Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blood: Scatterbrain

The reign of terror continues with the punky, dark-haired milker sleepwalking through the job. It's strange to watch her fumble her way through the set-up then call for a second, who then corrects whatever little, but entirely critical, thing she's done then stick the bleeder.

God help us if they ever let her handle needles. I fear she'll put one in someone's neck --probably, mine. I wish they'd let her go back to doing physicals and asking people to take off their shirts. I'm sure she enjoyed it more. I know I would --mostly.

So far, I haven't actually seen her plug anyone in, just do a couple of set-ups and hand off the heavy lifting to someone else. Some of the others are very good and I've noticed the best needle jockeys are the ones who seem to have the least regard for us milkers as people.

I guess I'm ok with that. Lately, the needles have started to hurt more when they plug in. I suspect it has to do with a build up of scar tissue.

Of course, the worst people handling the needles are also people who aren't particularly interested in hearing anything more than our name and donor number.

Today, the television was pumping out a relatively interesting crime drama starring Edward Norton as a somehow sympathetic criminal douche bag. The milkers were all standing around trying to figure out what it was and even asking some of us bleeders what we thought it might be. As has been mentioned before, the bleeders are mostly a television and movie loving bunch. Many of us really enjoy science fiction and I expect a "classic" Trek versus "Next Generation" Trek argument to break out soon. It may even come to blows.

But no one was sure about the movie. Edward Norton has only played an inexplicably likable criminal douche bag what... ten or fifteen times? He didn't turn green so it wasn't "The Hulk," but he did have a goatee.

We sort of discussed what it might be off and on for the better part of 45 minutes, with limited commercial interruptions, and never came up with the title.

I've also noticed my bleed speed has dropped at least five minutes in the last couple of weeks. I've gone from around 51 minutes to fill a bottle to 46. My finger also bleeds freely when they're measuring my proteins and iron. I might be a bit over-hydrated or it might have to do with a build up of the anti-coagulant they pump us full of.

My course record is 41 minutes, but that was weeks ago. It's just something I'm keeping an eye on. I've been doing this steadily for three months now. I have to wonder if there are some side effects they haven't gotten around to mentioning.

So far, I'm handling it emotionally better than I was. It helps to play some cheery music in the car afterward while on the way to the bank (never ever play Oasis or the Counting Crows after donating --it makes me want to stick my head in an oven while whistling show tunes). A couple of times I've needed to hand over the money immediately for something and that screws with me a bit.

As long as I don't see a direct line from the blood to the grocery store, the gas station or the hair salon, it's not that bad. Otherwise, I get kind of a martyr complex, which is annoying. Even I can't stand me when I feel like I'm obviously making a very real sacrifice for the greater good.

I am a little moodier lately, but I can't tell if that has anything to do with the plasma donations or just the usual Emo McSourpuss stuff (Note: Emo is a name given to me by a blog commentator who used to frequent the 5th Column to poke fun at my occasionally sour statements. I thought it was funny and kept it). I do get melancholy. It happens. I just don't know if it has anything to do with whoring my body out to the medical supply industry or just because I've always been kind of moody.

Happiness is pretty elusive, as it turns out.

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