Oh, how I hate needles. Really, I do. But when Melissa came into work on Friday boasting a new free t-shirt that she got from a blood drive, AND free Oreos and Sun Chips I reconsidered my former hatred of all things vein and blood related. I made an extremely rash decision and texted Dave to meet me on my lunch break at the Wilk so that we could both receive awesome free shirts and get treats and, you know, also save a life and all. I should have known when Melissa's bloodless state caused her to use the term "butthead" at work that the two of us manning the office while running a pint low might not be the best idea but I pushed my fears aside in my quest for a free shirt.
( The shirt said "Blood Donors Rock!" And for some reason Dave did not think it was as cool as I did)
Now, the last time (and only) I gave blood I prepared for like four days ahead of time and drank fluids and ate a good meal beforehand and read websites and things. But this was spontaneity at its finest and so we just waltzed right in. We filled out some sheets asking whether or not we were prostitutes or sell drugs (answer: no) and so they let us go right back to the place where the girl pricks your finger with the needle (*barf*) and takes your temperature. Luckily, this is where they give you the shirt so I considered possibly just making a run for it and not actually donating blood but I felt that that would be pretty classless of me so over to the tippy-back chairs I went. I was slightly annoyed that they did not put me and Dave next to each other since there was no one but like us and two other people there but it's probably for the best so that he didn't see my complete and utter terror start kicking in.
The phlebotomist (nifty word, eh?) was really nice who was working on me and I could tell that he was trying to speak soothing words of comfort to me without letting me know that he knew that I hated this, and I was actually fine until he stuck me and then I heard silence and...."um...it hasn't started....I'm going to go get Kyle." At this point I had my head turned 200 degrees from the arm that had a drink straw poking out of it that I really had no idea what was going on but from the feel of things "Kyle", if that's even his real name, was taking an ice pick and jabbing it in and out and waving it around in my arm. Twas a lovely two minutes of my life. Dave was done giving blood by this time and wandered over to my chair but I barked at him to go sit down because I didn't need him fainting on top of this. Slightly dramatic, because, as he said later in a calmer setting "Claire, it hurts me to think that you don't trust that I have a handle on my own body." Well put Davito. Oh, and I also demanded that he tell no one in his family about this situation because they are all hardcore about blood and stuff and, although they are kind and understanding people, I am sure if they knew that needles are my deepest enemy that they would secretly think I was high maintenance.
Now, in my defense I was really trying not to show the technicians that this whole ordeal was grossing me out. But the room was starting to spin and phrases like "too much hard tissue" were making my mouth taste really, really bad so they finally felt sorry and told me that I could still have the t-shirt and they were sorry but the vein in my arm was too small and they couldn't get it. So basically I got all of the accouterments of blood donation (t-shirt, juice afterwards, the cool bandage, pain and deep personal drama) without actually saving a life. I can't wait to see what happens when I really have to have a real medical procedure done. Dave always talks about the people that freak out and go bizerk over little things during oral surgery but I have a secret fear that when the time comes that I might actually be one of those people....
All's well that ends well, right? Except for the part where I am scarred for life a little.