Written by: Susanna Thomas – Platelet Donor
As soon as I walked into the door of my local Carter BloodCare location, I was greeted by a friendly staff member behind the desk, who asked me for my driver’s license. After checking me in, she handed me a brightly colored informational booklet. It’s a riveting read, really − an epic tale of global maladies and medical restrictions. Next, I was led into a cozy little room with a friendly young woman who stuck a thermometer in my mouth and a blood pressure cuff on my arm in a single motion. It was remarkable.
After declaring me healthy (so far anyway), she left me alone to take a survey of my afflictions and behaviors. I was guided, one yes or no question at a time, through a tour of my own life-choices including travels, tattoos, and medical experiences. I must confess taking this test was one of my favorite parts of donating blood, because it made me feel pretty healthy to know all the illnesses and treatments I haven’t had. Following the third degree, I notified my overseer and she came in to administer the final test: the dreaded finger prick. I was nervous, because I’d gotten this far before and been turned away for having low hemoglobin levels, but I’d been scarfing spinach and steaks for three days in preparation for this, and soon I was on my way to the big time!
Before I was seated, I was asked if I wanted to watch a movie on a portable DVD player. Did I? What luxury! Alas, I had not come prepared for this, though, and with dismay I told my phlebotomist I had not brought a movie to watch. He opened a drawer, and lo and behold, a veritable cornucopia of DVDs. I hesitated a moment, torn between Friends season 4 and Cool Runnings, but my decision was made for me when I saw Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde.
I quickly slid into a recliner- now, allow me a moment if you will to talk about these chairs. These recliners are so comfortable, I don’t know how it’s classified as medical equipment. It wouldn’t surprise me if I was told I could buy one at a cushy electronics store in the mall! Anyway, I sank into this ergonomic cloud with my DVD player and headphones as my phlebotomist prepared my arm. By the time the needle even made an appearance, I was so engrossed in Elle Woods’s hijinks that it was over before I could flinch. I was giving platelets, so I had time to finish my whole movie, and then I got a choice, green or blue sticky wrap- of course I went with blue.
After a brief instructional, “Did you know you get points you can trade in for prizes and raffle entries? Isn’t that cool?”, I made my way over to the heroes’ circle, where I selected from a variety of complementary juices, crackers, cookies and granola bars. Carter BloodCare does not cut corners, either. The options were varied and no generic off-brands in sight; the classiest of offerings. I kicked back to enjoy my well-earned snack and caught up on the latest scandals in Hollywood.
Donating at Carter BloodCare is the only way I know to get some “me” time: relaxing with a movie totally guilt-free, all while saving lives!