Every Six Weeks I Bleed 

Reprinted from VT

When the lady plunged the needle into my arm for the third time, I realized I wouldn't be donating blood today.

I have a rare blood type. Super rare. So rare that I know I save sick and dying people every time I give blood. It makes me feel important, so I give lots and lots of it. Sometimes, I even lie so I can give blood sooner than I am supposed to.

Actually, giving blood involves lots of little untruths for me. They ask all these troubling questions about who I have slept with and where I have been. Oh, or if I have handled human blood. I have, but only really, really clean blood, so I know in my heart that I am safe.

Besides, none of you live anywhere near me so, unless you have the same really rare type of blood as me, you personally are safe.

There are other reasons to enjoy giving blood. I love needles. I love having the little thingy poked into my finger so they can check my iron level. I love watching the little blood drop in the blue fluid float to the bottom, proving that I have good iron. I like the little, flat disposable thermometers. I love having my blood pressure taken - almost unhealthy again! I love it when the nurse rubs the iodine all over my arm.

Most of all, I love watching the dark crimson bag of blood being lifted away after it has come out of my arm. I sometimes fantasize that the nurse trips with it and it bursts all over me. Warm. Sticky.

"Oh, Mr. Michaels! We'll have to take out another pint now or babies will die. I hope you aren't feeling light headed."

I have never fainted giving blood, but I would like to. Once, I felt a little dizzy, but I ate a free piece of pizza and felt much better. I love free pizza. Who doesn't?

I have small veins, so it isn't unusual for the nurse to miss once, even twice. This time, they had to pull the needle out twice and insert it a third time. By the third time, I didn't really feel it anymore. Apparently, I was already bruising.

I have this big, blood red bruise right at the fold of my elbow now. I got a form telling me I couldn't do any heavy lifting for 24 hours and felt like I had been proclaimed Miss World. Wounded while trying to help people! What could be more noble, even if I had to lie about not having had a sexual relationship with an intravenous drug user in order to do it?

The best thing of all is since they didn't manage to get any blood out of my arm this time, I get to go back next week so that they can try to get blood out of my other arm. It will still be a long wait, but every time I get sad, I poke at my bruise and my whole face lights up.

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