Saturday, August 23, 2008

You Can't Get Blood From a Stone

I've given blood just a couple of times in my life. I feel good about doing it, but not while doing it. While giving blood, I mostly feel annoyed. I mean, the Red Cross just makes donating so onerous. First, you read some forms, then you fill out and sign some others, then they read the forms back to you and ask you if what you said was true. Finally, they take the blood, which actually isn't very time-consuming at all. But you aren't done yet, because then they try to give you sugary, fatty snacks and insist that you stick around even longer, just in case you pass out.

I gave platelets last time, which turned out to be a bad idea. This donation involves pulling blood form one arm, filtering out the platelets, then feeding the rest of your blood back into your other arm. This is actually rather convenient; since you get your plasma and red blood cells back, you are able to work out that day. Unfortunately, the extraction process takes much longer than a whole-blood donation does, and, since you are punctured in both elbows, you can't bend your arms. It's very irritating.

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