Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Cutting Open a Vein

Red Smith said, "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."

Yesterday I took his words to heart and donated blood. I feel somehow morally obligated to give a pint every eight weeks because I am the proud owner of O+ blood. The only problem is that while my mind and spirit are willing, my body is far more stubborn about giving up the red stuff.

Yesterday, the blood center was actually a torture chamber.

First, the nurse that pricked my finger didn't just prick it. She popped the little needle thingy and then wiggled it -- I suppose she didn't want to have to work for the three drops of blood she needed to test my iron levels. I now have a gash the size of the grand canyon in my left middle finger and it hurts like a son of a gun.

Then, the chick who jabbed me, missed. She called over the RN who dug around for a bit to see if she could find the vein (the one that I told the first lady she shouldn't use because it tended to roll) until my grimacing must have gotten to her and she surrendered. Then she asked me if I wanted to have her try the other arm or come back a different day.

No way was I going through another finger prick. I'd much rather face someone digging around in my arm with one of those big, hollow needles.

I flipped around and offered my right arm as sacrifice. This time it was quick and easy and the blood poured out. I filled the bag in record time and when she pulled out the needle, I offered a bit more to the world at large with a nice spurt of the red stuff. At least it just flowed down my arm instead of on my clothes.

Note to self: Next time wear a red shirt to the blood center.

In any case, it's done. I do have a big pit on my finger and bruises on both arms, but I think I'll survive it. I just wish that writing was as easy as opening a vein.

After staring at the computer all morning (and it was an earlier morning today since hubby got up at 3:30 a.m. to go hunting -- I'm still wondering about the wisdom of sending a man out into the woods with a loaded gun on only four hours sleep...) I only added about 500 words to my story. That was enough to catch up with my goal from yesterday. It did nothing to reach todays goal.

Red Smith was wrong.

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