29 August 2002


I gave blood a couple of weeks ago. It didn't go too well.

See, every other time I've given blood it's gone smoothly. I get on the table, they stick a needle in me and fifteen minutes later I'm done, feeling fine.

Not last time!

At first everything was okay. The nurse who stuck me even said, "you're doing good." Then she came over and readjusted the big rubber band around my arm.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"You're slowing down," she told me.

Unusual. I've never slowed down before.

This didn't worry her, though. She just jimmied the needle around in my arm, not pulling it out but repositioning the tip somewhere under my flesh.

This made me queasy.

It didn't help, either. I was still going slow. She called in the senior guy.

"Take a deep breath, now," he told me.

I did, and he proceeded to swirl the needle around in me like a straw in a drink.


The blood flowed quick, all right. So quick I was done within ninety seconds - the bag full, near bursting - and I felt profoundly sick.

"How are you?" he asked.

"Not good."

They put my head back and my feet up in the air. They put an icepack behind my neck. A few minutes later I felt better, but still not good. I didn't feel good until the next day.

The same nurse who stuck me also worked on a coworker of mine. Apparently blood was running all down his arm at one point. We both had matching bruises.