Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blood: Making Friends

I'm learning all kinds of things about donating (selling) plasma as I go along. Today, the tidbit was about dairy products. Consuming dairy products before you donate (bleed) is bad. It slows the process down.

I also found out that my protein and iron counts are healthy and my blood pressure is very good. Those months spent at the gym are paying off. I am so proud.

After a little over a week, I'm starting to recognize some of the faces. These are the regulars. It makes sense. We're all on the same schedule, coming in at roughly the same time and on the same days. One these days, I will be a regular.

It's pretty grim thought.

Today, I suspect (though, it is only a hunch) I was seated in the recliner next to a prostitute. She was older, with bleached out hair, dried-out skin and weathered teeth. She was friendly, but it felt like there was an agenda behind it.

The guy on the other side seemed genuinely nervous that the company was sending off a blood sample.

"We do it every four months," the tech said.

"And if you find anything, you'll call me, right?"

The tech nodded.

"I mean, anything, right?"

That's bound to make you wonder what he's worried about, if maybe he's done something explicitly frowned upon by the donor (bleeder) code like had sex with a guy (even once since 1977), shot up or been in jail for longer than three days.

Anyway, he clammed up and the maybe prostitute wanted to chat with me. She talked about a friend who was supposed to join her. She eluded to him being a ride home, but it sounded hollow. He never arrived and then she waited by the back door, on the other side of the exit, where we all go once we've been paid in cash. I think if one of the other clients hadn't been standing against the wall, smoking a cigarette, she'd have propositioned me.

Twenty bucks is twenty bucks, I suppose.

Or maybe not. She might been in something of a fix without a ride, but she didn't seem all that worried. It felt like a scam. I didn't stick around to see if I was right. I had to get to work.

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