Not as expected
Saturday July 14th 2012, 11:16 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

As mentioned earlier, I was made head of our ward’s part in an interfaith blood drive. Which was held today.

The woman who is the liaison between the Red Cross and all the local wards got me set up weeks ago with the materials and showed me what I needed to be doing.

The last time I was actually in a blood drive was when I was in high school and got excused from Mr. Ball’s science class to go to the library for it. Organized by class period. Assembly lined, efficient.

I can’t donate now, of course, even without the mouse cells from the Remicade in ’03, but I’ve wished for years for a way to show those who do how much I appreciate it. And so I asked if perhaps I might come and, say, entertain the kids of those donating? I’m not a morning person, but I could do some of the afternoon or something.

Great idea, she said, how about you do 11-2. I’ll see if I can find someone to do the 8-11. Bring some toys and books for them and maybe you could help with the refreshments.

I got to the Catholic church where it was being held, doing too long of a walk in too bright of a sun trying to find the place.  With some mild cardiac effects of too much exposure yesterday, I was feeling a little fragile.

The place was jammed. I was looking for whom to check in with but the signup table wasn’t it, and a woman noticed and came up to me. She gave no recognition at my name.

I said I was one of the ward blood drive coordinators. She identified herself as being with the Red Cross.

I had my bag full of kid stuff, but we saw one, count’em one child in the crowd, with both parents, “And they’ve decided not to donate.”

Huh? Why go all the way out there and then not? I didn’t get it, but I didn’t say anything. Whatever.

And then here’s the thing: I told her my husband was sick. I was fine, but just so they knew.

“So you’re a carrier?” she asked.

And with that I was dismissed. Seemed wiser to both of us, honestly, but having said I was going to show up, I showed up and let it be their decision. She did not want me there. I debated saying something to the friend I’d been w0rking with (yes I should have) but from what I’d seen there was no need for babysitters and at two and half hours left, how would you find one? Why would it even be an issue? Anybody coming with small kids would already have thought through that IV-no move-no-chase-kids thing.

Hours later I got a note forwarded to me I did not expect. From the woman who had indeed come for the 8-11 shift, frazzled, exhausted, worried, trying not to be indignant, wondering if something had happened and I didn’t know how to reach anybody? Why hadn’t I shown up??


As far as I’d known, it was an assignment manufactured entirely in my own head. Yow. One of the Red Cross people had called in sick and people were piling up. They could only process four at a time when all hands were on board, which they weren’t, the calendar was full, but they were still taking walk-ins and she had stayed till an hour after it was supposed to have been over–and someone told her they weren’t going to do this again, not with that kind of a wait. Not the message she’d hoped for. It was intense.

I still don’t know exactly what she did or why I was so needed. I wish I’d been able to help–but I’m sure that a whole lot of people, had they known, would have been very glad to help and very glad I wasn’t there. Just in case.

But the good part of it is, we had a really, really successful blood drive. The turnout was fantastic.

4 Comments so far
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Ouch. Sorry about the note from the other woman, but I’m glad it was such a successful drive!

Comment by Channon 07.15.12 @ 4:37 am

wow — their loss —

Comment by Bev 07.15.12 @ 7:31 am

I hope you are not blaming any of this on yourself because it is THEIR problem!

Comment by Don Meyer 07.15.12 @ 10:37 am

Oh, I’m sorry – for the walk in the sun and the crossed communication lines. Even when one knows they didn’t slack off an assignment, it grieves one to think that someone else may think they did. And of course, one feels for the poor woman who thought her relief just didn’t show up, even when that is the last thing her relief would do.

At least every pint of blood that was collected is several lives potentially saved.

Comment by twinsetellen 07.16.12 @ 7:56 pm

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