I gave blood the other day.
Correction: The Red Cross took some blood from me. Giving just isn't the right word to use for the red-tape wrapped, multiple-instruction sheet covered, inquisition-like screened event that I endured Monday afternoon-into-evening.
The unfilling station had been set up in the atrium-formerly-known-as-the-foyer of my church (http://www.valleycc.org), and the lead pastor had shamelessly begged us to fill up the appointment sheet, so I dutifully-obediently-pathetically participated.
Upon entering, I was cheerfully greeted, given a name tag, and issued a forest-killing pile of instructional pages informing me of the importance of my donation ("Give blood, good; use dirty needle, bad") and warning me of the possible-though-not-likely side effects of having blood forcibly removed from my body...including having a bruised arm that may display "a rainbow of colors." (Actual factual quote.)
I had to answer several questions about my personal health and private behavior. The good news is that said questions were privately answered by me on a computer. I'm thinking if the questions had been asked by a human being, face-to-face, we both would have been blushing like a nun at Chippendale's.
I was granted acceptance into the privileged crowd of acceptable donors, and directed to lay down and expose my neck to the incoming bat — er — give the nurse access to my arm. Once she pounded the inside of my elbow and painted my right side with antiseptic, it only took three people to lift the needle that was then twisted into my helpless flesh...all while telling me to relax, which was kind of like telling a person jumping out of a plane to fall up.
However, my attempts at relaxation must have been effective after all, because the next complaint cast in my direction had to do with the lack of speed with which my blood bag was filling. That's right — I wasn't bleeding fast enough for them. They kept jiggling the pipe that was protruding from my arm and milking the hose that ran from the pipe to the blood bag, but it all was taking so long that the wound started clotting over as if my body was saying, "I ain't got time to bleed."
Bottom line was, they couldn't get a full pint out of me and ended up having to discard the 90% of a pint that they got. It's all-or-nothing with those professional vampire types at the Red Cross. They told me not to let it discourage me from giving again in the future, but I said, "You are not the boss of me! It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to!"
But I think I will give it another try at the next opportunity. My arm is looking like a bag of Skittles and I can practically taste the rainbow. Yum!