October 21, 2014 by Roe
I try to be a good person.
The Red Cross kept calling my house asking me to donate blood – again and again and again. To the point where I was like: you know, what do I have to lose? I’m O+. Why not donate and save a life? I hadn’t donated since high school.
So I made an appointment online – for today. Easy.
I was really excited about it too; I wrote it on the family calendar, kept bringing it up in conversation: “You know, I’m donating blood this month”.
My dad comes home from work and I ask if he could take me earlier (my appointment was scheduled for 7…and I didn’t want to miss Allison Weiss’ StageIt show).
I didn’t drink any caffeine today (I am now btw). I drank nothing but water, ate 2 pork cutlets and had a nice slice of vegan pumpkin pie for lunch (for iron), and got a good night’s sleep.
So we get to the Red Cross, go through registration and now the “nurse” starts to take my vitals. He’s very disgruntled and mumbly. I can’t understand a word he’s saying, but I can see he’s ticked he can’t just scan my donor card. Turns out it’s not working because I haven’t given blood in over 5 years.
He looks at my license and quickly inputs all my information, confirming it in his mumbly voice. He’s making me very uncomfortable. Meanwhile, there’s Top40 playing in the background, and if anyone has listened to the radio in the past 7 years, you know the tempo has been getting faster and faster, beats becoming more and more emphatic.
He takes my temp, a blood sample for iron, then takes my pulse. He’s says it’s too high. Takes it again. Still too high. I tell him maybe I’m a little nervous. I haven’t given blood in awhile. Takes my blood pressure. He claims it’s 140/80. WHAT?! My blood pressure is never that high. It’s always 120/something. “It’s the music,” I say. He looks at my like I’m high as a kite. I said, “I’m serious”. The room is thumping with Top40 radio as background noise. Plus, there’s been studies done that when you listen to music your heart rate synchronizes to the beat and the rhythm. You even think rhythmically.
He looked at me like I was insane.
He ignores my comment and says, “Are you on any medication?” “No,” I answered. “Are you suuuuuure? Birth control?” he stresses. “No,” I admit. He has another guy take my pulse. He says it’s 102 and it needs to be under 100 to give. Try again. Goodbye. Game over. I’m done.
Guys, I was so pissed. I just wanted to save a life, wanted to give back to the community! And I’m telling you, had they been playing spa music, Beatles, Enya even – My pulse would have been fine! How am I supposed to keep a low heart rate to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, Maroon 5’s Animal, or other Top40 garBAGE? (Taylor Swift is actually okay. Just not the tempo for this point in time)
I guess the next time I make an appointment, I’ll be sure to do a thorough peace and serenity mediation before I leave the house.