blood donation fail

Today, I was walking on Sproul after I picked up lunch and noticed they were having a blood drive. I’ve never donated before; I used to weigh too little in high school (miss those days!) and then in college I’ve gotten piercings and tattoos so I was always in that 12-month post body mod period where you’re not supposed to donate. Anyways, I decided to donate blood today.

I walk upstairs to the Pauley Ballroom where they’re doing the drive. I get my sticker, fill out my form (some of those questions were a little strange) and sit down to wait for the intake sesh. As I’m sitting, I feel a little queasy because I can see all the people who are getting their blood drawn, but nothing too serious.

Now, this is probably the time that I should mention that, although I have 9 piercings and 2 tattoos, I am terrible with needles. If i see them, I pass out. Same goes for blood, most of the time. Β I take after my dad in that respect, and trust me, it’s not pretty.

my first tattoo (after the touchup)

tattoo 2, done by Mike @ Industrial in Berkeley (only took 3.5 hours!)

Moving on with the story. I finally get called up to the intake nurse. She asks me what my weight, height, allergies, etc. etc. are. She makes small talk as she takes my temp and my pulse, and then she does the little finger prick thing to test my iron levels. Now, it doesn’t hurt at all. I mean, it’s a little pinch, like if you pinched your finger in a drawer or something minor like that. But something about that, knowing I was about to be hooked up to an IV for 10 minutes, finally gets to me.

I look at the nurse and go, “I need to put my head down.” She looks at me quizzically, looks at the iron count machine, and goes “your iron level is fine…” but I must have gotten very pale because she goes ok, “I’m gonna pick up your stuff, you follow me.”

So I get up, and she grabs my 3 bags (oops), and one of my arms, and calls to one of the nurses to help get me to a chair. The last thing I remember clearly is breaking into a cold sweat and then all of a sudden they’re lifting me up into this pseudo-recliner and burying me in cold compresses.

I anticipated passing out once I started the blood draw, but this was just ridiculous. I actually asked them, once I was feeling better, if I could donate blood then… figured I’d already passed out, might as well go through with it! (They said no.)

So lessons learned today- I’m not anemic, don’t bring so many bags with you to a blood drive–just in case, and I am one of those people who’s just not meant to donate blood. Luckily, I think I have one of the more common blood types, so it’s not so bad. I just hope I’m not like my dad, who passed out when he and my mom got the blood test for their marriage license… that didn’t bode well! πŸ™‚

In other news, applying to publishing jobs in Boston, New York, San Diego, LA and SF. It’s terrifying, but necessary. Working with Ariane Doud, Patrick’s wife, for PR for The Hunt for the Eye of Ogin, so here’s to hoping that’s a productive work connection!

Also, I finished the first 10 (!) pages of my first thesis (30-35 pages total), and my second thesis/research paper is in the research still, but at least I’ve got a topic.

Oh, and to the 2 people that read this, visit, will ya? She has an AMAZING blog that I’ve been following, where she makes her own original plans inspired by furniture that costs HUNDREDS/THOUSANDS from companies like Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Teen, etc. What she does is incredible, and Williams Sonoma (booo) has decided to send her a cease & desist notice, because she references their names/pictures. I’m sorry, but if people are going out of their way to MAKE this furniture, they weren’t going to pay 10x the cost to buy it in the first place, so it’s ridiculous that they think it would harm them. If anything, this whole thing will help HER to increase her blog traffic. So yeah, check it out. Maybe you’ll be inspired!

And to finish it up with a fun graduation quote: At commencement you wear your square-shaped mortarboards. My hope is that from time to time you will let your minds be bold, and wear sombreros.
Paul Freund


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