Gave blood today at the SLC.
As was the way the last time I gave in Stratford, the people who do the preliminary tests and questioning are shallow husks of human beings, devoid of any interest, getting along with the barest minimum of communication.
The actual people who take the blood, though, are friendly professionals. Part of that is probably because they keep talking to you to make sure you don’t pass out (I assume that that’s the real purpose behind the talking), but they seem to smile more and communicate much better as well. (for example, I had to fill in 20 stupidly small boxes twice because I skipped a station to fill it out in - instead of huddling in one of those voter-booth-type cardboardy things, I sat in a chair in front of the NEXT station while filling it out; thus filling my sheet out in pencil, as that is what I had handy. A near-mortal sin.)
Overall, this try was much more successful then last time - last time was the left arm, and from the sounds of things we (we, being me and the nurse. She was doing all the real work…) barely managed to get a “test kit”. This time, a whole shiny new unit was successfully extracted from my right arm.
Creepiest part: Some of the “withdrawl tube” rests on your arm… it’s creepy when you realize that the tube feels warm because it is filled with your own blood.
Most time consuming part: All the reading and questions. The actual removal operation only took 9 minutes.
Most painful part: Removing the band-aid they put on your arm… it pulled on all the arm hairs. The donation part is remarkably un-painful.
Most Interesting part: Finally figured out my blood type - I am O+, which I think is the most prevalent blood type among Canadians. (You’ll have to prepare yourself for some, “I’m POSITIVE” puns in response to questions for the next while…)
Pro Tip: If you go on the Canadian Blood Services website, you can actually get a copy of the questions they’ll ask, which is a good way to know if you’ll be obviously disqualified before you even show up (eg. had sex with a man if you are a man, having sex for money or drugs, are HIV+, got a blood transfusion from a place that doesn’t have good safeguards on blood, etc.)