05 June 2008

Repeat After Me

If you've learned nothing else from this blog - aside from the fact that an over-indulgence in beets turns your potty purple - it is this:

"No good deed..." what kids? "...goes unpunished."

On Tuesday the Red Cross Vampire Mobile - as it shall forever be known - showed up outside my office. Its appearance was accompanied by an email from the Human Resources department imploring everyone, "Don't forget to give blood today! - Bring a photo ID."

So I ask you, what would Jiminy Cricket do? (Am convinced the Uber-Christian WWJD phenomenon began its product lifecycle as What Would Jiminy Do?)

Why, open a vein, of course.

I climb into the Bloodmobile (that's what it's called, international friends, I shit you not), complete a 7mm thick stack of paperwork promising not to sue the Red Cross and then climb into a funky recliner. The phlebotomist - has any other profession in the history of earning an honest wage ever had such an awful title? - the phlebotomist, I must say, had a really, REALLY bad attitude. From the moment The Guy from Engineering and I laid down this chick was griping to the other "phleb" about not earning enough money at this gig and having to sell plasma to make ends meet.

I swear I am not exaggerating.

So she finally jams the needle in my arm...and then tuts.

Literally, "Tut, tut."

My blood is not flowing quite at readily as she'd like. So she jiggles the needle. The needle - the sharp end of which is in my VEIN.

Tap. Jiggle. Tap.

So I asked her, "Am I a slow flow-er?"

"Mmmmm-Hmmmmm."

"Is there so much fat in my blood that it's that thick?"

"Mmmmm-Hmmmmm."

"Like gravy?" (nod to Fab Boy)

"Mmmmm-Hmmmmm."

Phleb is not amused. Every few minutes she comes by, shakes the bag, and looks at me like I'm bleeding slowly on purpose - just to ruin her day."

Coworkers come, coworkers go and still I haven't filled the bag. Finally, the dirty deed is done and she pulls the needle out of my arm.

Aaaaaaaaaand blood spurt EVERYWHERE.

From my arm, not from the bag. Pulse - squirt. Pulse - squirt. Pulse - squirt.

So she looks looks at my arm - addressing my arm - and says, "Oh, NOW you're going to flow?"

Like it's my arm's fault she put the needle in all wonky.

Aretha Franklin in the Blues Brothers did not have more attitude than this woman took with my arm.

So I'm bleeding. Profusely. And it's about to soak through the third gauze patch in 30 seconds and drip onto my dress when I scoot away - to avoid the drip.

"Well don't MOVE," she says. Hand on hip. Big Hairy Eyeball. Like now that the 16 gauge needle is out of my arm, squirming is going to harm something.

She puts an icepack on the arm, instructs me to leave it there for half an hour. Puts a tourniquet around my arm, instructs me to leave it there for five hours. Don't lift anything heavy.

Seven hours later I arrive at home and want to show Hubster how the mean lady hurt me. I take off the tourniquet and....

Pulse - squirt, pulse-squirt, pulse-squirt. Like a horror movie running down my arm. No wonder I felt woozy.

Several telephone calls later I'm told to go to the emergency room and get a shot of Vitamin K. Apparently I have a clotting issue.

No, sorry, apparently I have a TORN VEIN issue.

So here we go, with the rest of the Rednecks, to the emergency room.

I've only ever been to the emergency room once before. I really never planned to return.

Once there we find the usual lineup of nearly-naked children with green, crusty noses running around while their tattooed and toothless parents are lectured for the 47th time about insulin and not eating sweets. Aaaannnnd chronic disease is an emergency only if what? You're a moron? Ah. Right. Thanks.

First nurse looks at my arm. I apologize. Second nurse looks at my arm. I apologize. Doctor looks at my arm. I apologize. Hubster tells me, quietly, when we're alone, that I have GOT to stop apologizing for coming to the ER.

I ask the doctor if I can just get a shot of Vitamin K and be on my merry way.

"Vitamin K? Why? Have you taken rat poison?"

::sidelong look at Hubster:: "Um...No?"

"Well, we don't normally give Vitamin K - a clotting agent - unless you've been exposed to rat poison. Which is also commonly prescribed as a blood thinner."

No. No rat poison. Definitely not.

So do you know what they did? They put a really, REALLY tight bandage on my arm and sent me home.

Sa-weet. Two hours of my life I'll never get back, humiliation beyond measure for bothering the ER people only to end up with a Really Big Band-Aid.

I don't care if I'm bleeding from my eyeballs next time, I'm making a doctor's appointment, waiting a week to get in, and then sitting in the waiting room reading 5 year-old magazines like everyone else.

And NOT donating to the Red Cross again. Sorry, Red Cross, you totally blew it. I'm going back to LifeSouth.

9 comments:

alejna said...

Oh, that is just not right.

I hope you've stopped bleeding now...

Comet Girl said...

You probably have really low blood pressure like I do. It takes me forever to fill a bag. The last time I went to the ER, my Mama Sora was in a car wreck. I will have to have a severed limb before I return. ER, Social Security Office (went for name change after marriage), DMV, why do they suck so hard? What do they have in common?

Country Girl said...

OMG. I would be SERIOUSLY inconvenienced if you bled to death. Like, I'd have to bitch to the wall or something and it probably wouldn't agree with me like you do.

Do not let those people stick you again. Do NOT. You have too many things to do for the rest of your life.

fatboyfat said...

Mmmm. Gravy.

City Girl said...

Fab: LOL

Kim Mitrook said...

I read your post about your last donation experience with the Red Cross. It is always disheartening to hear a donor have a traumatic experience while donating blood. Please know that your volunteer donation to any blood center is the greatest gift a person can give. There are no substitutes for blood. Patients who need blood transfusions to survive depend on people just like you to give the gift of life. As a community blood center, it is our responsibility to provide donors with a safe and comfortable experience. It is also our job to make sure you understand how much we appreciate your donation.

As the marketing director of LifeSouth, I stand behind our commitment to customer service and our communities’ blood supply. I want to thank you for your time and effort and I hope that you will continue to give the gift of life. We welcome you with open arms.

If you have any questions about how LifeSouth connects our donors to our patients, please visit our website at www.lifesouth.org or call 888-795-2707.

City Girl said...

Like I said, I'm going crawling back to LifeSouth and beg forgiveness. They've never been anything but wonderful to me.

Think it could have something to do with the SOUTH part of LifeSouth? Yessireebob.

That, plus the fact they provided me with two pints of whole A+ gravy goodness when I had my nip-tuck.

I strayed. I was unfaithful. I paid the price. I'm coming back, LifeSouth - don't you doubt it for a minute.

Dory said...

Rest assured that Karma will kiss you tenderly on the forehead and turn around and bite Bad Blood Woman right in the ass.

Talmadge Gleck said...

Ahhhh, you're from Georgia.

Lessee ... Red Cross ... bad attitude ... poor experience ...

Yup, that's Georgia alright.

Who trains Red Cross workers in this state?? The Airport TSA??!!