Saturday, February 4, 2012

On Humanitarian Effort

Let's start with a little history:
Zach, my lovely boyfriend, had discovered a zit behind his ear.  Upon picking it, it burst.  Following the initial outpouring of internal fluids, it started to bleed.  Feeling behind his ear, pulling his hand away, discovering blood upon his finger, he extended it towards me and stated, "Look! I'm bleeding!" I leaned towards it disgustedly, eyeing and sizing it up, and promptly licked it.  I laughed, after the shock passed from his visage, he laughed, and we all had a good time.

It was a blustery day, and I was walking across campus, away from my last class and towards the library. As my eyes surveyed the scene that lay before me (mostly dead trees and muddy, spotty green ground), my ears were filled with the upbeat dance music that, from my iPod, threaded through the earphone cord, commonly found its way into my cerebellum.
My gaze, catching a large, white RedCross truck, was coincidentally paired with a swell of music and crash of cymbals.  And I thought to myself, "I should really donate blood."  and the next thought, "well, I've got time now!" and I headed over.
The volunteer staff was more than happy to see me, and helped me with a smile.  I was set up with a number and a "I make a difference!" sticker, somehow mistakenly labeled with my middle name, "Catherine".  After a short wait, a nurse led me to a small curtained room, where I was pricked with a needle and my blood tested for abnormalities (very high hemoglobin level!) The nurse then left me to answer several questions about my lifestyle (including vacations spent outside of the U.S., sexual history, and contact with others).  One particular question caused alarm, "Have you had contact with someone else's blood in the last year?" I could not tell a lie. Yes.
I indicated to the volunteers that I had completed the survey, a nurse came back into the room, interrogated me about the blood contact: "Tell me what happened."
"..well, my boyfriend was bleeding the other day, and I, uh, well I licked it to be funny."
Her face pulled into a grimace, "Yeah, you can't donate blood for a year."
At least I now know how to act altruistic without actually being such.