I went to give blood today during my lunch break. This is one of those things that I always intend to do and often forget to actually get around to, but this year I am making a more concerted effort to follow through with it. It really is one of those things that takes minimal effort and can pay such huge dividends for someone in dire need, so why not do it?
I get it that some people have a dread of needles. It’s not like I’m a fan of having a small piece of metal puncture my skin. Probably as much as the blood drawing needle, I dislike the little poker they prick your finger with to check your hematocrit or blood alcohol level (I always try to act a little tipsy when I walk in, just to see how they react) or whatever the heck it is they’re looking at.
But if you think of all the good you’re doing, perhaps the six times a year you’re allowed to donate won’t seem so bad. Plus, you always get some juice and cookies when you’re done, so other than the needle stick it’s a little like kindergarten: Comfy chair to sit in, someone (if you get a nice phlebotomist) to entertain you, and a snack. What’s not to like about that?
I always enjoy going to the St. Lukes blood bank, because it is the hospital I was born in, and I like to think about how all these years later I once again have a connection to the place. When I went there a couple of months ago, there was some kind of a tour of new interns or students of some kind going in. Being the wiseacre I am, I tried to take over the tour from the guide so I could goof with them; you know, take them to the morgue and say it’s the cafeteria, that kind of thing. Hospital humor! Big yucks! Alas, while I think the tour enjoyed my silliness, I think the guide did not, so I excused myself and went on about my business.
This time, the only thing of note that happened was that my pulse was quite low. The first time my blood bank pal took it, it came up 44. I was damn proud! My new friend there asked, “Are you a runner?” to which I replied, “Do I look like I run a lot?” If we aren’t personally acquainted, take a look around this website and find a picture of me. About the only running I’m likely to do will occur if I’m in a building fire. If that happens, look out. Otherwise, I’m pretty much a why-run-when-you-can-walk kind of guy.
I was commanded to get my pulse above 50 in order to donate, I don’t know why, but I suppose you have to draw the line somewhere. So I engaged in a few quick lustful thoughts because I figured that was the easiest way, without running, to get my pulse up. I didn’t tell my female screener that that was what I was doing, of course. What do you think I am, some kind of a cad?