Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why The Red Cross Hates Me

This happened a long time ago, but I need to record it, as it is quite humorous (maybe just to me) and I want to remember this particular story. I was reminded of the story today, and decided I should blog about it for kicks (and because I have nothing to do at this particular moment except for thinking about making decisions that I want to avoid that so...yeah).

So awhile ago one of my RA's convinced me to donate some blood because the Red Cross was visiting campus. I found out I could save three lives! That is awesome, so yes, I will give my blood. I don't have a high fear of needles, which I feel often deters people from donating, and I'd been eating a lot of spinach and drinking a lot of milk lately, so I knew I would have a high iron count--also in my favor. So, there I am lying, squeezing that little ball and pumping out my blood. The man taking it told me I was "a really good bleeder"--I think this is because I drink a lot of water. This greatly appeased me as I like to excel/overachieve at just about anything. Feeling good that I'd saved 3 lives, I grabbed my complimentary juice box and was on my way...

Only to receive a letter a week later saying that I had "abnormal blood results." With no explanation about what this means in the letter. WHAT THE FRICK DOES THAT MEAN!? Now, if you receive such an open ended letter, what thoughts would race through YOUR head? Leukemia? HIV (which would be virtually impossible for me to have)? Some sort of weird disease?! Ahhh!!!! "Call your blood counselor" (and who knew you could even go into that profession?). Ummm yes Blood Counselor I am calling you RIGHT NOW. Oh, and you do not answer me. Until the next day. I'm sorry, but if you are going to tell someone they have abnormal blood results, you should PROBABLY pick up the phone, as that is fairly unsettling news to receive. So, the next day Mr. Blood Counselor calls me. He says I have a "false positive" for a "rare South American parasite."

"Have you ever lived in a rural area in South America ma'am? Like in a dirt cave or hut?"
"Uhhh NO."
"Yeah I figured as much--it's pretty rare. Basically you don't really have this parasite, but the test said you did. So the first time they tested it it came out positive, and the second time it came out negative. Most people are pretty aware they have this particular parasite, as it is a large giant bug that bites you and dwells in dirt caves." Lovely.
"So, can I ever donate to the American Red Cross ever again and save 3 lives?"
"Unfortunately not ma'am."
"Even though I don't have a disease that I would know if I had it. You have got to be kidding me."
"No ma'am." At this point he proceeded to use some sort of analogy about airport security and low thresholds and blah blah blah. You are not making me feel better Blood Counselor. I stopped listening at this point, as I was seething, because dammit I like doing good in the world, and giving blood is an easy way to start. And I do NOT like being rejected! And I wanted some of my blood pumping through the veins of other people so I can live on since I may or may not have children, but I am a waste of a "good bleeder" with a high iron count. Your loss American Red Cross!!! Your loss!!

Dr. Acula

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