Friday, March 03, 2006

Life Liquid Makes Me Want to Blow Chunks

Giving blood has always scared the living hell out of me. Actually, it’s the blood part that bothers me. I don’t care if it ends up in bags or on a Luby’s restroom floor. The idea of bleeding profusely, whether controlled or not, makes me want to vomit.

But it goes even further than that. Back in my fourth-grade days, we used to sit on the floor, in a big mass, with our health books splayed out in our laps, and read about health-type shit. Disease. Bones. Internal organs. Vaginas and penises.

Not that last one. But that’s what we really wanted to learn about.

Anyhow, we would be chosen, individually to read sections of that day’s chapter, aloud. Well, whoever wrote/edited/published those evil goddamn health books must have been some sort of gothic Satanist, because every fifth fucking word was “blood”. It was as if they were making a concerted effort to squeeze it into any and every place they could. Almost autistically so. Sentences would go something like:

“The human blood is blood red and the blood flows through blood veins to get the blood into the organs which need blood because blood is the bloodline of all blood using blood creatures of blood-dom. Blood is really bloody when it bloods out of the blood system. I love blood. Bloody, bloody, blood-blood.” And then I’d vomit all over some girl with pigtails sitting in front of me.

Perhaps not that ridiculous. Take off the last sentence and I bet I’d be damn close though.

So I had the great pleasure of going to give blood the other day. It was for a very worthy cause, so I would never complain about why I was at the blood bank. But shit, it wasn’t cool.

The entire drive there was nauseating. I felt like I was about to go on stage to sing in an arena concert. For a band I didn’t actually sing for. With words to songs I’d never heard of.

So my stomach was doing all varieties of acrobatics, threatening to push material out of every orifice about my person, as I drove my fevered-self to the vampire cave.

When I walked in, they greeted me, had me sign in, and then handed me some laminated sheets with a bunch of “if you do heroine with aids patients while getting fucked in the ass by Australian spider monkeys on your weekly sex-trips to Nigeria, then your blood might be compromised” type shit on them. Actually, speculating on that, because every fifth word of the text was BLOOD. For fuck’s sake, these assholes need a thesaurus, as there HAS to be alternate ways of describing the system of red shit which courses through our veins. Alternate languages, or something. Anything.

That’s not nice of me, actually. In reality, I understand that this is my issue, not theirs. I haven’t googled it yet, but I doubt there’s a name for my particular phobia. There’s all sorts of blood phobias, but probably not ones related to passing out like death just from reading the word. But then again: whatever.

They “interview” me by asking exactly 53 questions (they tell you the number before they start, so you can prep yourself, or something) about my sex life (HELLO!), illicit drug use (hello?), and a shit-load of true/false questions about my contracting (or having “contact” with someone who might have contracted) of various diseases and maladies that the Cambodian nurse could not pronounce. And she had no idea what the diseases were.

I should have said TRUE. To everything. Hell, I might have “stifhlectimicoidal anotrophelia” or whatever.

We have a few laughs at the 53 question quiz, as I tend to crack jokes when I’m pants-pissing frightened. Then she ushers me into the bleeding room. A circle of pleather lounge-y chaise things is the focus of the fluorescent-lit room. Two other nurses are stealing blood from two other dudes. One of the guys, probably in his late forties, is looking pale and cross-eyed, while the other is a recent high school grad who may very well be afflicted with Downs, if not a social-interaction disorder of some sort. The older fellow complains that he feels really sick and he needs a cold compress for his forehead. The kid rambles on about how often he gives blood (way often), and that he doesn’t particularly like soda.

I really wanted to leave. The act was already scaring me, but the participants weren’t making the deal any easier to seal. But I decided to stop acting like such a pussy about it, and I sat obligingly, in a plastic-tough lounge-y chair.

Finger pricked, vein found, needle stuck, one pound of blood removed.

I stared at the ceiling tiles, opposite of my left arm where the robbery was taking place. So I never actually saw anything of the heist. But I did feel a little light-headed, and my exit from the establishment is a bit hazy. So I assume that they took whatever they needed.

And I got what I needed.

I got to mark that little deed from my “list of shit Craig fucking hates/fears but everyone else does all the time so he needs to suck it up and do it already”. Awesome kickasstastic sweet.