I Work For The Red Cross And I Don’t Give Blood

Or at least I haven’t in eight years.

There’s not really any good reason for this, other than that I kept having such a hard time giving that I decided maybe it wasn’t worth all the work…for me or the Red Cross. But times have changed. I am “woman”ing up and getting ready to donate next Tuesday.

When I think about my personal experience giving blood, a few things come to mind. First, I think about donating inside the Bloodmobile back when I was interning at The Oregonian. The tech taking the blood was amazing — he hit a vein right away and I was done in less than five minutes. Incredible.

Then I think about working for the City of San Antonio and the fact that every time we gave blood (successfully or unsuccessfully), we’d get four hours of vacation time. Talk about a great incentive!

But I also think about all the times that I tried to give blood and my veins petered out or they had to poke me multiple times in both arms and the back of the hand and they STILL couldn’t hit a vein. And I went home with gigantic bruises that caused days of embarrassment.

Just recently, I had a (non-Red Cross) nurse start trying to draw blood and when I commiserated with the hard time she was having, she got a little snippy: “Why didn’t you warn me in advance so I could just call in a specialist?” Geez.

So I gave up. For everyone’s sake. Except for, you know, all those people who need my Type O- blood to live. Yeah, that’s right. Like some of you, I have the special responsibility of being a universal donor.

Now I’m turning over a new leaf, opening a new vein and ceasing all the excuses. I’m giving blood on Tuesday and, if I walk away with bruises, so be it. They’ll be my badge of honor.

Be kind to me — I gave blood. What’s stopping you?