Monday, July 5, 2010

Blood: One month in

Well, I've been donating (selling) plasma for a month now. Here's a few stray things I've learned so far.

1- Don't take the money directly to the store after you donate (sell). It really fucks with your head if you let yourself think you're converting your blood into dog food, toilet paper or cat litter. I started depositing the money last week and stopped feeling quite as pissed off at the universe. Little things help.

2- The plasma center really likes the FX channel a lot. I'm starting to get into it, though I'm kind of like my man Micky (more about him later), I think "Charmed" is vapid, but could be radically improved if the three witches on the show got naked then were chased by an armed cyborg from the future.

3-The people I tend to see when I donate (sell) seem to know quite a bit about science fiction television and movies. They talk a little about horror fiction, including werewolves, but so far, nothing about vampires.

4-So far, only one person on staff has asked me what I do for a living and I'm not entirely sure he believes me. I sort of suspect he doesn't, that he hears all sorts of interesting stories.

5-Drink a ton of water before you go in and don't eat any dairy within about six hours of visiting. It can speed up the process considerably. The slowest time was when they had the needle in at a weird angle (it hurt) and bleeding took a little over an hour and a half. The fastest, so far, has been 51 minutes.

6-Some of the milkers are semi-reformed metal fans. They like classic rock and have brought in the kind of hair metal compilation CDs that would have been popular with rural, junior high finger bangers back in the day.

I'm okay with owning up to some of that (misspent youth and all), but honestly, if I don't hear Cinderella tell me, yet again, "You don't know what ya got till it's gone..." it will be too soon. When Christmas rolls around, I'm making them a mix CD of music not made by alcoholic bulimics in spandex.

7- Despite signage to the contrary calling the bleeders customers and heroes, I don't think any of us feel like customers or heroes for selling off plasma. We don't feel like employees either --at least, I don't. On good days, I shake off the degrading feeling pretty quickly. Other days, it lingers.

8-The Hardees located just down the road from the plasma center gives lousy portions.

9-Contrary to the rules about donating (bleeding) which ban men who sleep with men, people who use intravenous drugs or who have been to jail from participating, I suspect there are a few of each in among the regulars. Call it a hunch.

10-They just started a program where if I donate (sell) more than six times in July, I will be entered into drawing for a Wal-mart gift card. The top prize is $100 card, with prizes also awarded for at least second and third --possibly fourth, too. As depressing as it sounds, my chances of at least placing aren't bad. I'm already thinking about Christmas.

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