Writing Can Be Murder

May 16, 2008

Donating Blood

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 8:52 pm

I’ve been getting almost daily emails from my local Blood Center begging me to give. There was a time when I donated blood on a regular basis, every eight to ten weeks like clockwork, but I haven’t given in almost a year. There are a couple reasons for this, not the least of which is the fact that  I’ve got lousy veins.

I know this because the technicians who stick people all day, have told me so. Repeatedly. They ask “Which is your better arm?” I give them my right, because I’ve done this dozens of times and I actually know my own body. They tie the rubber band around it and poke. Furrows form between their brows. They poke harder. They ask me if I’m sure this is the better arm. I say it is. They don’t believe me. They tie a band around my left arm and poke. The furrows deepen into canyons. They return to the right arm.

Now the reason this is a big problem is that in my State (not sure what the rules and regs are in other parts of the country) they can only stick me once with the needle (as opposed to when I go for lab tests and they can stick me until they finally get it right).

If the Blood Center misses the vein on that first try, they have two choices: they can say “sorry” and tell me to come back again in eight weeks to try again (because now, according to their system I’ve “donated” even if I haven’t spilled a drop) OR they can dig around under the skin in the hopes they “might” get lucky and actually find the vein (this can hurt a lot, trigger shock, and/or cause massive bruising — I know all this from experience.)

Still, every time I get one of their begging/pleading/a teenage girl needs daily transfusions emails, I’ve been feeling guilty about not donating.




  1. Don’t feel bad! I have the same problem – giving blood is an ordeal for me because apparently I have small veins that hide on from phlebotomists.
    I’ve gone for bloodwork whereby the time they actually get a vial full, I’m lying down, glassy eyed and ready to pass out from all the machinations that had to go on before hand. I do have some guilt about bypassing the Blood Bank on a regular basis, but I’m sure they don’t want me passing out on their table, so in essence I’m doing them a favor by staying away.

    Comment by Jennifer Colgan — May 18, 2008 @ 3:31 am | Reply

  2. Oh, you poor thing!

    Comment by love2wryte — May 19, 2008 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

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