You Can’t Get Blood from the Stoned

I gave blood for the first time yesterday, and several things occurred to me at the time and since. It seems odd to me that one can lose about half a litre of blood and not feel any pain during or after the process, simply from a biological standpoint. Surely it would be in any organism’s best interest to know about such matters. It also struck me, quite inignorably, that, though it is possible not to feel pain, I have had an aching left arm for most of the last day. Would practice help? No doubt it would help someone.

Aches aside, I’ve been acutely aware of my entire circulatory system for the last day, becoming aware of my pulse in various places and noticing changes in my heart rate at different times. This isn’t anything special; these effects are always there, I’ve just been very open to noticing them. My interest has worn off somewhat though, and I will not be becoming a haematologist any time soon.

As regards the title of this item, it seems they don’t want blood from drug users. Common sense of course. There is a questionaire for everyone and an interview for first-timers (as well as testing, naturally.) Most of what was asked was reasonable, regarding STIs and non-prescription drugs etc, but one question seemed unreasonably harsh. It concerned gay sex. Apparently this excludes you from ever giving blood again, even if protection is used, both parties are healthy and drug free, or if it was twenty or thirty years ago. While I’m never going to be part of this group, I do think an overly large group is being excluded. I’m all for caution, but this seems, as I said, way too harsh. Then again, I didn’t understand why I shouldn’t take a hot bath for 24 hours after the procedure either, so I obviously don’t know as much as they do. And please note that I mean any hot bath within the succeeding 24 hours rather than one lasting 24 hours. Though they would presumably not be advised either.