL A LIE.
I WALKED AROUND THE HOSPITAL WITH A T-SHIRT AND THE FLOURESCENT ARM BANDAID THINGY AND I WAS A FRAUD. A BLOOD DONOR LIAR.
the folks at the blood donor front desk tried to help me feel better, saying that most people wouldn't even take the time to try to donate blood, and that i should come back and i shouldn't be so nervous the next time. i guess they're right, i just hated being a faker. (plus my brain was all confused...you got stuck for nothing? shame on you!) but in all honestly, the needle stick didn't hurt too bad since they had sufficiently cut off all my circulation to my arm so i didn't feel anything anyway. so if i'm not too bruised, i'll go back thursday. if not then, i know where they're located and i'll just show up at their facility that's right down the road from where i live.
in other news, i look like i'm a drug user since i have this huge hole in my arm. somehow, that is not satisfying to me.