October 3rd, 2002



Gave blood today. I'm happy to do so, because I feel like it's a civic duty for those who can conveniently give blood to do so.

I found myself really not feeling like being stuck with needles today, though. I've usually been better about that.

I found myself annoyed by the delay. I had an appointment for 6:15, and I showed up right on the dot of 6:15. It was 7:00 when I finally sat in the chair, and 7:10 before the needle was inserted. Most of the preceding time was spent just waiting for them to call me for the prescreening. I finally left at 7:35.

I'm certainly willing to give them the ten minutes of draining my blood.
I'm also content to give them the 10 or 15 minutes of waiting-around-making-sure-you-don't-faint afterward, because I can understand the risks.
I'm willing to give them 10-15 minutes of prescreening. I do think it would be awfully nice if there were some means of fast-tracking that process for frequent donors. I would like to be able to say 'I was eligible to give 2 months ago; nothing interesting has happened to me in the last few months; we can skip most of the questions.'
But there's a lot of delay there that I just have no good explanation for. I managed to almost finish reading an issue of Women's Day cover-to-cover--and trust me when I say that Women's Day was not my ideal reading material.


I shouldn't wholly knock Women's Day. It did have one virtue that I haven't noticed in other publications: it had an estimated cost per person for the recipes it provided. That's handy; I wish the Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks would do that.


Shortly after I started pumping out my precious bodily fluids, another guy sat on one of the couches. The phlebotomists started joking, "Oh no! He's trouble with a capital T! It'll be 10:00 before we get out of here." He took the joshing with a grin and explained to us that he wasn't that bad, but he tended to be slow.

After that, there was a lot of banter back and forth between the donors and the phlebotomists, and chat about people's lives. I liked that friendly atmosphere.

Sadly, I don't think that I'm quite regular enough to be part of a group that donates together every time--I'm not sure whether there are other people that are that regular.


The refreshments offered with the blood donation included "Born in the USA" cookies. Imagine animal crackers, but instead of lions, monkeys, and elephants, the cookies were in the shapes of patriotic symbols like Liberty's head, a torch, and an eagle. I found these somewhat unsettling and avoided eating those cookies.