Feeling giddy, but virtuous, I looked at the Good Red Stuff slide out of the needle taped to my arm and into its rocking plastic sack. Hmmmm....feeling really giddy now. Beep beep BEEP!! chime the machines, as the flow slows and I think my blood pressure is dropping.
Nurse (reprimandingly): Did you drink enough before you came, dear? (why am I dear? I am nearly 40...when does this nonsense stop!)
Me: Well, sort of. Its sometimes hard to remember to drink enough in the morning rush with 2 kids in tow. (This morning I was lucky to get out the door at all with my two shoeless cantankerous children)
Nurse (unsatisfied with response): Well if you are going to donate, then you need to follow the guidelines. And then the needle gets removed, and the chair Im in is tipped inelegantly backwards so the blood I have left can find a place to settle further upstream.
Grudgingly the nurse brings me a drink and a list of 'Guidelines' and circles the criteria relevant to potential 'fainters', like me.
I look around the blood-letting lab, and I realise that over three quarters of the donors are women. Ive checked a few stats on line (not sure how reputable the data is) and in 2006 apparently 25,000 more women than men donated blood. Are women more conditioned to be caring? Perhaps we deal closer with the fine line between life and death in child birth? Perhaps as we menstruate, we are more understanding of the life giving promise of blood: its ebb and flow?
And yet it is men that make more actual donations. This one gets my blood pressure up a little, as I reckon that they may get better treatment from the nurses (OK, maybe a just had a cranky nurse today). Or maybe, probably more likely, its because women are preoccupied having babies, breastfeeding, caring, or working multiple jobs. I reckon we are all too damn tired to donate any more often!
Any thoughts out there in blog-land?