Donating Blood


(Editor’s Note: Today’s review is sort of like a public service announcement, except with possible sexual references, maybe a couple of stale Ben Affleck or Clay Aiken jokes, use of the words “bodily fluids,” followed by adolescent giggles, and without the words “the more you know” or “knowing is half the battle.”)

Oh how I wish I could share bodily fluids with someone else in a normal way. Instead of sucking faces or doing the horizontal mambo, the only way I get to share my bodily fluids with someone is by donating my blood.

Recently, I donated blood for the fifth time, which is more than the total amount of times I’ve sucked face or did the horizontal mambo. It was a last minute kind of thing because I felt with all the evil I’ve been up to, I needed to do some good in the world and feel warm and fuzzy inside.

So what evil have I done? Let me just say, “Every time you masturbate…God kills a kitten,” and I think I’m going to be the reason why Bob Barker stops telling people to get their pets spayed or neutered.

Anyway, I’ve only been donating for about a year and a half, because for a long time I was scared to donate blood. But I think a lot of people are scared for various reasons, like:

(1) They don’t like a needle being poked into their arm, unless it involves heroin.

(2) The sight of blood makes them faint or turns them into evil, hungry vampires.

(3) They fear a test of their blood sample will show that they’re the long lost Jackson family sibling named, Ragu.

Needles were the reason why I was scared to donate blood. I used to think extracting blood was a painful procedure done with unnecessarily long needles, which I imagined in my mind looked very similar to those used in acupuncture.

It took a coupon for a free pint of Baskin & Robbins ice cream that my local blood bank was offering to convince me to finally donate a pint of my blood. That first donation dispelled any beliefs I had about long needles and being turned into an evil, hungry vampire.

The entire process usually takes less than an hour, but the actual blood donation takes about five to eight minutes. Most of the time is spent filling out a questionnaire, having a short interview to find out if you qualify to donate, and checking out the cute blood donation technicians and wondering if the following pick up line will work, “Hey, baby! Wanna swap bodily fluids with me later?”

When it comes to inserting the needle into your body, it isn’t painful. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s not even close to being as bad as I-Saw-Grandma-Naked uncomfortable. If you want to know what it feels like, just pinch yourself hard somewhere on your inner arm for about two seconds, or let your sadistic lover wearing the leather mask do it for you.

See, it wasn’t bad.

Now I hate needles, so when they’re about to stick the needle into me, I turn my head away, like I do when I pass by panhandlers, homeless people, and women offering a good time for twenty dollars.

After they get the needle into your arm, you are given something to squeeze with your hand, like a stress ball, which helps pump the blood out. Although I really wish I had the option to squeeze the hand of one of the cute blood donation technicians or Lindsay Lohan’s boobs, just to find out if they’re real.

When they’ve tapped you for a pint, they’ll put a gauze bandage on your arm, tell you to rest for about five minutes, and give you something to drink, like water or juice, to help replenish the fluids you’ve lost. If they don’t offer you anything, call them “cheap bastards,” and get yourself something to drink and eat ASAP.

After you donate blood, you might feel a little lightheaded, but that’s just the warm and fuzzy feeling inside you, which is starting from your head and working its way down. It’s just making you feel good about yourself because the blood you just donated will probably help save another human being and not be used to feed vampires.

Item: Donating Blood
Purchase Price: FREE
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Pros: Possible free food and drink after donating. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Cute blood donation technicians.
Cons: Insertion of needle is slightly uncomfortable. My lame blood donation technicians pick up line. Not everyone can donate blood.

48 thoughts to “Donating Blood”

  1. I have donated before too and it really is a great free way to feel like a good person. Plus you don’t have to do hardly any work. Its the greatest way to make a difference without giving up cash or reallly working (seriously, you are in a air conditioned van and you lie on your back and get free cookies and soda!!!)

  2. I donated blood a while ago. I felt really good after doing it. (well, good mentally)
    I kind of didn’t eat a real good breakfast, so I nearly passed out in the middle of it.
    But when I got my free pretzels and fruit drink, I felt a little better. I just hung out for the rest of the day and was awesome on the next.
    I even got a little card and joined the blood club!

    the only bad thing is that my technician wasn’t a hunky guy in a kilt. Or even a hunky guy in normal pants. Marvo, you probably would have liked her. She was really pretty and said that she liked Hawaiians with pseudo-review blogs that have donated blood more times than they’ve sucked face.

  3. BooBoo – There’s hardly any work involved, but the interview can make me nervous, because they ask you questions like, “Have you had sex with anyone who’s doing drugs? or “Have you had sex with anyone who has lived in a foreign country?” Of course, I answer “no” for both of them and all the other sex related questions. This makes me nervous because I wonder if the technician asking the questions is wondering in their head, “Have you had sex, period?”

    KT – I might have liked her, but she sounds way too picky.

  4. You think donating whole blood is fun, try apheresis. That’s where they remove blood from your body, seperate out components they want (usually platelets and/or plasma), and return the rest to you. It’s about 90 minutes of sitting in a chair with a needle in each arm…

  5. Jim – Really!?! Must remember to try that next time.

    S.C. – I think I’ll just stick to just donating whole blood. I don’t know if I can sit still for 90 minutes. I get antsy really quickly.

    Lucy – Actually, ever since she hasn’t been eating anything, her boobs look smaller, so I guess they are real. As for the gravatar, you have to include your email address when you leave a comment, because that’s how the gravatar knows it’s you.

  6. Congrads for the blood donation!

    I did an apheresis donation not long ago. The tech told me that I would prolly get cold, I looked at her like she was crazy, but wouldn’t ya know it, half way through I was cold because I could feel the cold saline that was being pumped through my body as they removed, filtered/purified my blood and then returned it to me. Cool stuff, but freaky at the same time.

  7. I have a “gallon” pin in a drawer somewhere and I’m proud of it.

    Way to go, marvo! Now wait your 56 days and do it again. 🙂

  8. that creeped me out on so many levels. I hyper ventilate when they suck my blood. It not when the needle goes in, it’s while it’s in there, and then I get really bad after it comes out. If it were to stay in my arm for 5 minutes, I would so pass out. i’m a wuss. HATE needles. I blame misquitos. When I was 3 my brother told me they had needle noses they stuck in you to suck your blood, and for weeks after that I woke up everynight screaming dreaming a giant misquito stuck it’s giant needle nose in me and sucked out all my bllod until I shriveled up like an empty capri-sun drink and died a horrible agonizing death.

    What happened to the spell check button? The first time I decide to actually use the thing cuz I know I misspelled misquito, and it’s missing!

  9. I can no longer donate blood since they put in the exclusion for people who lived in England for over 6 months. I used to donate, though. Glad you had fun even if you didn’t get to swap bodily fluids with the technician after your ordeal was over…but the free cookies and juice were like a consolation prize.

  10. Good boy, Marvo!!

    Jim is completely correct!! Senior year in high school we used to donate blood and have a six pack waiting in the car. (yes, sadly we were young and foolish and drove after drinking. We are lucky we didn’t crash and need to get our blood back that we just donated! DON’T DRINK and DRIVE, people!!) If you slam a beer or two you’re good to go. Add to that the fact that I live a mile high and it was a cheap drunk!! With free cookies from the blood place to boot!! Ahh, good times, good times.

  11. The last time I gave blood, the lady had a REALLY hard time finding my vein and had to switch arms. And when I got my wisdom teeth out a couple of weeks ago they have to try SEVEN times before they got the IV in. A little ridiculous, huh? But still… I’ll keep giving blood lol.

  12. When I was in college, I was really poor. One year, I resorted to “donating” plasma. While they can’t pay you for donating blood, they can pay you for donating plasma. Basically, it’s similar to donating blood, except the needle they use is much, much bigger. You can see through it. It’s like a telescope that they stick into your arm. Then they suck out a bunch of blood, and run it through a centrofuge to get the plasma out. Then, they take what’s left (a thick sludge of red blood cells) and actually pump it back into your arm. Yup, they reverse the pump. That needle is a two way door. Then, because you have to donate almost a whole quart of plasma (instead of just a pint of blood), they do that 5 or 6 more times. It takes almost an hour. But I used to get $150 a month for it if I did it consistently, twice a week. Yup, twice a week.

    Now, I have a scar on the inside of my elbow that looks like I’m some kind of addict, and I can never donate blood because I’ve also got quite a scar on my soul, for selling bodily fluids. I was a plasma prostitute.

  13. The whole “you can’t donate blood if you’ve lived in Europe” is a bummer. Like Chuck, my husband can’t donate because he spent a semester in London when he was in college.

    I’ve donated about three gallons in my life. Lately I’ve been anemic and haven’t been accepted the past three times I tried to donate, but I think that’s resolved now so I’ll hit the blood drive here at work next time (no, they don’t give us any cool free stuff, dangit!).

    The place I used to donate in Northern California was sponsored by one of the local breweries and they would let you have beer or wine after donating. Not really a good idea, but a nice perk.

    After all these years I do have some pretty good scars on both arms, I’ll keep doing it as long as they can get the needles in.

  14. I like donating blood, but the red cross can get kind of agressive if you’re the “right” blood type. I understand where they’re coming from, but since I started donating in high school, all the little postcards came to my house and my mom started referring to them as “mosquitos”. You can get awesome stuff though, our rock radio station had a blood drive where the freebie was Ozzfest tickets.

  15. I used to donate blood, and pretty often too. Last year, when we learned our daugher has a bleeding disorder, I got myself tested and discovered that, although I have *no symptoms whatsoever*, I too have that same bleeding disorder. Which means that allllllll that blood I’ve donated over the years — which the techs further test for usability after you’ve donated — has likely been tossed out. The best I can do now is cheer others on to donate their blood. Somebody give a pint on my behalf, ‘kay?

  16. Cybele, the funny thing is, I spent a year of high school in England, and I didn’t donate any until a few years later. Then, I donated for several years, off and on, with my English-contaminated blood, until suddenly, the new restrictions went into effect. If I did have latent mad cow disease or whatever they’re worried about, the damage has already been done…but oh well. It works as a good excuse for getting out of office blood drives now, anyways.

  17. I’m already a Vampire (not an evil one… a loving one), so I dont have to worry about turning into one. My only worry is passing out, after all, vampires neeed blood, so I don’t think its a good idea for me to give any! hehe. Even with the perk of the free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream pint!

  18. The first time I donated blood was as a freshman in college, and the cool thing was that they give you a free LIMO ride from the dorms to the clinic, and in the limo you have all these free cookies and juice and sprite. It was way cool, since it was my first time ever in a limo. The year after that I don’t think they did the limo thing anymore, but they gave people coupons to a free In N Out burger.

  19. “If so, everytime you kill a kitten, God masturbates….” – Pee Wee Flubble, ‘The Flubbles’.

    *pets his cat Alex, ironically sitting next to him*

    I fear that if I were to donate blood, the guy to recieve the blood would kill me shortly afterwards. I will donate blood one day…. just not anytime in the next 5 years.

  20. Ayesha97 – “cold saline the was being pumped through my body…” Holy crap! That sounds sooo cool! I think I want to try it now!

    nat – September 19th is when I can donate next and try getting wasted on vodka after.

    Amy in GA – I actually hate mosquitos MORE THAN needles. Oh those horrible memories from Boy Scout camp. As for the spell check button, I accidently removed it and I’ve been too lazy to put it up again. I guess I’ll add it this weekend.

    Chuck – I got a juice, a bottled water, and a couple of Rice Krispie Treats. I think that totals about $2.00. Two dollars for a pint of blood…That’s not bad.

    rockymtnhi – I’d like to think I can drink my grandma under the table, but it turns out I’m kind of a lightweight when it comes to drinking. I think if I took a shot of vodka after donating blood, I would be wasted.

    Lorien – I think my veins are easy to find because of all the cholesterol in them.

    Bottom Feeder – $150 a month? That’s like a tank of gas here.

  21. Remember, Marvo, it’s not about the free snacks, it’s about contributing to a good cause…and developing new pickup lines so that you can get the cute female blood technicians’ phone numbers.

  22. cybele – Three gallons! Oh, wait how many pints is that. Wait, I’m breaking out my unit converter on my computer (Thanks, Dashboard!). That 24 pints! At the blood bank offices here they have pictures all the people who have donated more than 100 pints of blood on their waiting room walls. There are a lot of people. My goal is to end up on that wall…and take my picture with a Richard Nixon mask over my face.

    Genny from the Burbs – I really wanted my blood to be one of those rare types, so I can brag to all the ladies, because I got nothing else to brag about.

    Mellie Helen – I’ll give a pint on your behalf, and if you like I can mail you the free food I got.

    Thumper – That’s okay, no one want to swap spit with me. 🙁

    Ultimate Best Vamp Ever – Heck, I’d give up a pint of blood AND my eyebrows for a pint of free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

    Toni – Mmm….In N Out burger. Must travel to mainland to eat In N Out burger. Mmm…::drool::

    Brandon – I fear that my blood will end up in a woman that I fall in love with and make sweet, sweet lovin’ to. Somehow, I think this would be kind of freaky.

    PatboyX – According to French President Jacques Chirac, Finnish food will ruin my American taste buds. Also, according to my parents, my iPod will ruin my American ears.

  23. I’d like to also encourage everyone to at least ATTEMPT to donate, As has been raised, there are a LOT of exclusions, so those who *can* donate feel some pressure to do so more often. I am an apherisis donor (my bood center uses a single-needle system) like a couple of the others who’ve responded. Yes, the anticoagulant will make you jittery and you get cold, but you can also play on the internet or watch a movie, so it’s PRODUCTIVE time.

    I’ve been a regular donor for 23 years…who knows how many gallons that is? understand about being nagged to death. I have these really huge platelets and they will call me within a couple days to schedule another appointment. I think they’d have me in every three days if I’d come.

    Re: exclustions. The ones that are insane are the ones about “have you ever exchanged money for sex” (as if I could get sex any OTHER way?) and “are you a male who’s had sex with a male” and “have you used needle drugs” since 1977. First, 1977 is a long time ago, who can really remember details? Second, if you had some risky sex 28 years ago and haven’t shown any signs of AIDS or other STDs by now, you are either clean, or you are hiding it really well! Why not revise the exlusions to cover something like the last 10 years?

  24. Random thought about the Jackson family: Isn’t it funny how Michael is the one with the most normal name, but yet he’s the most abnormal person in the family?

  25. I kind of doubt Michael Jackson donates blood…at least, I hope he doesn’t. He probably has blood type F (the F standing for Freak.)

  26. To Mellie Helen–I have a bleeding disorder too, so does my son (7 years old). Didn’t know that when I used to donate blood, but now that I KNOW, I can’t donate.

    Desert Storm ruined my husband’s chances for donating blood–all those vaccinations and malaria shots and anti-Iraqi-poison-from-the-sky vaccines. I guess his sacrifice for our country is a good enough excuse?

    Marvo–I hate to say this, but your blood will probably be tossed out!! Too much grease and fat from your Burger King chicken fries and your day’s worth of fat from the Dibs. Too salty from drinking Japanese deep sea water and probably has little chocolate balls floating in it. It’s But, they could disinfect it with some Poop Water, maybe?

  27. Sven – I don’t know if I was doing needle drugs in 1977, I but if I was I was totally living hard…Or I really needed a lot of vaccinations.

    rfduck – I guess Tito is glad they didn’t name him Tim.

    Chuck – I don’t think he even has blood in his body. I think the plastic surgeons switched it with child molester juice.

    rockymtnhi – Yeah, I eat a lot of things bad for me, but when I’m not eating anything unhealthy, I just eat lots of baby carrots. That’s why I have an orange glow sometimes.

  28. with all these number one fans, it’s hard to beleive you’ve only done the horizontal mambo 5 times (unless your like 15). m

  29. missy – I sometimes act like I’m fifteen. Maybe that’s the reason for the lack of horizontal mambo sessions.

  30. Y’know, I’ve tried to donate before…but they turned me away…something about sleeping with another guy automatically makes my blood bad. Hmm…I think these Blood bank people have to rethink their priorities…they keep saying that they need more blood…but they are eliminating about 1/3 of the population because of this stupid stigma. o.O oh well..can’t say I didn’t try….maybe I should lie…and hopefully my blood will go to a stupid homophobe and I can say…”HA!! you owe your life to a fag!!” or “Heh he, you have gay blood running through your veins…that must make you gay too!!!”

    Anywho..enough of my opinions…but Marvo, you did a really good thing today! =) Something your gay evil twin can’t!

  31. the other ‘M’ – Well we also have things we both can’t do, like make out with women. However, for you it’s because you don’t make out with women. For me, it’s because I just ate an onion and some garlic. 😉

  32. A few times a year the bloobmobile comes to work and if you donate blood you get 4 hours off, but you have to take the time off on the same day you donate so if I come in to work at 6:30 AM then I can go home at 10:30 AM.
    Oh yeah–and it is for a good cause.

  33. govtdrone – Four hours off? That’s all. Here’s the technique that will get you more. (1) Donate blood. (2) When you get back to work, pretend to faint where a lot of people can see you. (3) Make sure you pretend to be unconscious for at least a minute, but if they bring out the smelling salts, make sure you become conscious. (4) If anyone (and they should), asks you if you’re feeling all right, tell them “no.” (5) Sit at your desk for awhile, drinking and eating something. (6) Tell you’re boss that you’re still not feeling well and you’d like to go home. (7) When you get home, look yourself in the mirror, smile, and say “suckers!”

    missy – Yes, garlic is good, unless you’re an evil, hungry vampire.

  34. I’ll admit that I’m a little jealous. Despite numerous attempts, I’ve never been able to donate blood b/c, get this, my veins are too small. Figures that the one part of me that could be considered petite is on the inside.

    Seriously, the last time I tried to donate (about a year ago), the technician couldn’t find a vein large enough and called over her supervisor who supposedly could find a proper vein in anyone. Anyone except me apparently.

    On the way out, the nurse handed me a Nutrigrain bar and a sticker that said “I tried to give blood” and the sage advice that, should I even need an IV, to request that it be inserted into the top of my hand or the side of my wrist. Her parting words were “Honey, those veins of yours are so small, I just don’t know how your hands are still working at the end of your arms”.

    My veins are losers.

  35. Shelby – The second time I donated blood, I got a sticker that said, “I gave blood, give me a hug.” I asked around for hugs and I got two of the female student volunteers to hug me. Does that count as a threesome?

  36. I find the needle stick a bit painful, but hey…it needs to be done. They love to hunt me down, BTW. I’ve got B-negative, and there’s another factor I’m negative for (I keep forgetting the flipping name) that makes my blood safe for children (assuming I’m not dosed up on Tylenol Flu or something). They’ve got my cell number, actually, so they can find me more easily. This is important because my short-term memory sucks. I’d get the message on my home phone (a couple of days after it was left), and then forget it was there. My better half mentioned that it’d be bad for me if the Blood Bank is run by vampires, because if that’s the case, I must taste real good. It’s good to donate blood, in any case.

  37. Hairball – No, the Blood Bank isn’t run by vampires. I went to the Blood Bank for a job interview recently and all the window shades were open. Nobody was melting from the sun’s rays, so I don’t think there aren’t any vampires.

  38. regular donor here. lost my status due to travel once. For a YEAR! I thought I’d die. I get rejuvenated giving blood. I’m also on the marrow donor list and hope I’m called someday… what could be finer than saving someone’s life?

  39. elsa – I think giving blood is good community service, it sure is easier than picking up trash on the side of the road.

  40. TheShamelessPlug – It’s not shameless. It’s for a good cause. Thanks for the knowledge.

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