Friday, December 26, 2008

Breaking Dawn with the Red Cross, or the Twilight of My Blood Donor Experiences

The day before Christmas Eve I found myself, for the first time ever, strapped down to pseudo-military style cot, with a needle stuck in my arm, watching my blood flow down a little tube into a freakily-largish bag.

I've never donated blood before, for a few simple reasons:
  • Most of the time I do required blood draws at the doctor's office (or "blood drops," as Grace and Mia call them), I pass out. And that's embarrassing.
  • I'm a complete wimp.
  • I'm paranoid about catching some weird disease that won't be discovered and identified for another 20 years, and it will come out 20 years hence that said disease was spread through blood drives.
  • Blood is just icky.
But every time our stake hosts a blood drive, I feel guilty. Especially this time, since we were told that not enough people sign up at Christmas time, blah, blah, blah. In a moment of insanity I signed up. And forgot. No worries, though--there are people assigned to call and remind you, and track you down, and haul you forcefully down to the stake center, tie you to aforementioned cot and plunge the needle in.

My sole thought through the whole experience was how to avoid passing out in front of people I know and go to church with every Sunday, especially the children people, of whom there were several because apparently watching Mommy or Daddy donate blood is a sweet holiday bonding experience.

There were several close calls but I managed to stay mostly conscious. I was doing okay right up till the end.

When my huge ol blood bag was almost full, I happened to glance over at the neat rows of filled blood bags stacked on the table. For some unaccountable reason specific and graphic sections of Stephenie Meyer's "Breaking Dawn" flooded my mind. You know the ones--the first time Bella tastes blood, the gory birthing scene, the medically-sanitized blood provided for Baby Bloodsucker... all those pages soaked and saturated in blood splashing.

I bolted upright, gagging and choking. My assigned bloodletter came running over excitedly. "See! I told you--getting a good cough helps with the lightheadedness,"" he exulted. I couldn't respond--I was too busy trying to keep the vomit down and thinking that I just could NOT puke in front of my Primary kids.

And mentally cursing. Only mentally, because if puking in front of my Primary kids would be bad, swearing would be worse. But believe you me, I was thinking all kinds of bad words about Stephenie Meyer and those bloody, bleeping books.

1 comment:

tren said...

Want to hear a true tidbit that will likely intensify your feelings of horror about giving blood, should you ever try it again? Tom's sister, at age 20, donated blood and died later that day. True. Okay, her death was probably not related to donating blood, but the family still has some suspicions.