Taking a break from the election updates because um…. I’m already bored with it. I tried looking at each candidate’s website, realized they all wanted to create jobs, lower taxes or pay off the national debt, saw something shiny, and closed my browser window. Yaaawn. I was accosted last night by a Conservative campaigner dude in my babysitter’s neighbourhood. He said a lot of crap and made me feel bad for not voting PC (apparently, if the Liberals are voted in, they’re going to let the separatists run the country, and the campaigner really hoped I’d think about that when I cast my ballot on May 2nd), but it was the most engaged I’ve felt all election season. I promised him I would look over his pamphlet, but it is still where I left it – crumpled up and forgotten in the basket of my stroller.
I don’t know why I feel the need to tout how ignorant I am, but there it is. I am a horrible Canadian.
BUT, I am practically a philanthropist now because I gave my very own blood to help the less fortunate! I usually pass that type of thing up, but the Red Cross or whoever were hosting a clinic at work, and I couldn’t say no. I kept picturing myself a day after my c-section, sleeping in a pool of red and who-knows-what-other-coloured bodily fluids while some nurse I hated pumped me two-bags-full of someone else’s blood. I don’t know where I would have been without that transfusion (probably in that horrible hospital for a few extra days with back spasms so bad I could barely breathe, and every cell in my body screaming for oxygen), and what better way to say thank-you than to be a donor myself. I figure I owe the universe at least two units before we can call it even.
It was my first time donating, too! I got a cute little pin and I’m pretty sure they’re going to send me a card in the mail. Presents! They needed to give me presents to sweeten the deal because they harassed me about my sex life and did a big number on my arm. Did you know that the Red Cross (or whoever – I really should figure out who hosted this clinic) doesn’t like a) Africans, and b) men who sleep with other men? Oh, and also, c) hookers? I had to say “No, I haven’t had sex with an African, I haven’t had sex with a man who has slept with another man, I haven’t had sex with anyone who has sex for money, or anyone who has slept with someone who has sex for money” and other variations on that same theme.
I found out later from Chase that they won’t let you donate blood if you’re gay? Whaaaaaaaaaa?! I understand wanting to be safe (what with the hookers’ increased exposure to STDs and such), but isn’t this taking it to the next, hate-filled level? This isn’t the 80’s, Red Cross. It’s possible to be a gay man who practices safe sex with a monogamous partner. It’s also possible that I am a big ho bag who screws ten strangers a night without any protection, but they didn’t ask me about that.
I wonder if they would have let me donate blood if I said I had sex with a dude who slept with another dude? Anyone know the answer to that question?
ANYWAY, yeah. So they asked me a bunch of questions and hooked me up to the bloodletting machine. Only, they screwed up my IV, and it took 2 nurses to correct it. One of them said to me “I’m sorry! It moved,” and I was too chickenshit to ask her what moved – the needle, or my vein. I just tried to concentrate on not puking while they dug around inside my arm. They tell everyone to look the other way when they insert the needle, by the way. I am convinced that this isn’t so much an anti-fainting measure as it is an anti-suing measure when they eff it up. Not that I looked. The mental picture of my skin stretching and raising as they wiggled the IV around was enough. You’d think that the gaping hole in my vein would make my blood flow FASTER, but apparently I am the slowest bleeder ever. It took me 15 solid minutes to fill up one small bag.
All that pain and suffering, and they didn’t even show me the fruits of my labour. I didn’t set a single eyeball on my blood bag, even though, half way through, I contemplated picking it up and hugging it to my body for warmth (the blood bag, not my eyeball). Hmmmpfff.
My next appointment with the blood bank is in June.