At least I tried

I’m grumpy. Yesterday I was all cozy and happy and warm and today I’m bite-your-head-off grouchy. Frailty, thy name is woman! Bah.

A lot of it has to do with one child who refuses to stop with the snarky. She spews venom, calls names, and doesn’t do any of the things she’s supposed to do. After coming downstairs from one of my many attempts at reasoning with her, I picked up a stool and heaved it across the kitchen.

But only in my mind.

Instead I slapped together more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the masses and made a speech about how rest time would be extra long because I was going to lose my mind if I didn’t get some peace and quiet.

But enough about that. I’m sick of wallowing. So … how about I tell you about my latest money making adventure fail?

Saying “latest” in relation to making money is kind of slap-your-knee hilarious because I NEVER embark on money-making adventures. I am so not entrepreneurial. But a friend of mine, a couple actually, told me about how they made all this money donating their plasma, so I decided to try it.

It wasn’t a quick or easy decision. The donation center is 25 minutes from our house, and two trips a week would make a noticeable wrinkle in our calm (GROUCHY) home routines. I talked to a number of people about it, called the center several times, scrutinized the calendar, and then went for it.

The first time I showed up at the place, I didn’t even get passed the preliminary sign-in because I had brought the wrong ID. (I took “original social security card” to mean The Original Social Security Card. But apparently there’s the little problem of a name change?)

The second time I went in (with a large white envelope stuffed with every scrap of identification I could find, from several copies of our marriage certificate [in case the paper wasn’t the right thickness or something] to insurance cards to passports), I made it passed the identification station only to get hung up at the finger prick place. My hemoglobin was 36 percent when it needed to be 38 or higher.

On the way home I stopped at a pharmacy for some iron supplements, and over the course of the next two weeks I popped pills, suffered upset stomach and constipation, and contemplated the wisdom of this new endeavor.

The third time I went to the center I made it passed the blood prick place (39 percent hemoglobin, yay!), got to enter my name in a drawing for an ipod touch, made it through the 30 minute computerized questionnaire in which I signed my life away, passed my physical (and got a bag of fish crackers and a bottle of water), and finally, finally made it onto the donation table.

The nurse hooked up the bags and wires and slapped my identification stickers all over the blood draw tubes before telling me to make a fist so she could check my veins. She poked about for a minute before saying, “Let me see the other arm.” She poked that one for just a minute, and then, “I think I need someone a little more experienced.”

Someone A Little More Experienced came over and poked my arms for just a second before excusing herself. I could see her conferring with someone out in the hall. Then she came back and chirped brightly, “We’re going to have to let you go today. Your veins are too small.”

She must have mistaken my confused What The—? look for disappointment because she said encouragingly, “What I suggest you do is go home and do some exercises to enlarge your veins. You can do things like squeeze a ball while you watch TV—that should help. And then come back and try again in a couple weeks.”

I thanked her and calmly gathered my stuff, but inside I was busting up all over the place. My veins were too small? Vein enlarging activities? Good grief, and yeah right, whatever! I stick my neck out, try to make a little money, and bam, I get told my veins are too small. Ha!

So I’m out ten bucks for the iron constipation pills, another ten or fifteen for gas, several hours for time, and I have nothing to show for it except a bag of orange fish crackers that I already ate. And the new self-awareness that I have small (does this mean they’re sexy?) veins.

Of course, there is the off-chance I’ll win that ipod touch…

my small-veined arms—go on, be jealous

This same time, years previous: the donut party, part one


  • teekaroo

    I sold plasma while I was in college. I hated it. Something creepy about having your own blood shoved back into your body like that. I however, always receive comments on my wonderful, huge veins.

  • Anonymous

    Once when I had blood drawn, the person wielding the needle was nervous (I, too, have small veins) and she poked and poked and then tore my vein!! My whole arm swelled from shoulder to wrist. I'm shuddering even now at the memory. So…following that vein of thought…BIGNESS is BETTER!

    I love Dr. P's hugely humorous comments.

  • Anonymous

    in high school, i was on student council and enjoyed working the blood bank and awaited when i would be old enough to donate. The first time, I had to sit up, lay back down, sit up, lay back down, sit up, lay back down and then they said I should wait awhile before I did it again. So I'm still waiting, but if you need my blood, just call.
    Karen Sue

  • Mama Pea

    I know this whole incident probably left you a smidge bit frustrated . . . but it made for a funny post.

    Gonna brag about your "small veins," huh? Well, I've been told I have "really good veins." They're honkin' big and pop right out there. So . . . na-nah-na-nah-nah!

  • goodbadi

    Ah, gambling. Right now I'm in several contests, one for $10,000, one for a Ford F-150 delivered by Toby Keith, one for–oh shucks, I forget what else.

  • Margo

    hahaha – sorry you're grouchy, but you did make me laugh.

    I donated plasma twice. The second time, the needle was inserted by a dodo and the blood pooled beneath my skin instead of going back into my vein. I had the most hideous bruise for weeks and a rather sore arm. I didn't go again.

  • Jennifer Jo

    Yeah, at our donation center it's 20 bucks for the first donation and 40 for the next, if they're in the same week. Sixty bucks a week adds up pretty quick, too.

  • Suburban Correspondent

    They pay you for plasma? Really? They've been begging me to donate that stuff for years, but I've been ignoring them.

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