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.