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Wednesday 17 December 2014

Go Give Blood! There may espresso in it for you!

Yeah, you'll forgive me if this blog entry is
a) short
b) a bit incoherent
c) a public service announcement.

I woke up very early today, you see, and just came back from giving blood.  You should do this too.  Whatever your country,  or whatever system you use, I bet they need people to go give blood.

I'm sure all of you have, at some point, probably even at least once today, asked yourselves "Gee, I wonder what it's like to donate blood in the nation of Uruguay"?
Well, wonder no more:

Here in Uruguay it amuses me, because like everything else, they do it a bit different in these parts.  Oh, you still do it in a hospital or clinic, but at least at the one I go to they have these insanely comfortable lazy-boy type recliners, a big TV, and coffee.
I was actually offered coffee when I just arrived, asking the nurse if the fact I'd slept less than 4 hours would invalidate me or make me still good to go.  She said "we'll take your blood pressure" (it turned out to be fine, my blood pressure is always fine, believe it or not), and "here, have some coffee".  I was a bit confused, first at there being coffee at the blood bank (cookies sure, juice, but here they had neither of those; apparently in Uruguay they have flavored mineral water, salted crackers, and coffee), and second being that I hadn't actually had any blood drawn yet.

"won't that screw up the blood donation? Aren't I supposed to be fasting for it?"

"Oh, you can have coffee!" she said, as if that was just obvious. Like as in, who in their right mind wouldn't have coffee in this situation?

And it was great coffee.  But to add to the irony and confusion, she asked me how much sugar I wanted.  Seriously?? She was holding like 5 packets, for one euro-style espresso!

It was at this point I was starting to wonder: was I in the right place at all?  Was this all some sort of terrible mistake?  Maybe there had been some confusion, and in my sleep-deprived daze I'd wandered into some kind of exclusive medical-practitioners' cafe/lounge where I was about to cause a small riot by attempting to give blood on what should in fact be their salad bar?

"Aren't you worried about the blood sugar or something? And... you're a nurse, shouldn't you be telling people to take less sugar in their coffee?"  It was easy for me to say, mind you, I only take a little sugar ever anyways.

And she was all like "Oh, it doesn't matter!".

So yeah, either there was some serious incompetence going on or I've been very seriously lied to by blood clinics of days gone by.

Anyways, the rest of the procedure was easy, fast, and might help save a life. And there was even more coffee, after the blood draw was over.   Really, I pity the poor bastard who gets my blood, it's more caffeine and nicotine than man! I just didn't expect such a significant part of the caffeine part of that equation to come from the blood-clinic itself.  But still, the clinic took it just the same and I trust it will go to good use.

So seriously, go be a fucking grownup.  Give blood.  Even if where you are you won't get the leather recliners and espresso.


Currently Smoking: Nothing yet, I was told to wait an hour.


  1. "Aren't I supposed to be fasting for it?"

    For a cholesterol test that picks up the LDL and HDL yeah. Never heard of that to donate (or sell) blood.

    The sucre in the espresso seems like it would serve the same purpose as the cookies and juice. I think they give it to you afterwards most places just so they can make you sit while you nosh. That way they avoid the chance that your blood pressure drops if you get up immediately and leave.

    1. Well, I'll note they explicitly tell people here not to eat before coming, and like I said above, they gave me espresso before drawing blood, even before taking my blood pressure.
      And then more espresso after!

  2. Did you donate or sell blood?

  3. I donate blood about 4 times a year, and find it to be an enriching experience every time if do it :)

    Coffee or not, "bleeding for life" as I call it if probably one of the most selfless acts one can perform in the modern era.

    Donate blood, it's also good for you :)