Friday, November 11, 2011

Dear VA Blood Services

Virginia Blood Services has made it a point to call my cell phone each and every day for the past month. I've answered a few times, and told them things that are true:
1) I'm on an antibiotic
2) I've been to Mexico in the past 6 months
3) This is a really bad week--can I call you back?

I finally called back today and left a message on the after hours answering service.

This is what my message said,

"HI. This is Brett Baker, phone number _ _ _-_ _ _-_ _ _ _, and you have called me every day. Sometimes twice a day. Listen, y'all. I get it. I have a rare blood type. You need it ASAP. I'm sorry. I want to help you. I really do. But honestly, I haven't had time to pee these days, much less pass out and take the rest of the day off work. I'm willing to help. Please give me a little time. I promise I'll do it. Promise. Promise. Promise. My church, you might know it--Portico? Does a blood drive a couple times a year. I'll do the next one, I swear. OK. Please stop calling me. OK. Bye."

Am I a horrible person? What has my life come to that I can't carve out a half day to give BLOOD????

type 0-


  1. Girl, I feel you. I don't think you're a horrible person for making your intentions clear to them. You're saving them the time and trouble of calling you again. And for what it's worth, I can't give blood, either, because I'm moving to Africa. 1) my vaccinations exclude me, and 2) living in Africa excludes me for LIFE. So I have to tell them that when they call. It's not often, though, because I'm not O neg.

  2. I think you've done the right thing. If you can't give blood, it's nothing to feel guilty about. It's yours to give and theirs to receive, not take. Plus, their concern should be the health of the patient and blood donation instead of how full their fridge is. My personal opinion, if their priority is not quality, I don't want to give or get blood from their supply.

  3. Response to Lumiya:
    Clearly they are concerned about the quality of the blood, if they weren't then they wouldn't have such strict standards for donating. It is important that they receive blood from healthy people and they take numerous precautions to make sure this is the case. The fact of the matter is that people need blood everyday. Without donations from the healthy and willing, others die.

  4. No, you're not a bad person, and I'm sorry they keep hounding you. Even more sorry that you've had what sounds like a bad reaction from donating before. They do care about how the health and saftey of the you as a donor, and absolutely do not wish to cause you any harm.

    For what it's worth, there is still a truly frightening nationwide shortage of O negative, and I'm posting this a whole month after you wrote yours. It's the type given to newborns who we don't have time or ability to draw blood and get an ABO type between birth and needing a transfusion. It's the type we give to people in horrible car wrecks and shootings and freak accidents. One bad night can wipe out the stock, and without those people to call in donors who otherwise wouldn't even think about it, we would have nothing to give the next person. We take for granted that hospitals always have plenty and it will be there if our family & friends need it, but it's limited by those willing and able to give. Despite all other advances in medicine, there is not, nor has ever been, a suitable substitute for human blood. I'm awed by it every day, and thank you for taking the time to donate any time you could. I 100% guarantee it went to save another person's life, even though it meant you passed out and took the day off work for it. I hope that makes you feel a little better.

    Blood Bank employee, 3 gallon donor, A+.