So tonight, while waiting for a pizza, I picked up a brochure on blood donation. I tried to donate blood, once, back in college, but the nurse took one look at my veins and sent me away unstuck. Apparently I have very small veins and it would take very long time to eke a pint out of me. (Yes, this strikes me as odd too, and really, of all things about me to be small, what good does it do me to have small veins? Small bones would be great, a small nose would be divine, but small veins? That's just pointless.) But according to this pamphlet I read tonight, I couldn't donate blood even if I had veins the size of the Nile, because I lived in the UK for three months in 1993. And thus I'm at an increased chance of having the seeds of mad cow disease in my blood.

I was previously at peace at my inability to donate blood, but now I'm just incensed that I can't. I wonder if there's an appeal process. I wonder if I can tell them (whoever makes up "them") that seriously, the only beef I ate whilst in England was one McDonald's hamburger, the first day I was there, and it tasted so weird to me that I never repeated the exercise. (My dad told me that it was probably because it was grass-fed beef rather than grain-fed. I think I ate mostly cheese and crackers for three months. Oh, and Bounty bars. Bounty bars are awesome, wish they were available in the States. And the chocolate-caramel-shortbread pastries! Yum. Anyway.) The odds of that one quarter pounder with cheese coming from an afflicted cow seem ridiculously low, surely too low to disqualify me from being a blood donor. Especially since the chances of ordinary Britons, who've lived in Britain all their life and who've had a meat and two veg for every single meal and roast every Sunday, contracting mad cow disease are also ridiculously low. And what's with the three month rule? What if I'd stayed there only two months but eaten a McDonald's hamburger every single day? What if I was there one day and ate a contaminated steak at Heathrow airport?

Clearly these musings are why I'm not a statistician, or a public health official, or someone else who sits around making up rules about who can or cannot donate blood.

Speaking of eating, and of dairy products, Phoebe was tending to a baby doll the other day at my in-law's house. She approached my mother-in-law and said, "My baby is really hungry. She wants a piece of candy." Claudia, sensing a ruse, handed over a Hershey's kiss. Phoebe brought it over to her doll's cradle and murmured for a moment. Then she came back over to Claudia and said, "My baby says she's very full." Pause, sigh: "I guess I have to eat it!" Oh, the sacrifices we make for our children!


Anonymous said...

I wonder how they can pinpoint mad cow with such exactness! I guess that's why I'm not a statistician or number cruncher either.

Phoebe has to be one of the funniest little girls ever.


aimee said...

I am sorry you can't donate blood. And that you have small veins. And that you only lived on cheese and crackers for 3 months.

On a brighter note: your daughter will make an excellent mother one day. :)

J&H Noble said...

Love the Hershey's kiss story! And I'm sorry too that you can't donate blood. I assume that I could except that I pass out more often than not when someone comes at me with a needle, so I haven't tried. (I have gotten better with all the needles in pregnancy/delivery, but still.)