Blood donations…

The last time I donated blood was a couple of years ago with Emma. Then I got put onto an anti-depressant and wasn’t sure if I could donate anymore. I figured I’d call and check soon. It was a good plan but it didn’t happen.

Last week I got yet another message from Canadian Blood Services and decided to call and find out for sure. Effexor – yes, Abilify – yes, Clonazapam – yes, and Lithium – yes… I was good to go. Not only that but it would be my 25th time donating, one of those milestone donations. Then came my biggest surprise.

“Can I donate too?” Julie asked hopefully.

Anyone who remembers Julie’s needle phobia will understand my surprise. But she had blood work done this winter so it had faded a bit. I told her to bring her container of meds and come along. The clinic takes walk ins.

My meds get dropped off on Thursday but that wouldn’t be a problem because they arrive at 5:15pm every week and my appointment wasn’t until 6:20pm. Plenty of time… until 6pm rolled around and my medication didn’t. I reset the appointment to 7:50pm which turned out perfect. The meds arrived and we immediately left, catching the bus a few minutes later.

Last time I was there, they had a counter staffed with people doing pin prick iron tests and handing out the questionnaires. That counter now had tablets with the questionnaires on them. I was just finishing mine up when Julie sat down and proceeded to read each question aloud.

“Just don’t read your answers out loud,” one of the nurses said with concern. “Those answers are private.” Julie assured her that she wouldn’t.

I’m a fast donor so I was already done and eating Oreos when Julie finished with the nurse. She took her seat while I hovered nervously in the kitchen area, just out of view, and then the needle went in with no problem whatsoever. She did amazing!

Not only that but she’s already hoping to donate again! I’m so proud of her.

donating blood

 

I was given comebacks…

I posted on a forum I frequent and asked for comebacks on the “he looks like a half girl” comment. Quite a few were not suitable to say to a teenager but I got a couple of good ones. My favourites were…

“Which half?”
“Why is that a bad thing?”
“Your shitty, archaic preconceived notions of gender roles [sic] make the baby Jesus cry.”
“Is there something wrong with girls?”
“How do you mean?” Then stare at her while she tries to explain.

My favourite comment from there didn’t come from that thread and (of course) I completely forgot to use it yesterday. “I’m surprised you feel comfortable saying that.”

By this time, Jeremy’s two nights into his youth gathering and I haven’t heard a word from him, which is good. That means he’s been too busy to text. One more night and then he’ll be on his way home. I’m curious to find out what they did and if he wore the only pair of pyjamas he packed or if he simply crashed in clothes for three nights. I’m hoping for pjs, I didn’t pack much in the way of clothes.

Also, here’s an article (and video) from CBC: Transgender blood donor turned away in Vancouver.

I’d hope this gets sorted out soon but, honestly, donating blood can be a crap shoot for anyone; their criteria is much too vague. I got turned away once because I admitted to taking vitamin B12 when asked about medication. Not injections, just the plain vitamin tablets sold in the drug store. They hadn’t been prescribed, I wasn’t anaemic, I simply started taking them on my own because I’m vegan. It floored the nurse, she’d never heard of anyone taking vitamin B12 before without it being injected by a doctor (I’ve seen the shelves at every drug store and find this hard to believe). No matter how many times I told her it wasn’t a prescription, it wasn’t injected, and I wasn’t anaemic, she kept insisting it was all three. I got sent away “just this once” as long as I talked to my doctor and got his permission. Verbal permission was fine too so theoretically I could have just shown up in another month and lied. I did talk to my doctor, who was confused why it would be an issue, and it wasn’t even brought up at the next donation. I’m taking B12 and D now and there’s no way in hell I’m letting the nurses know this at Canadian Blood Services.

Canadian Blood Services routinely turn away all men who have sex with another male, although they’ve relaxed their rules now. It used to be if they’ve had sex at any time, even once, since 1977 and now it’s in the past five years. Jeremy simply snorted when I told him this and said, “So they’re pretty much still banning every adult gay male.”

I personally think they should look more at promiscuity than gender, a woman who sleeps with someone whose sexual background is unknown can donate again within a year while a gay man who’s been in a monogamous relationship for the past twenty years can’t donate at all. But they didn’t ask me my opinion.