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Thursday, November 17, 2005 

I bleed for my country!

I sacrificed a whole pint of fresh A-grade blood for the People of South Africa today. And excuse the obvious pun, but IT SUCKED! Giving blood is not at all what you see in the vampire movies. You know, that near orgasmic moment when the vampire finally sinks his fangs into the aorta of the victim. Yeah, I know… the old adage, “Only in Hollywood”. Mind you, Kate Beckinsale , was über-sexy as Selene in the vampire movie, Underworld. She can sink her fangs into my aorta anytime! Swiftly moving along. I only agreed to donate because Anna in the office next to mine asked if I would go. I did not want to wimp out on her nor did I want her to beat me to the post in being smug and virtuous. The whole idea seems wholesome and innocent enough on the surface. The poster on the notice board said, Give Blood and Save a Life. A noble cause. No-one, other than me, seemed to think that the act of donating blood is probably as close as one can come to the embodiment of evil. Luckily there were no long queues when we got there. Can't say that I was at all surpised. It is not like we were going to watch Robbie Williams live, were we? I don’t think I could stand to watch blood being siphoned from the bodies of other people by narrow tubes spiraling from their outstretched arms for longer than necessary. Freaky! “Oh, look dear! I think your blood is turning bright orange. I think perhaps it would be a good idea to call a doctor!” I had the urge to say this to a woman in her 50’s as she laid there on her little trolley bed gazing up at the ceiling looking all sweet and serene. Somehow I did not think anyone would have been enjoyed my attempt at humour. Vampires, I mean nurses, have no sense of humour. Donating the blood is not the problem for me. It is all the friggin array of paraphernalia that they use for extracting it. The sharp needles, the rubber tourniquet, the plastic bags and the tubes running from your arm. Did I mention the friggin sharp needle? And why do they always talk to you as if you are retarded? "Don’t worry, dear, it won’t hurt a bit". Really? Do you mind backing that up by sticking the needle into your arm? I don’t dislike nor do I have a phobia about sharp needles. I just don’t appreciate them in my body. Of course I am too proud to admit that it does in fact hurt a little, so I looked away when the nurse pushed it into my arm. When she asked me if it hurt… I feigned surprise and said, "Oh are you done already… didn’t even feel a thing”. And just like that my precious blood is being harvested. It flowed out of my arm up the narrow tube and into that damned little plastic bag. I always wonder what would happen if they forget to turn the damn thing off. Would it just keep on draining until there was nothing left of me but a bag of skin and bones? Of course these strange thoughts are brought on by the lightheadedness due to the slow loss of blood, but they seem very real at the time. I prefer my lightheadedness when it is brought on in tablet form, in case you were wondering. The whole procedure only took about ten minutes. Then it was out with the offending needle, and on with the complimentary alcohol swab with which to apply pressure to the "open wound". They also encourage you to go to the recreational area and have free biscuits and tea with your fellow bleeders. Yep, they fatten you up right away in preparation for the next bloodletting. There is nothing quite like swapping stories about the pints of blood you have donated over the years with your fellow bleeders. And if you are really lucky, you may run into someone who has a rare blood type. Why, they are the royals of the bloodletting fraternity, aren't they? [Bow down, commoner] I am not quite sure whether the tea and biscuits were worth the price I had to pay. It seemed like a bum deal to me. Surely a pint of blood could justify a cream-filled doughnut from the bakery up the road?

I used to donate regularly until I felt really faint one day. It happened out of the blue and felt really awful. Not donated since then. I could, of course, use the excuse that I'm a moffie but I don't think that excuse is valid in SA anymore. :-)

In the UK, coming from sub-Saharan Africa, moffie or not, excludes me immediately.

Ha! In contrast to Nomad, I am not allowed to give blood in Canada because I've spent too long in the UK! 'Course that may have changed since we've had our own Mad Cow fiasco, minor though it was.

ohh my mate Kate... she's such a hottie!! And don't forget Rachael McAdams (slightly younger but also grrr worthy).

witnessing the procedure numerous times & knowing the scientific bases of it, I can say It is worthy to take biscuits for some blood :-) I have never tried it myself, cause perhaps there has never been the call or anyways there hasn' been an occasion to do so anyways. I addmit the scene is nth pleasent with all those straws sucking ones blood into bags...

Alan: Complicated state of affairs when it comes to donating blood.
I do not know if your lifestyle would excempt you from donating blood in SA.
Andrea: I do not quite undestand the controversy surrounding blood donation when one moves from one country to the next.
Surely if your are tested and cleared there should nothing that stops you from donating?
Tripeak: Right on, boet, right on. I am going to sit in the corner and grrr all by myself. Hehehe...
Doc: It really does look like something out of a sc-fi movie. People ligned up on trolley beds all with tubes flowing out of there arms. Yikes... I feel a chill running down my spine just thinking about it.

We had quite a public/political debacle in South Africa when it became known that blood was still classified along racial lines.
Ten years after we had abolished Apartheid and became a democracy, blood from a black person would only be used for a black on black transfusion, etc.
It sparked quite a heated debate amongst the public and politicians alike, and even the president got in on the action. (I won't comment on his actions, but suffice it to say I think he acted impulsively and irresponsibly)
We have now been told that the race classification of blood has now been done away with.
Kinda makes you think... Has South Africa truly progressed beyond the race issue and are we as democratic a nation as we proclaim to be to the rest of the world?

Hey Chitty.. you know that when u donate blood they secretly steal your DNA so as to keep track of you...;) not being allowed to donate blood im kinda lucky.. but your such a good boy!

Hey Chitty ...
THEY BLEEDIN Ripped you off !! 'Scuse the pun.... Here, they "Swap you a pint of Guinness for a pint of Blood" Now thats a good deal !! Sometimes we give more to get more...if you know what i mean :-). Problem is - you kinda get pissed real quick ! Good plan for Friday afternoon to give you a head start on your matesgoing into the weekend !!

lol, yeah. It is somewhat scary. Anyways blood will be regenerated but biscuits don appear all of a sudden ;-) take care & have fun.

hahaha i once donated blood in a school blood donation drive and it was pretty fun seeing GUYS weeping when they saw the nurse brandish the needle

PB: They can go ahead and steal the DNA. As long as they resurrect me as a clone when I die.
The world can do with more of me...hehehe.
Bosbefok: A pint! You are bloody right they are ripping us off over here.
Man, I gotta get me over to Ireland soon.
Doc: That's why they should abolish the biscuits and give us doughnuts instead. The Irish seems to have the right a idea... a pint of Guiness.
jj: I bet you enjoyed that bit, didn't you?

I just wanted to wish you good luck for tom!!!!

Thanks Buddess... yep, the very last working is finally upon me.
Whoooo-hoooo!!!! Set me free!!!!

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