Saturday, March 19, 2011

Small Progress

It's been a week.

Work, sleeping, getting stuff done - nothing was easy, including beading. There were lots of piles of squiggly beading thread, beads that ran out and could not be replaced exactly, but last night I moved forward more than I moved back.

It's not done, but it's progress, and along the way, another related little beaded bead (and siblings) happened.
But the socks that I finished on Wednesday, no pictures.

A thousand years ago when I was in grad school in Israel, a friend and I went to give blood.

It went fine, though apparently my body was not so keen on giving up its precious bodily fluids, and it took forever. After I was done, I carefully sat up slowly, stayed there for a while, went to get my tea and cookies and sat down to ingest.

I felt ok, but this silvery-grey mist kept swirling around me. One of the blood-letters asked if I wouldn't like to lie down which I emphatically denied, because I knew that if I stood up to walk to the cot, I wouldn't make it there. I insisted I was perfectly happy sitting right there in the chair.

And then I found myself on the cot, knees to chest.

Fast forward a few years, a blood drive. I mentioned that I'd fainted the last time, which seemed to frighten the blood-collectors a bit, who suggested that I instead go to their brick-and-mortar facilities, as their van wasn't equipped to deal with involuntary loss of consciousness.

So I haven't even bothered to try since then.

Yesterday they had a blood drive at work with embarrassingly few people signed up, and so I girded my loins to attempt to donate.

They didn't seem concerned about the fainting business.

But the questionnaire to determine the suitability of my blood proved challenging.

"Have you been outside the US in the past twelve months?" wasn't too bad. Australia is not a problem.

"Have you lived in or visited Africa for more than five years?" was problematic, as was "Have you ever had sexual contact with someone living in Africa?"

Apparently the American Red Cross thinks that the entire continent is a malaria-infested swamp where the only culture is one of rampant unprotected sex with HIV-positive people, so that even though there are times when I find the notions of culture, civilization, sophistication and the like to be way more foreign to my current home city than to my previous home in darkest Africa, the local view is that Africa is a seething mass of rural and tribal life with no upper body clothing, let alone support undergarments, not to mention personal hygiene or the concept of viruses or bacteria.

That took awhile to sort out.

My veins, no doubt upset by the insult, sniffed and turned their backs on the needles, which was all vey well for them, but less comfortable than desired for me. After reluctantly releasing close to a unit, they changed their minds and made the technicians work really hard for those last few millilitres. Precious bodily fluids indeed!

Good news: no fainting, no almost fainting, nothing even vaguely related to loss of consciousness apart from extreme tiredness which could very well be the result of vastly different attitudes of me and my cat to the notion of my sleeping through the night for this past week.

I might do this again.

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