He stood nearby, a tall,imposing, white-clad figure of a man. He'd just finished delivering the 411 on diabetes, and his patient lay silently, her eyes glazed over with this overload of information.
Time to soften the blow.
"Questions?" he smiled broadly, inviting her to ask something, ask anything. Because he'd definatly know the answer, he'd been doing this for the past 21 years. Answering the kids' questions. Answering their parents' questions. The common ones, the not-so-common-ones, the ones that made him think. Diabetes is a very question-filled disease.
Too many questions, as of yet unknown. Which to ask first, is the real question.
"Can a diabetic give blood?"
It pops out, this new fear of having somehow "tainted" blood. Not being normal. Not being useful.Memories of a father giving blood, and now wondering if she'd ever do the same.She'd
never given blood, but being diagnosed with diabetes suddenly brought up the desire.
"Actually, they used to not be able to,but the Red Cross revised its guidelines a couple of years ago and yes, you should be able to. You've never taken animal insulin."
Yeah, baby.Something D's can "do." Life isn't over. Giving blood is not an option just then, but it's a thought for the future.
- - -
August,2000. First blood donation.
- - -
It used to be that the Red Cross phlebotomists would go into major spasmodic conniptions + pull out their Medical Guidelines books whenever I mentioned I was an insulin dependent D. Questions about bovine insulin, whether I'd had a change of insulin therapy during the past 2 weeks, whether I was in "good" control, etc. would invariably follow.Concerns over whether the pump might induce weird bacteria into my bloodstream.(very stupid concerns) It was like an act of Congress, getting through the entire process. Now, things are much better(I don't even have to declare the D-just check off a bunch of boxes).
Haven't given in awhile, since July + the crud. But I gave today, #31.And it felt good. Someone out there, will benefit from me-the drain-on-society diabetic. There are normal people who can't say the same. And if I can give, I will continue to do so.