And I Ate Bacon For This?
and I decided to 'dontate' plasma. I say 'donate' because we're not all that altruistic ~ we were doing it for the money. Sure, we support the mission, but we'll take the money as long as we're doing it. As you will see, it's rather ironic.
So the rules of plasma donation are to eat a protein rich meal, drink plenty of water, and avoid caffeine before your appointment. Also, as this was our virgin appointment, we needed to arrive before our appointment for a physical. (Hey, a free health exam too, this is getting even better!)
The trick for me was the fact that we could only get morning appointments. I am not a morning person. :sigh: And not only did I need to get up & function early, but I had to eat a 'protein rich breakfast' and drink '20 ounces of water', but I also had to skip my Dt Coke fix and know that for hours I would be unable to smoke ~ all while awaiting a needle experience. Ugh.
I choke down 3 pieces of bacon, a p&b sammich, and chug glasses of water. My stomach moans and I think it would be better if I could have given CR/LF a blowjob and swallowed 20 ounces of his protein (he says that's not what they had in mind, but to save that idea for later).
So, armed with my ID, reading material (the lingerie anthology works to edit), I sit in the lobby and await my turn. CR/LF's appointment is 15 minutes prior to mine. I begin to read my erotic story submissions.
I notice CR/LF walk through the lobby. I imagine he's going to pee in a cup ~ then realize I am going to have to pee in a cup... but I peed before we came here... I ponder my ability to pee again so soon. I know if they had let me drink Dt Coke I could pee for them. I wonder if he'll return with a cup-O-pee? I hope they don't make us carry pee through the lobby... even if everybody has to do it, who wants to carry pee? I hope they have those nice cupboard-windows like they do at good OBGYN offices... you ladies know what I am talking about, it looks like a medicine cabinette, but when you open it to put your pee cup in, you see it also opens on the other side for a tech to remove it. Classy.
Anyway, I'm thinking about all of this when CR/LF returns, binder in hand, and places a laminated sheet under my nose. "I don't think we can donate," he says.
I read the section where his finger is pointing: "If you have had sex for money since 1977, or in the past 12 months have had sex with a person who has had sex with someone for money since 1977." He points to the large bold print at the top which says "DO NOT DONATE IF".
At first I think he is joking. I mean, come on, how honest can a guy get? Who reports such things? And before you jump on my ass and talk medical safety, let me point out some facts here.
Escorts, hookers, prostitutes, sex workers, rent boys and girls, whatever you want to call us, we're the early adopters of safe sex. Not just for disease, but plain old pregnancy prevention. Even the least moral, the most lazy, the simple among us believe in condoms. Who wants to work multiple tricks for one abortion and be out of work for weeks? Even simple sex workers know that math (hence my 'multiple tricks' is in the equation, for simple workers make less money). Those who do not get paid for sex ~ those of you who 'oopsed' and got drunk one night, who live for one night stands, who decided to see if your roommate and you had more than a friendship etc., you are less likely to practice safe sex.
Ahywho, let's get back to today's dealio. CR/LF is going for the honest play, so I'll back him up. We both go to the counter, and he tells his intake tech that he doesn't think we can dontate because we are 'on the list'. She dully replies "Oh... well, which one?" We grin, look at each other, and he says "well, it's all confidential, so this one" and points to the section. The poor tech is rather unimpressed, and says she'll check with the nurse. CR/LF thinks this is because they must have seen this all before. I say "This is where the cops enter..."
Dull-eyed techie girl returns, and says we'll have to see the nurse; first CR/LF, then I. Quickly an elderly nurse, with hair whiter than her lab coat, whisks him away to an office in the back. I again return to my smut and wait.
Minutes later, he returns. "Let's go," he says, "we're rejected." I feel badly that the innocent one had to do all the talking ~ I mean I am much more prepared to explain and defend myself. But he seems OK. In fact, we are laughing our asses off on the way to the van. "Just another example how our bodies aren't worth anything" he laughs. I would be indignant, but this is the second time in less than a week in which my body has been rejected...
Last week, I tried to sign up for a medical study & was rejected. It was a study for tobacco cessation, but I failed because of "missing molars". You see, I have a very small jawline, and as a result, 1/4 of my teeth have been removed in order for my remaining teeth to work properly & spare me TMJ etc. For a Big Mouth, I literally have a small mouth. I tried to explain to the phone intake gal that my teeth are not 'missing' so much as been removed for my health. "It was all done in my youth, and for health reasons ~ if they wouldn't have been removed, then it would be a problem," I say. She checks with a supervisor who deems me unworthy because it's a study for gum, & with my missing teeth I am at risk for injury. So due to missing molars I am unable to try and quit cigs. More missed money too. Hurmpf.
This is all enough to make a girl rethink her decision to retire her field work... But, let's return to the point here: today's rejection. While it's ironic, there are lessons to be learned.
I understand their desire to screen out 'undesirables', but their criteria is out of whack. Again, sex workers practice safe sex; regular folks not-so-much. It's not really debatable from my point of view because I've met the Johns who want to discuss condom use, as if it were an option; I've dated the guys who want to 'shower without gymsocks on'. I've never had to remind and re-educate sex workers to use condoms in their personal lives, but I can't count the number of 'others' who I've needed to hit with a shovel... Sex workers get it. They are safer.
But then there is the whole 'honesty' thing. Who would tell? In all honesty, I likely wouldn't have said anything. I've been tested, retested, and tested again. I'm one healthy horse (though no one would buy me because of my teeth, right?) And lots of people who've left the biz wouldn't tell either ~ not out of shame, but out of knowing their own body and their health.
But there are other items on the list though. Other "dont's" on this list included intervenus drug use since 1977, men sleeping with men since 1977, and having sex with any persons in the last 12 months who have done the afore mentioned activities. Do you even know if your partners have done those things? (This is why you should use condoms, kids!) Do they tell you? I know many folks who have a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on their activities. Even if they aren't ashamed or embarrassed, they consider this not worth mentioning. Maybe they cleaned up bad habits, maybe they tried something (or someone) once. Maybe they consider their queer relationships worthy of no more details than any other relationship ~ they don't pass themselves off as a virgin, so who cares? Some people do have shame and regret. They fear bad reactions, so they don't discuss it. Worse yet, they block those memories ~ if not in a complete sense, they rationalize with 'hey, it was college' or 'one time doesn't count' (even if 'one time' was a 4 year relationship).
It's not that I think everyone is dishonest or liars, but this is private information. And private information exists mainly in self-talk, where we all see ourselves as we want to be. Since this list or a Q & A is rather easily dismissed, who is going to say 'yes, I did that'? And what if you, like I, went into this with your partner? Can you imagine going into such a screening to discover that your partner of several years now 'suddenly' admits to gay sex or heroin use 'before I met you, hun.' Umm, no, I don't think so. I think most folks will continue their own versions of reality. The proof of this is that the old nurse had to scrutinize her copy of the text to see if 'he' was understanding it correctly, but it was clear that it was she who wasn't familiar with this situation. Apparently she, and likely the entire staff, do not have such bouts of honesty.
Oh, and by the way, old nursy did tell the boy that if he dumps me, he can come back in a year. (I'll have to remind him of this the next time he brings up the M word!)
But what makes him 'clean' in a year, and me 'never clean'?
Maybe it's the same thing that makes him honest.
All I know is that I ate bacon this morning, and that made me feel more disgusting than any of this did.