Really. That was my intention. The company was having a Blood Drive and I had every intention to give blood. So I went to the website to make an appointment. I clicked on a timeslot and was all set to give blood.
Then when I came in for the appointment they said, “I see you volunteered for the Apheresis Double Red Cell.”
“The Apheresis Double Red Cell.”
“They take out the components of the blood and give you back what they don’t need.”
“Takes about 45 minutes.”
“Did you still want to do that?”
45 minutes away from work relaxing on a table? Hell yeah.
So I sit down and start reading through the warnings, something about air embolisms and unknown risk factors and I’m really happy to be there.
“Oh, it never happens.”
I’ll be the first.
“Oh? Good, because I know what to do in case that happens.”
Peachy. And why are there unknown risk factors?
“Because we haven’t been doing this long enough.”
So I’m a guinea pig.
“Right. In a hundred years if you develop something, you can come back and we’ll make a note of it. Then it won’t be unknown any more.”
So they hook me up, I have to pump my fist every five seconds. So far so good, it’s like giving blood.
“See that bag there?”
The one filled with beer?
“Yes, that’s your plasma, that’s what’s left of your blood after we took out the red cells.”
Figures my blood is composed of beer.
Then, after about ten minutes or so she says, “Stop squeezing.”
And I do. Then I notice my arm getting cold.
My arm is cold.
“Yes, that’s the components being returned to you. Your lips might also tingle and you’ll get a metallic taste in your mouth.”
My lips are tingling.
“See? Told you.”
“It has something to do with the anticoagulants interacting with the calcium in your body.”
Then after about ten more minutes she said, “You can start squeezing again.”
“Yes, it doesn’t take long for your blood to cycle through your body and now we’ll take some more.”
I’ll need a double when this is over.
So the process repeats, suck out, put back, tingly lips and a slight dizziness. Then it was all over and I was by the refreshments having a V-8 and a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie.
I wanted to give blood, but instead I gave just my red blood cells. And I feel good about it, and not just because I got to blow off work for an hour.