Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blood: teeth

"All right, next question," I told her and she smiled. She gets lots of questions and I ask lots of questions. "What about the three days after dental work thing or the hospital visit? Is that because of the blood thinner?"

The bleeder frowned and shook her head. She didn't think so.

"Well, with dental work, like if you have a tooth pulled, you need your plasma after --to heal. You can't come back until after 72 hours." Unless, of course, you lied about it. "But with surgery, that's a lot longer."

"How much longer?"

"Six months, I think." Unless, of course, you decided not to report it.

I shrugged. No plans for surgery. No plans for dental work.

"I've got to take a sample today," she told me, then plugged a vial into the tube and captured a couple of tablespoons of my blood. She didn't explain what it was for, but I guessed it had to do with making sure I hadn't picked up a virus, taken up using heroin in my spare time or had the bottoms of my feet tattooed.

Sometimes they check for needle marks... sometimes... but they never check for tattoos and nobody is asking whether I have a boyfriend yet. If that last question ever comes up, maybe I'll tell them I'm not really ready to settle down.

But the more I go to this place, the more I get the impression the rules and questions are often just motions we go through. As long as nobody dies, nobody cares too much. Lots of the staffers have tattoos and piercings. Some of them talk about attending wild parties, where drug use is hinted at. They wouldn't be the kind to judge, but hear no evil speak no evil.

I should have the results back in a visit or two. Another guy, one of the habitually drunk guys who comes in, he got a consultation. His blood protein was off, not to a critical level, not enough to stop him from donating, but enough to notice.

I'm sort of looking forward to seeing the results. It's the closest I've been to a medical exam in ages.

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