No-can-donate, sir

It’s blood donation day on friday! I thought I’d go since I haven’t been in a while now – my first and last time so far was last year – but the thing is that I may not be able to go after all.

The red cross needs blood to supply hospitals with and to make medication from the plasma. And for that they need friendly helpers, those who take the blood, i.e. doctors, and those who give blood, i.e. the ordinary folk – like myself. It sounds so simple, because those who give blood don’t do it for money (not if you’re giving with the red cross anyway), but for honour or whatever. Maybe it’s like donating money. It helps us sleep at night.

For me, it’s a way to help other people. I don’t have a lot of money, but giving blood is very easy, very straight forward and you get a check-up – though I knew I didn’t have HIV or Syphillis (phew!) – for free! And I really do want to help people. What I am a bit – okay a lot – proud of, is my blood group. I am a so-called universal doner, which means that with my 0 negativ I can give to anyone, but I can only receive my own blood group (a subtle reminder never to land in an accident or go on the hunt for vampires). This week I even got a letter from the red cross to make sure I came on friday due to my blood group. It’s something that only 6 % of the blood-giving population in Germany has (well, that’s what I assume – they just said 6 % in Germany). I couldn’t wait until my eighteenth birthday – and then until I weighed enough.

So basically, it’s like my super-power. Sure, I can donate money from time to time, buy a homeless person a sandwich, but that’s something anyone can do.

But I have a precious, rare resource and yes, it makes me feel needed.
“Oh, but you have a cold. I guess you’ll just have to let the patients die then. Better luck next time.”

Now, here’s the problem and the reason I might not be going on friday. I have a cough.

Unfortunately it is not as simple as: I want to give blood, I feel fine – okay thanks, dude.

It’s more like: Here, I want to give blood, I feel fine – Oh really? And what about that time you sneezed last week?

I get that they have to be concerned with the safety, or else there may be severe consequences. But it seems they are making it almost impossible to donate!

I thought once reached 50 kg body weight, It’d be easy! But no! 

So, when you’ve had just a minor cold in the last two weeks – you cannot donate.

I’ve been sent home for this, even though I felt great!

You can’t donate when you’re too young, too old, too light, when you’ve been travelling to strange, exotic countries, if you’re a gay man, if you’ve been taking medication – and so on. No wonder they never have enough blood!

But it’s not just the fact that you can be excluded for certain reasons, it’s the way I’m treated.

The first time I went to give blood, I was asked by several people if I was being forced by anyone (who would force anyone to give blood?!) and one stupid doctor lady made me stand on scales because she didn’t believe that I was heavy enough. Over all I didn’t get that: “Oh hey, good for you! You’re trying to help” – vibe. It was more like: “Oh, great, another one. I bet you’re lying about your health, I bet you’re trying to infect everybody here with HIV.”

And last time I went, but got sent home, I felt more like a criminal than anything else.

But, people, don’t you see, you’re cutting off my super power!

It’s like putting up “No flying”-signs everywhere superman goes.

“Ah, I can hear someone scream on the opposite side of town! I wish I could fly!”

“Sorry, no-can-do. Just walk, maybe you’ll get there in time.”

So, anyway, I thought I’d write this post – to justify not going…or something. I feel like they’ll see me as a bad person now that I’ve not gone to give blood in such a long time, even though I’m a universal doner. Meh.

I thought about going and asking about the cough, but to be honest I can’t be bothered with that pissed off look and being sent home. Last time was rather humiliating for some reason.

So, this was a nice rant-post…meh.


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