Pop Culture Gadabout
Friday, December 28, 2007
      ( 12/28/2007 09:20:00 AM ) Bill S.  

ISN'T THIS SUPPOSED TO BE A RED STATE? Yesterday, for the first time in our new state of residence, I drove into town to give blood at the Red Cross blood drive. I'd been a fairly steady donor back in Illinois - particularly after Katrina hit - and had the card to prove it. So I wasn't expecting too much difficulty when I did an 11:00 a.m. walk-in. I was, it turns out, belaboring under a misconception.

First thing I learned was that while it is a national organization with a nifty computer network, none of the individual regions apparently talk to each other. My card from the Heart of America region proved useless when they tried to scan it, so we had to enter my background information all over again. Admittedly, my address and place of work have changed, but the social is the same. Why can't they pull my name up from that? I wondered.

They're also five times more identity conscious in Arizona than they were in Illinois. After I went through answering all the usual questions about whether I'd spent any time in the Congo or sold my bod for money, for instance, my Red Cross nurse asked my first and last name, if as if she was expecting me to say something different from the one I'd given her three times already. We then left the cubicle and walked across the room to the chair where I was supposed to be giving blood, and after I'd settled myself back into it, she asked me my first and last name again! Lady, you were walking right beside me the whole time - do you think someone snuck in and took my place?

When it finally came time for me to give blood, I experienced something else that was new: the catheter tube leading from my arm to the blood bags somehow got air in it. So after going through the process of getting prepped and stuck, I couldn't give blood after all. My nurse pulled the catheter out, which led to a big stream of A+ into the crook of my arm, and tossed the bags of compromised blood while I sat with my arm upraised and a compress held to it. "You can give blood again in two days," the nurse reassured me twice, though since I live out in the middle of nowhere, that's not bloody likely. I'll have to check the Red Cross website to see the next time the drive hits Safford Arizona.

Oh well, at least I got a new jersey out of the ordeal - and learned my blood pressure's okay (108 over 76). That's something, I suppose . . .
# |

Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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