Monday, September 13, 2010

Sanguineous Tale

This morning I got up and took the #30 bus down the Adobe headquarters in Fremont because I had an appointment with the Blood-mobile there. I have donated blood at the Blood-mobile before, and I have also tried to donate at the brick and mortar Puget Sound Blood Center. The problem with the non-mobile donation center is that the people working there seem to be newbies, while the folks at the Blood-mobile are veterans. And, the problem with newbies is that they lack the experience - I was poked twice in one arm and once in the other, but they never hit the vein. The trip was in vain. No blood donated.

So, this morning, I went to the Blood-mobile. I happened to have the same gentleman who helped me last time and we were chatting a bit. He mentioned that he liked that I donate regularly and I said that I kind of feel obligated being an O-neg universal donor. "What?" says he, while showing me my official PSBC donation print out. And there it is in black and white: A-pos.

A-positive?!! How can that be? I've always been O-neg!

I felt disoriented, like I had stepped into someone else's body...

"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. "

I started hyper-ventilating a bit. How could my blood have changed. Through the loud pounding in my ears I faintly heard his voice, "We see this a lot if your blood was typed in the military...lots of mistakes."

But I've never been in the military. Wait a minute... I was born when my Dad was in the Air Force. I had an operation when I was 2 at the military hospital in Tachikawa. Is this where we were told my blood type? Hmmm...

The pounding in my ears is fainter now and I hear him say clearly, "That's OK. We always need A-pos. We are always running low on A-pos."

OK. Reset the self image. The blood is A-pos. They always need A-pos. Everything is going to be alright. No need to panic.

No need to panic, but definitely a need for blood donations. Go to the Puget Sound Blood Center and make an appointment at a blood drive near you.

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At 6:24 PM, Blogger Kellie said...

1. I cannot give blood, even for a good cause. I can't believe I read as much of your blood-giving entry as I actually did before fainting. (*crash*)

2. The last time I had to have a blood test, I had it, by my request, under full anesthesia. Vials and vials they took, in order to confirm that I have only one type of thrombophilia.

3. I have no idea what blood type I am. Is knowing important?

4. I love the Twilight Zone reference.

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Patti Auburn said...

I have always been told that knowing is important (but look what good it did me) especially if you have negative blood type and you get pregnant by someone who has positive blood type - then you need a rho-gam shot if the baby has positive blood type. I guess it's also important if you have a rare blood type.

But then, I'm a charter member of ACRN (we have a support group) so, it seems normal to me to know these things.

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Tanvi said...

I've been trying to find my blood type for years now and I still don't know. I hope I know one day. In any case, I'm glad you give blood so regularily Patti! I bet it was seriously strange to find out you had another blood type - it would be like finding out you were born with a different name or something. =o)

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Patti Auburn said...

Tanvi - When you donate blood, just ask what blood type you are, they'll tell you.
And yes, soooo weird. I told my mom the story the other night and she was also weirded out. Then she asked dad what his blood type was and he said A-pos. More people are A-pos than any other type - I guess I'm not special anymore.


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