Day 9: The Red Cross Hates Me (#27 on 30 / 30 List)
Michelle was the Nurse. Paul was the Nurse training under Michelle, the Nurse. I was the donor. Donating under Michelle and Paul...the Nurses.
I decided give blood today because it is Friday the 13th and everybody dies in those movies. Seemed fitting.
I have never donated blood or anything that required a needle to pierce my body. I was even too scared to get my ear pierced in high school.
Speaking of which, I should add some piercings to my 30/30 list.
I showed up at the donation center which was located in a strip mall and looked like a war hospital. Sterile. Intimidating. Disgusting.
Hang a flower somewhere.
The cute Indian gal at the check-in desk asked if I had a reservation. Nope. She asked if I registered online. Nope. She asked if I was giving whole blood or platelets. Who knows?
She gave me a stack of papers to read and said have a seat. I didn’t read the papers. I stared at the other poor fools laid up in hospital chairs with hoses and bags attached to them.
A nurse saw me and asked if I was ok. Nope.
She said don’t worry, it is just a needle the size of a Capri Sun straw.
I swear to God she said that.
Nurse Michelle called me back to a private room. She was from New York and hovering above Nurse Chris who was training. He started gathering my information.
Nurse Michele asked why I decided to give blood after noticing I was nervous. Well, I have this list of 30 things I want to do in 30 days. One of them is to give blood.
What are the other things?
I rattled off a few of the other things on my list.
Well thanks, Michelle.
After Nurse Paul asked me to spell my name 34 times, he geared up to prick my finger.
He pulled out a clear shield to protect himself from my bodily fluids and wiped down my finger with alcohol. I made a joke about needing some tequila first and Nurse Michelle told me tequila is a probiotic.
Good old Nurse Michele. A true wealth of information and a respectable judge of 30/30 lists.
WHAM. My finger bled.
Nurse Michelle said men are the worst. They are the biggest pansies when it comes to needles. I helped confirm her hypothesis.
The nurse duo instructed me to answer questions on the computer as they stepped out of the room. I did. Basic stuff like do you have AIDS? Like prostitutes? Do heroin under houses? Have leukemia?
I finished the test and the nurse duo came back in and resumed with more questions.
Have you left the country in the past 12 months?
Europe and Africa.
Stares from the nurses.
Where in Africa?
At this point, I could feel success slipping away. I said Kenya thinking it would pass the sniff test.
I had been to Congo, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Togo, and Benin. Essentially the heart of Africa where every disease ever created started. If they knew that they would have burned the entire shopping complex to the ground.
You were in Kenya?
Yes, two weeks. Stayed in the main city, Nairobi. Is that ok?
Nope. Come back in two years if you aren’t dead.