A Boston-basedFlorida-based writer, doing what he does.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Blood Sacrifice: Captain O-Neg Doubles Down
Weathering rejections from MFA programs has compelled me to find frequent and creative ways to feel empowered. Giving blood was a no-brainer, and today I did it in style.
As I covered in a post a while back, I'm a proud carrier of Type O negative blood, which makes me a martyr of sorts since I can give to anybody but can only take my own type. Moreover, my blood is chock full of caffeine, antidepressants and acne preventative antibiotics, so we're talking premium octane blood here, with a nitrous boost. If patients requiring transfusions were able to make a consumer decision regarding what kind of blood they received, my blood would be the luxury brand: "Treat your body to JRC SuperPlus. Look better. Feel better. Have more energy for your day."
"JRC SuperPlus. Don't just survive. Live."
Because I'm a giver by nature, and have such a valuable commodity to lend, I was delighted to learn that medical advances have made it possible for the Fountain of Life that is me to be effectively tapped twice in one visit -- a collection method known as the "double red" donation.
The Red Cross attendant hooked me up to a white box that from a distance looked like a lie detector, with buttons and dials and spinning wheels. She warned me that the needle was slightly bigger for a double-red donation but I waved her off, declaring that no amount of pain was too great a price to pay for saving more lives (it did fucking hurt though).
The machine proceeded to draw out a pint of my blood, which traveled through a long clear tube before disappearing into the side of the white box. It reemerged as two substances, collected in separate bags. The first bag contained a dense mass of my red blood cells. The second contained my plasma which looked, I kid not, exactly like beer -- amber colored with a thick foamy head.
Seeing my blood rendered thus was cool enough on its own, but the best was yet to come. The machine proceeded then to pump the plasma, along with some saline solution, back into my body. It's fitting that my plasma was so lager-like because this part of the procedure definitely induced a funny, head-inflating sensation.
The full cycle -- draw, separate, inflate -- was repeated a second time, resulting in a bag full of red blood cells that is comprable to that found in two pints of whole blood.
The donation called to my mind a particular zombie dream -- yes I have many zombie dreams -- called to mind a particular zombie dream that ended more horrifically (and awesomely) than most. These zombies zombified their prey not by biting them, but through blood transfusion. I was forced to watch as a team of zombies strapped my last surviving friend to a table, stuck him with a couple of tubes and proceeded to draw his blood out while simultaneously replacing it with zombie blood. Transformation complete, my now undead friend moaned and staggered off, and I awoke just as the zombies were pinning me down to the table to perform the same procedure on me. Hell yeah.
Incidentally, this is the first video I'm posting that I've shot with my new, exquisite iPhone, the God of all mobile devices.