Thursday, 6 December 2007

Blood and other bodily fluids

It's been an interesting day.

It starts as I'm leaving for work, and my cat Milligan decides to piss in my clothes cupboard.

He doesn't wait til I'm out of the room, or even looking the other way. I open the cupboard to get a shirt and he leaps straight in, almost with an air of "hmph . . . about time" and proceeds to do his thing.

Little bastard, I think. And yell.

It's not even so much the pissing. Well it is. But it's really the appalling lack of respect. I mean to say . . . right in front of me!

When I get to work I realise I still have the faint smell of cat piss on my hands. Very professional.

Apart from that, work is reasonably uneventful. So much so that I leave early(ish) to give some blood at the Red Cross.

Actually, the intention was to give plasma. I'd got a phone call on Monday asking if I would like to donate plasma instead, plasma apparently being the fluid your red blood cells float around in. Well, why not.

The idea is that your blood gets sucked out into a machine, separated into red blood cells and plasma, and the red blood cells get put back into your arm. Takes a bit longer than your average donation. But OK. That's the plan.

I turn up for my appointment, and after flashing my donor card, the nurse asks if I've had my veins checked. There's an embarrassing moment or two when I think she says "bones" instead of "veins" and have a nasty mental image of a marrow donation.

Once that confusion is sorted out, I say no, not as yet, having just walked into the place through that door directly in front of the counter I am now standing at. So I am handed over to another nurse, Cheryl, who asks me the same question. No, I say. I have not had my veins checked.

Well then. Cheryl straps up my left arm and begins to tap tap tap away at a vein. Then she purses her lips. Hmmm. Let's try the other arm.

So the in tube and the out tube both go in the same arm? I ask.

Yes.

Oh. So that arm will be really sore at the end of this.

Yes.

Right.

And again on the right arm. Strap up. Tap tap tap. Purse lips.

Well . . . it's better than the other one.

But still no good?

No. It's borderline, really. I might usually do it, but the computers are down at the moment.

(Pardon? I'm not sure what the logic is here. But I wasn't about to argue with the lady with the needle).

So a regular vanilla blood donation it is for me. I walk back to the office behind Cheryl for the usual pre-donation blood pressure / haemoglobin tests, feeling oddly ashamed. Would there be a drastic lack of essential plasma due to the paltry state of my veins?

Oh no, I am assured.

In fact, they seem dreadfully apologetic that I'm not able to donate plasma. Their manner suggests my heart had clearly been set on the idea and I would be going home terribly disappointed.

Truth be told, I'm going home a little relieved.

The regular donation is . . . well, regular. I have the usual sausage roll and milkshake in the cafe afterwards.

On the way home, I run into Micky walking to the station. Then I run into my wife on the train. We've sent a couple of text messages back and forth before we realise we're on the same train, and actually in the same carriage.

Kate had had an awesome day as it happens, with her 2008 season trend forecasting presentation to their biggest client going down an absolute treat. Well done babe.

And then I arrive home to a pile of cat piss-soaked clothes in the laundry basket.

Life. Don't talk to me about life.

1 comments:

Shannon said...

Matthew, clearly not the best day for you.

Having had my fair share of bad days my self, this can be dealt with by two separate actions that would make you feel better:

1. Slap Cheryl

2. Put the cat down

There are some thing that are unforgivable, they will both learn not to mess with you and give a warning to the fat cat not to mess with you.