Today was such an important day for me. I had an appointment to donate platelets!

I was always a whole blood donor, but at some point they started to reject me because of low hemoglobin. The Drake is a blood donor, too, so in the beginning we attempted to do it together; and that is when they started rejecting me. After tons of red meat, water and iron supplements, I gave up and never expected to give blood again.

Then about a month ago, The drake asked me if I wanted to go along with him to a blood drive and we all went. I filled out the papers, had the interview and everything was great. THEN comes the sample test. As expected, the hemoglobin was very low, like a 9.0… very low even for a healthy person, and you need a 12.0 to be able to donate blood. Although I was surprised that it was so low (because I usually miss by a tenth or so) I was prepared to sit and wait for the Drake to finish his donation. The clerk asked me if I wanted to try the other hand. She slipped the slide into the machine, and low and behold, my count rose to a 12.9! Unbelievable…. she was surprised, too. Do they fudge things like that? I don’t think so because I saw the display for myself. I was elated that I was finally donating blood again.

Several weeks ago, I get a call from the NJ Blood Center and this guy wanting to know if I got a letter from them and I said, “no.” He abruptly asked if he could send another, I agreed, then he hung up before I could find out what it was about. That same day (we get our mail late) I got the original letter in the mail. It seems that I have a high amount of platelets and they wanted me to donate platelets. Cool. I remembered a long time ago, while donating whole blood, watching someone give platelets and I got interested…. then it fell by the wayside. I called back this guy and we talked about platelets and he said that my donation could be given to three people…. WOW. He said that platelets could be donated every two weeks, 24 times a year, again… WOW. So I made an appointment for tonight at 7pm.

Because the Drake is still working 12 hr shifts, I loaded up the baby and drove down to his work, made the switch, then headed for my appointment all excited. I wanted to ge there early, wondering if I could knit while they did this because it takes a longer time than giving whole blood because all of your blood is pumped through a platelet collecting machine, then circulates back into your body. Okay, so I get there in plenty of time. I practically announce myself to the receptionist at the hospital, proclaiming that I had an appointment to donate “platelets”. She smiles and tells me where to go, giving me directions while I was itching to make a break for the elevator. Finally I get to the door of the office I needed to go to donate PLATELETS……

It was locked…. “what the….” I “politely” knock on the door and there was no answer. Okay, it’s a pretty heavy hospital door, so I knock louder, bruising my knuckles…. STILL no answer. Dark under the door…. S–T!

6:50pm: Go back downstairs to the receptionist and she puts a puzzled look on her face and said, “Strange, that never happened before.” She called security, who was supposed to send someone upstairs to check, but they responded that they could not do that, and that I should go back up and wait until quarter after 7 because they might be in the bathroom. I said, “What… do you mean there’s only ONE person in that whole office?” She says, “I don’t know, this never happened before. Usually, someone comes for their appointment and I send them right up, and they go, and there is no problem.” So I go back upstairs and replicated the same routine. Got back downstairs, complained again, then the volunteer gave me a number to call, which I did. Of course their hours are up to 5pm. I go back to the desk and ask if someone can validate my parking. It was only a buck, but I was screaming inside for a consolation prize. At it turned out, the gate was up, so I got my free parking…. yea!

Well, I am steaming at this point. First off, I am deflated in seconds. Next, I am severely disappointed. This was SO important…. I mean, it’s important that THREE people can get platelets from one donation, right? <chuckle> I have to laugh at my ego, she never saw this coming… after all, she’s SO important… HA!

Anyway, I was really angry, too. I am thinking of all the people out there who do not have jobs; and yet, there is one or more people out there who’s job it was to BE THERE to take my donation. I was thinking, what kind of screw up happened here…. geez, it’s all in a days work for them and that it will be no biggie to them in the morning when they get my colorful message. Heck, a PR person will apologize and they’ll just make another appointment with me. I am thinking of that PR person’s integrity, slowly eroding with each person they have to apologize to. Is it supposed to make me feel better? I surely know that they are getting paid to smooth over someone else’s mistakes so I can’t get snippy with them, right? Wrong. They ARE that organization to me. Of course this will not turn me off to saving a life. I CAN tell you that unless someone calls me to confirm future appointments, I will not keep them.

All in all, I had a pretty good day.