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Saturday, Sep. 24, 2016

Where I Draw the Line! Part 1

Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2009, at 11:45 PM

Have you heard all the ads on the radio lately about giving blood? I don't know about you, but unfortunately the two times in my life that I've done it both turned into fiascos. The first one was when I got married, back in the Stone Age. In those days you had to have a blood test to get a marriage license. I'm still not sure why; to prove we weren't related or didn't have some crazy disease I suppose. I was so scared I didn't have the guts to ask, I just wanted it to be over. I'll never forget, we went to Parkview Hospital early one Saturday morning. They took my fiancÚ first and as I watched it seemed as if the room was getting very small and very hot. By the time the nurse got to me I was a nervous wreck and terribly sick to my stomach. Luckily she only needed a vial or two and it was over fairly quickly as I remember. After it was over I swore I would never, ever do that again.

The second time is etched in my brain as the worst event of my life. If you read my last blog you know I have a hard time saying no to friends. This is one of the times I should have said, "Sorry, I can't do that." Deborrah Pugh, the former Red Cross Director, had asked several of us around downtown to help her out by donating blood. By late afternoon several of my friends and co-workers had been, so I had to make good on this promise. I knew I would never live it down if I was a no show! I had asked my mother how hard it was because she has always been a multi-gallon blood donor. She used to give blood every month and never acted as if it was a big deal. Of course, she wanted me to be a nurse too but I just couldn't do that either!

So twenty something years later, I finally decided I could, maybe, probably, hopefully do it! As I walked into the building where the Red Cross was set up taking donations, I was thinking it had to be the hottest day of the summer. Looking around for a friendly face, there were several local folks all smiling, looking like there was nothing to this. In my mind I rationalized that technology had increased tremendously in those twenty odd years since my last experience and surely it wouldn't be that bad.

So I go in, fill out the long questionnaire which asks for entirely too much personal information and apparently I passed that test. So as I'm waiting my turn a young lady sits down beside me and I start asking how it was for her. "Oh, they wouldn't let me give today" she says, while munching on a cookie. I'm thinking okay, all I have to do is find out why and use that excuse to get out of this situation. Then she says, "I don't weigh enough!" All I could do was laugh! I knew I was doomed; I've never in my life had anyone tell me, "You don't weigh enough."

About this time a nice lady comes and walks me into the big room. As I enter, I see about five gurneys set up in a horseshoe shape with a nurse in the middle. As my luck would have it, there is an empty space just for me. She leads me toward the bed and my eyes are taking in every movement happening around me. Each person is laying there with an arm outstretched, smiling and looking so calm. To me, it's a scene from a horror movie. Taped to their arms are a needle and a very thin plastic tube filled with bright red blood which is winding its way down to a plastic bag on some kind of machine that looks like an old foot peddle type sewing machine. The blood in the bag is rocking back and forth at a steady rhythm, mixing and flowing under their beds.

Go to Part 2 in the next blog.

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Kim Hill
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