… On Giving Blood

Alright, so as I sit here trying to work on my thesis some more but obviously distracted, I figured now is as good a time as any to provide my first legitimate blog post. The question is, what to do. What to do, indeed. After some thinking, I thought it would be a good idea to sort of EASE my way into this blog business with a warm up story if you will. And so I have decided to share the story of when I attempted to give blood.

Now, as a young college-going person, for some reason or another I thought I would be doing the world some good if I gave some of my blood to the people that came asking for it at my alma mater.  When I had passed the blood stations prior, everything seemed outwardly copasetic within the area so I figured how bad could this be?

My roommate decided to go with me only to eventually be disqualified in the opening rounds due to a lack of veins and no discernible pulse… such is life, I suppose. But after waiting in line with my nice chubby veins, and watching a platelet transfer go slightly awry (watching someone turn green and lose consciousness while strapped down to a chair and attached to two massive machines is never fantastic to watch prior to getting stuck with a needle by a complete stranger) I headed into my little booth to be asked questions that would prevent disease transfer. They went a little like this:

“Well hi there, what’s your name?”
“Ingrid Stobbe.”
“Ingrid, we’re gonna go over a couple of preliminary questions and then get you on your way to the chairs over there, alright?”
“Ok.”
“Are you a man or a woman?”
“I’m a girl.”
“Alright, now Ingrid have you ever been to Africa?”
“No.”
“Alright, Very good. Now. Have you ever had sex with a man that has had sex with a man?”
“What?”
“I’ll rephrase. Have you ever had sex with a man that has had sex with a man?”
“Um… no?”
“You’re not sure?”
“No, I mean no.”
“Alright. Very good. Now. Have you ever had sex with a man that’s had sex with a man in Africa?”
“Wait, but I just said-”
“Just answer the question please, Ingrid.”
“No.”
“Very good. Now. Have you ever been involved in an orgy in Africa?”
“Didn’t we ask if I’d been to Africa?”
“Miss Stobbe the sooner you answer the question the sooner you can be on your way.”
“Ok…No.”
“Fantastic. Have you ever had sex with a man that’s been in an orgy in Africa?”
“Sir, I have to ask-”
“Ingrid, we have a lot of people to get through today. If you could please just answer yes or no that would be great.”
“Well ok but we’re treading over ground that-”
“Miss Stobbe, please.”
“No.”
“Great.”

Eventually after redundant orgy inquiries ceased, I was escorted over to the awaiting chairs where a woman with an unwieldy arm managed to somehow mess up the needle insertion. Saying this hurt is an understatement, but that’s not the point of the story (then again, I can’t remember my point) so we’ll keep moving. After the severely botched jab, she informed me

“I’m sorry dear, we can only poke you once and then we’re not allowed to take your blood.”
“Are you serious?”
“I’m afraid so. I’m so sorry about that, but please feel free to have some cookies.”

I went over and took about 6 packs of mini-oreos and headed to class. The following morning at approximately 7am the phone rang in my dorm room as I was about to take a shower. With my freshly bruised arm I reached out and picked up the phone.

“Hello??”
“Yes, hello. This is the Red Cross calling. Is there an Ingrid Stobbe available?”
“…This is she.”
“Hello, Ingrid. This is Debbie from the Red Cross, how are you doing?”
“I’m fine, Debbie, it’s 7am.”
“Yes. Well we were just calling because it seems that you were marked as male on your questionnaire and subsequently asked different questions than you were to have been asked. We may not be able to use your blood without verifying a few things. Can you answer some questions for us?”
“I can but they didn’t use any of my blood anyway.”
“That’s alright, Miss Stobbe. Please just answer the questions.”
“Ooookkkk.”
“First, have you ever had sex with a man that’s had sex with a man?”
“…Debbie, seriously?”
“Just answer the question, Miss Stobbe.”

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