my slightly gross and rather interesting blood story

I feel sixty times more awesome than I felt when I woke up this morning. Here’s why:

I went to donate blood today – it’s been a while since I was able to donate, low iron problems and whatever. But I have been eating really well and drinking lots of water, and I haven’t donated since I started running. So I was interested to see if that affected my iron or the speed of my donation at all.

So I got there and gave them the “let’s check my iron first, blah blah” spiel. They stuck my right finger and I was one point low, so they stuck my left finger. Score!

Then we go through all of the rest of the tests/formalities. All of those fun questions. (No I’m not pregnant, no I don’t have HIV, no I have not used a dirty needle for drugs, no I haven’t been to Sri Lanka)

“Which arm?” They ask. I always say “My left arm is better.” So they check my left and decide it is inoptimal. “Can I check your right.” “Sure.” And so they check my right, which is mostly followed by “…you were right…your left was better.”

They prep my arm, the bag, etc. and stick the needle in my left arm. Well, no blood starts rushing down the tube. So, they phlebotomist hunts around for the vein, apologizing ceaselessly. He calls someone else over.

Repeat.
Repeat.
Repeat.

So for about ten or fifteen minutes they had four different people trying to find the vein in my left arm before deciding to switch to the right. They bandage up the left arm and move over and prep the right. Stick the needle in, no blood. It took two people to find the vein in my right arm, but they did finally succeed in finding it. In the process I got a hematoma and ended up being sent me home with an ice pack. My actual donation time was really quick, which for me is rare. But, the REALLY interesting thing that happened, the thing that makes me sixty times more awesome than I realized, was what I found out about my blood.

So I was talking to one of my many phlebotomists of the day, and he was explaining about how different bags are used for different types of blood and he said “Well you are O negative, right?” “Yes.” “And you are CMV negative too?” Pause. “What does that mean?” He started explaining and the words “Your blood, well, it’s really quite special.” came out of his mouth. (That’s right, special blood. Jealous much?) Apparently not only is my blood amazing because of its universal donor status, but also it is what they call CMV negative. Which means that I have never had some form of virus which apparently 99.5% of the population has had. Yeah. Way to go immune system! And suck it all you medication enthusiasts who try to treat me with your antibiotics. Anyways, since I am O negative and CMV negative my blood is used for babies. That’s right, I am a baby blood donor.

Moral of the story: in order to have superior blood to mine – it better be rainbow colored, chocolate flavored, and bring people back from the dead.

magical blood