Friday, January 21, 2011

Only Three Months

It’s a truism that after reaching fifty, the majority of the people with whom you interact seem to get younger each year.  I accept the ever increasing age divide as a fact of life except when it’s time to donate blood.  Since the donation of blood involves the use of rather large needles, I much prefer that the technician be “a little long in the tooth”!

So begins the tale of my recent visit to the Red Cross blood drive. 

I arrived at the processing station and was greeted by a young lady who looked as if she was perhaps a freshmen in high school.  Since her duties were  limited to signing me in, I saw  no problem here.  For those of you who have never donated blood, your next stop is at the health screening table.  Here they determine if you have a pulse and barrage you with question to access the suitability of your blood.  If you are approved, it’s on to the donation area where the fun begins!  Yep, you guessed  it, this is where the needles come into play.

It was at this point that I realized that the technician who would be sticking me with a BIG needles might be all of twenty years of age.  Foolishly, I inquired how long she have been employed with the Red Cross, to which she sheepishly replied, “only three months”.  She then asked if this was my first time donating to which I replied “oh no, I have donated over 100 times”.  The expression on he face lead me to believe that she was attempting to estimate how many years 100+ donations represented.  I was tempted to tell her that when I made my first donation, it was more than ten years before she walked the earth.  With that thought in mind, I decided it was better to just smile and keep my mouth shut. 

With the prep work complete, the moment for getting stuck by the needle arrived.  As is my custom, I turn my head and hope for the best.  Surprisingly, the needle stick was without sensation; I was just about to compliment her when I looked to see an expression of panic upon her face!  I immediately knew that she had missed the vein, definitely not a good thing.  The expression on my face must have scared her because the next word she uttered was HELP!!

Immediately, another technician came to her rescue and with little fuss, I was soon filling the bag with blood.  The rest of the process was thankfully uneventful.  In less than fifteen minutes, I was done and headed to the canteen for refreshments and to schedule an appointment to donate again in March.  The way I have it figured, my young friend will have nearly five month experience by then.  

17 comments:

Anita Jesse said...

What a delight to read another of your posts. Great story. I know exactly what you mean about this age gap business. Is it just me, or are they pushing them out of school at an ever earlier age? Like you, I feel a little more comfortable when the people taking charge in these situations have just a tiny bit of experience.

Steve Skinner said...

Anita, you know that we are doomed on the age divide thing!

Anita Jesse said...

Oh, heavens, I only hope to stick around long enough to see it get infinitely more alarming and amusing.

Deanna said...

I heard yesterday that 70% of the population was not even born when John F. Kennedy became President! What a shocker.

I had to laugh at your post. I too, go in shock when I discover how young the professionals are as I entrust my health into their care. Hearing HELP would be as bad (or worse) than hearing "utoh". Glad you survived! And thank you for giving blood. I was banned from doing so for a time because of cancer, but am back at it again. What a great feeling!

Paul said...

Steve. That was very funny. "Help!" LOL. Poor kid. I'm glad that you survived your ordeal. I especially like the part of how many years it took to donate that much blood. You must be a cave man or something. :)

Paul said...

Cave man! Wait a minute. I'll be 50 next year. Yikes!

Steve Skinner said...

Thanks Deanna! Except for the paper work, giving blood is a good thing!

Steve Skinner said...

Paul, I'm not exactly a cave man but some days it sure feels like it!!

Earl said...

To be honest I've had some "more seasoned" needle pushers I'd swear use to work on the Bush/Cheney terrorist interrogation teams.

I find that at least the "green ones" seem a little cautious. Giving blood is a wonderful thing, thanks for giving and a great story, Steve.

Steve Skinner said...

That like true! Thanks Earl.

Shelby said...

LOL :) !!!

Ralph said...

That was a nice story. I don't give blood any more (they won't take it because I apparently had hepatitis without knowing it and now have hopelessly contaminated blood. I never looked either back when I gave regularly and thankfully never had anybody miss.
I miss giving blood. It helped me feel that I could help people and I liked the sense of community from the people that give blood.
You have a lot to look forward to. Wait until you get really old - like 60.

Steve Skinner said...

Thanks Ralph! I'll be there before long.

Pamela said...

it doesn't seem like that long ago that we were those young kids --

Did you ever think we would be this old? ha ha

Steve Skinner said...

Pamela, I find that my definition of old increases each year! Funny how that works out.

anecdotes said...

As far as the age thing goes, when I notice a rather 'elderly' looking person, I think, "Oh my. That person is probably my age or younger."
As far as the needle stick goes, my veins roll. Not only that, because of all the chemo I received, they aren't real supple. So, I always contemplate whether to give the tech this information. My experience has been that if the tech is young, I just keep my mouth shut because that info tends to make him/her nervous. If the tech is older, I go ahead and tell him/her that I allow three sticks and if the vein isn't found, to go find someone else.
~sWaMpY~

Steve Skinner said...

Swampy, that's good advice!