Sunday, April 10, 2011

Type B Personality

The world has been conspiring to keep me from donating blood. When I first became cognizant of the possibility of donating blood, I was in high school. Not only was I under 18 (strike 1), I was under weight (strike 2). In college in Connecticut, I successfully gave blood a few times. It was a great experience each time. The place where we donated was a converted school hall that was really quiet and relaxing, and the nurses treated me well. After each session, I would promptly return to my dorm room and take a nap to recover my energies.

After college, I gave blood in San Diego and got a coupon for an oil change and a sticker that said “be nice to me, I gave blood today.” In DC, I gave blood after waiting for half an hour even though I had an appointment, watching my husband get kicked around several times (the people at the center were pretty rude and kept telling him to sit in different places – he doesn’t give blood as a general rule but he was there to keep me company), spending 15 uncomfortable minutes getting questioned about every place I had travelled abroad (including down to the city), and being asked to my face what gender I was (I think it’s pretty safe to assume I’m a girl). The nurse said she couldn’t really find my vein (no nurse has ever told me my vein was hard to find), and left long red bruises on my arm from the blood pressure monitor being applied way too tightly (I didn’t complain, but then again, how was I to know what was too tight until I saw the marks that were left?), but I successfully donated that time. I went back to the same place exactly two months later and, even though I had my blood donor card by that time, I had to sit through the exact same questions again and wait around even though I had an appointment. But this time, I was told that my iron was too low. I try again a few months later at a blood donation center at work and am told that my blood pressure is too high. I didn’t even get to the iron test.

Those last two times, after being told that my blood was not wanted that day, I had to sign a form that said I would not donate at all that day. My blood type is B+, so nothing special, but I like it because it’s easy to remember when I think to myself “be positive!” But it’s hard for me to stay positive when I keep having all these crazy experiences when I try to give blood in this city. Maybe I should cross state lines. Maybe in Maryland or Virginia they won’t be as strict, and the process won’t be as stressful. I feel like the other day my pulse was quickened due to all the “bad blood” that has passed between me and the blood donation process I’ve experienced of late.

Be positive, indeed!

According to the interesting charts here, my blood type is only 8.5% of the U.S. population, but 20.59% of the world’s population (thanks in large part to India, where almost 1/3 people are type B). So, since blood types are inherited, that means my blood is from the Central Asia/Mongolian regions of the world. Proof positive that I am in fact Asian.

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