Monday, July 11, 2005
Blood from a turnip
For many years, I could not give blood because I did not weigh enough. When I entered the 10th grade, I stood 5’4” and weighed 96 pounds. I was skeletal, and I am sure if it had been 2005 instead of 1965, there probably would have been child welfare investigators at my parents’ door, having been hotlined by school teachers wanting to find out what was going on. By the time I was 40 though, I had quit being skeletal thanks to age and quitting smoking. And now, I am heading for serious trouble. I look like a turnip standing on toothpicks (I have my father’s skinny legs). Not weighing enough is no longer an issue and now I am happy to give blood when the Bloodmobile makes its regular appearance in the basement of a local church. Only getting the bloodd is now the issue. I am a hard case, they say. On a rare occasion, when a good technician is working that draw, it goes well – the needle slides right in and the blood fills the bag. But more frequently, it can get painfully unpleasant. Today the old "can't get blood blood from a turnip" saw applied to me. Three technicians ended up getting involved, and I came home with punctures in both of my arms–and my eyes leaked a little bit while they were roto rootering around in there–but not a drop of blood flowed down the tube and into the bag. I didn't help myself to the refreshments they offered (cookies, mostly). I'm going on a diet, but after what I went through, I figured they owed me a t-shirt, so I took one.