True Bloooooooooooooooooood

Posted on July 11, 2011


I’ve been to donate blood twice before. Both times the whole thing was ordered, professional, and kind of boring. But this week, third time was lucky and I had an actual fun time down at the Red Cross. Here is a blow-by-blow account, otherwise known as my first favourable review (spoiler alert!) in a while.

(Apologies to the friend with whom I had coffee that same afternoon. I am definitely regurgitating stories.)

The Australian Red Cross, where one goes to watch the blood-weighing machine thingy, and get free milkshakes…

10:10 Have been a Good Girl and arrived at Bourke Street 15 minutes before my appointment.

10:20 Is good thing because due to hilarious medical coincidence, have mistaken Medicare office for blood donation centre. Why? Have never been there before, as I take care to bulk bill. But not to worry: Kindly Medicare Lady instructs me to cross the road, where I safely reach my destination.

10:30 Have been given a form to fill out in which I am asked no less than three times whether I am gay. Have also answered “no” to question about whether I have ever had any “bodily fluids” splashed in my eyes.

10:35 Three people from Deloitte arrive. One of them tells the nurse that he is the National Director of Resource Management. He is kind of cute, not just because he is a director. I make a mental note to add “Blood Donating Centre” to Matilda’s infamous “Leching List” but forget until now, when I am writing this article.

Porn for vampires, perhaps?

10:40 Am ushered into an “Interview booth” so I can confirm once again that I am not a homosexual male. Tentatively ask for a tissue. Nurse asks why, am I sick. Say no, but man sitting next to me while I filled out Epic Discriminatory Form had very strong aftershave and I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to allergens. Nurse says she can relate to the smell thing as that very morning a homeless lady had come in and stolen some of their free food, and she had smelled bad. Thought gratefully to myself that my Thing-With-Smells, whilst nerdish, is at least not class-related. Am not allergic to homelessness.

10:50 Thunderbirds are go! Nurse says “what a lovely orange coat” and I say, “I like your badge.” Her badge says, “Ask me about plasma donation: Give the golden gift.” I ask her about plasma donation. She says, “Well, it’s kind of weird, but what they do is, they pump out your blood, then centrifuge the plasma out, then pump the blood back in.” I say, “Oh my god you’re right, that’s kind of weird.” She says yes but it saves lives. There is no response to that.

10:55 People from Deloitte take tour of the centre while I wait in the donating chair. The National Director of Resource Management takes a patronising look at the literature I have brought along with me to pass the time. Do not blame him as cover of book is more sparkly than Artemis Fowl.

11:00 Takes an amazing FOUR nurses to find a vein. After prodding my left arm a few times, they give up, stick a plaster on it and go to my right arm. Now have matching track-marks. Better yet, they still seem convinced that I’m a homosexual male deep down as they keep asking me my name and birth-date. Have been asked this by each of the four nurses. Even though when nurse no. 2 came
along, nurse no. 1 was already there, etc. Previous nurse could simply have told new nurse that it was OK, I was definitely who I claimed to be.

11:05 On bright side, have been told that the whole scenario is due to my having “Exceptionally Fine Veins”. Am ignoring the fact that “Fine” has multiple meanings.

11:10 People from Deloitte leave. They have failed to donate anything except their time.

11:15 Yesssss! Done! Can now go to free beverage area. Feel like have just successfully collected all five blue orbs in a level of Happyland Christmas and am now allowed to go on to the bonus level where I can pick up free candy canes and Christmas gifts.

A Blood Room.

When you go to donate blood, you think you will be rewarded by feeling good about yourself. But I say no: You are also rewarded by potential shenanigans.

Donate blood, people!

Consider it free weight-loss.

Have you had an amusing or interesting experience giving blood? How do you feel about the statistic that on 1 in 30 Australians donate blood, yet 1 in 3 Australian’s rely on blood donations to survive? Leave your comments below. 

For more, have a look at A Comedy of Errors and Shopgirl Strikes Back: A Review of “Made in Italy”.  

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