Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sex, STDs, and Hieroglyphics

On Friday just after lunch I was walking down the main road in Palau with Daniel. Actually, I should say, we were walking down THE road in Palau.

There's a piece of the road "downtown" that is the frequent location of tents and street campaigns, usually sponsored by one of the government's agencies. Recently, for example, we had the church kids make a bunch of anti-drug signs for Ministry of Health personnel to hold up on the side of the road during Drug Prevention Week. Sometimes people are out there advocating for a political candidate. And every once in a while the town crazy pulls up a lawn chair on this spot and screams gossip to all passersby.

I have found out a lot of juicy information this way.

On Friday large tents had been erected along the side of the road, staffed by hospital personnel who were attempting to recruit blood donors.

Daniel: Oh. My. Gosh. Don't panic. But they are giving out donuts in that tent. RIGHT. NOW.

Eli: But at what cost, Daniel? At what cost?

Daniel: Who cares!? DONUTS.

Eli: You do realize that we could go buy donuts if we want them that much, right?

Daniel: MONEY DOESN'T GROW ON TREES, ELI.

It was actually sort of good timing, I had to admit, because the prior Sunday a pregnant lady at church asked me what my blood-type was and didn't accept my answer, "Ben & Jerry's." The reason she wanted to know was because if you have a baby at the hospital in Palau, you are supposed to provide the name of someone you know who is a match in case anything goes wrong. She'll be having her baby in about seven weeks and was hoping that if she and I were a match, I could be her donor.

I don't understand science or anything, but I'm pretty sure this is called "surrogacy." So I'm basically her surrogate now. Also, I think the baby will share my DNA. I haven't checked into this, but I'm pretty sure.

I didn't know my blood type when she asked me but I told her I would try to find out soon. She told me she was A positive, and I began praying that I would also be A positive BECAUSE I'VE ALWAYS WANTED A BABY OF MY OWN!

We asked the tent people if they could tell us our blood types if we gave blood and they confirmed that they could and sent us into a classroom behind them at the community college to answer questions.

I've tried to give blood a few times before but I always get rejected. Such discrimination. Nobody wants my blood anymore.

Just because I underwent major surgery in a half bombed-out Soviet building in western Ukraine in 2004 and then have almost no memory of the remaining nine days in which I was subject to tests, naked and alone, in that same building.

Fortunately that didn't seem to be an issue on Friday.

An adorable Palauan woman sat across from me and asked me twenty of the most intimate and uncomfortable questions I have ever heard in my life.

I was all like, "what is this? A job interview at a brothel?!?"

And I also had to suppress the urge to answer each question with things like, "How dare you!?" and "Buy a guy a drink first!"

There was a problem while she asked these questions because she whispered and mumbled as she spoke and I was never quite sure what she was asking specifically. I kept hearing words like, "sex" and "STD" and "hieroglyphics" so I just kept saying emphatically, "absolutely NOT. NEVER IN MY LIFE!"

At one point she asked, "do you have any reason to be concerned that you might have hepatitis today" but I heard, "do you have any reason to be concerned that you might GET hepatitis today?" And I answered loudly enough for everyone to hear,

Eli: YES!

Lady: You might have hepatitis?

Eli: No, I don't have it. I thought you asked if it bothered me if I got it from you guys.

Lady: Uh-oi. No.

Eli: Ok, but everyone [looking around at the whole room] just so we're clear, I absolutely don't want to get hepatitis today, ok?

She told me they were done with the questions and I was like, "Ok, but just in the interest of full disclosure, a rat name Leotrix has been living in my house for a couple of weeks so who KNOWS what I might have picked up recently."

But this VERY RESPONSIBLE gesture went mostly unheard.

At this point they pricked my finger to check my "blood count" (whatever that is!) and the woman whispered, "if your blood count is high enough, that means you can save a life today."

And the way she worded it and the way her voice sounded made me want this to work out more than I had ever wanted anything else in my entire life!

Guys! WHAT IF I COULDN'T SAVE A LIFE?! WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THAT LIFE!?

When I passed the test, she sighed a sigh of relief and said, "oh thank the Lord. You can save a life today."
And I was all like, "I'm saving lives AND becoming a father this summer! Somebody get this guy a medal of honor!"

Then they stuck a tube the size of a telephone pole into my arm and I was all like, "NOT WORTH IT! NEVER MIND! I HAVE CHLAMYDIA!"

But before I knew it, all of my blood had been drained from my body. I lay on the bed, wiped out from the traumatic procedure, and I thought right then, "this must be EXACTLY what it feels like to have a baby." And honestly, it wasn't that bad. I don't know what all the fuss is about.

A minute later a man came over and said, "would you like to know your blood type?" And I was like, "this IS like having a baby, and finding out my blood type is like finding out what sex the baby is! Except there are more than two options!"

And the guy just stared at me and I realized that I only thought all that stuff about this being like having a baby so he wasn't caught up to my thought process yet.

"You are A positive," he continued.

"I'm a match!" I yelled. And everyone in the room laughed. And they laughed like, you don't understand how blood works, kid. But I didn't care. Because I was a match with the pregnant lady, which means I'm TOTALLY going to become a father and the baby will probably be named after me!

Then I stood up and fainted.

~It Just Gets Stranger

40 comments:

  1. Eli! You are so brave to give blood.

    I have given blood and given birth and other than losing all your blood and passing out when it's over, they are not actually that similar. Also, possibly saving lives was not rewarding enough for me to ever repeat the traumatic process of giving blood. However, I have a cute baby that is so adorable with curly red hair that I decided having a second baby might be ok.

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  2. Wow, I'm so proud of you, Eli!!! :D Way to go! That's very awesome you were a match. ^.^

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  3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA.

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  4. This is one of the funniest posts you have ever written. LOVE this.

    I agree that you are so brave to give blood! You should be awarded for your bravery. But I also think that's such a cool experience to get to be a donor for a Palauan while you're down there. Just try not to catch any diseases from Leotrix before it's time!

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  5. I got pulled in by the post's title, but I stayed because of the donuts.

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  6. Eli, I would like to throw you a baby shower. I know we don't reallly know each other that well, but you definitely deserve one. And I'm your girl.

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    1. I can totally do the games. We should register him at target or something for presents since he probably doesn't have time with all this blood-donating to do it himself.

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    2. I bet he'll register for matching Daddy and Baby furrever kitten snuggles!

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    3. Your favorite StrangerJune 10, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      Eli's baby registry

      http://www.target.com/GiftRegistrySearchViewCmd?registryType=BB&jsRequest=true&catalogId=10051&status=completePage&cumulativeTime=-1&listId=e0xI0b7gUOJtIuAhC0mT1Q&noOfPings=&registryFirstName=Eli&langId=-1&segmentGrpName=I&storeId=10151&registryLastName=McCann

      You're welcome.

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    4. Oh my word. I'm DYING over the registry. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

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    5. Agreed. Fabulous registry choices :)

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    6. This registry has brought me as much happiness as a life time of eating ice cream. And I don't say that about just anything.

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    7. an auburn snuggie?! does this mean eli is an auburn fan? i just KNEW it. war eagle!! ....and congrats, "dad"!

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    8. Too funny, Favorite Stranger! Nice work; definitely a great variety of "must haves" for when there is a baby with fabulous DNA on the way!

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    9. That registry was amazing!! Haha so funny

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    10. Literally laughed out loud at the registry. Excellent choices!!

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    11. Does anybody want to go in with me on a set of blocks that spells out "#1 DADDY" or something? He could put it on a mantle or hang it on a wall. Anybody with me?

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    12. The stranger that loves to tease Eli ;)June 11, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      @Karryn of course!! But I think it'd be better to go with Megan's idea and get him a daddy and baby furrever kitten snuggies...

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    13. Just make sure the blocks can spell out: I don't want no bunny banana frog ok no way!

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  7. Hilarious!
    Ha! And you fainted! Can I say adorable?

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  8. BUT... did you get your donut?!??!?

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  9. But what happened to the donuts? Cause I could really use a donut right now.

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  10. I fainted this morning too!!!!!!

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  11. My sister used to give plasma, and every single time they would ask all those uncomfortable questions... it really got to the point where she just wanted to scream, "NO, I haven't ever even LOOKED at a guy!"

    Glad you survived! And congrats on the baby-daddy status! :)

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  12. All I want to know is if Daniel donated blood too and what his experience was like.

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  13. What if, when your baby is born, your blood baby mama turns (in slow motion) to present the new baby, and its...leotrix.
    I'm just saying, it could happen since he licked everything in your house and you probably got stem cells in your borscht or something...

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    1. That would be scary... like super freaky

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  14. Is that UK story true! your so sarcastic IDK if your kidding or not....

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    1. Oh it's true. http://www.itjustgetsstranger.com/2012/01/ukrainian-appendectomy-podcast.html#more Read, listen and enjoy. It's totally worth it!

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  15. I'm surprised you didn't end up naked anywhere in that story.

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    1. I was wondering if the guy that yells the gossip to the passersby has told of Eli's naked times. :-)

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  16. When I found out I was A positive the overachiever in me was like, "Are you saying I have A PLUS blood?! Because I think that means I get the best grade in the class just for living."

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  17. i kinda want to marry you. is that bad? lol

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  18. I always thought to myself what's the big deal if you are denied because of your blood count. Then I was denied... I definitely cried.

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  19. I'm a match!!!

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  20. Thank you for being pretty much the only website ever to make me laugh the kind of laugh that counts as exercise!

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  21. I have done both (donate blood and have a baby) and I can assure you that they are very different. Donating blood is like skipping through a meadow full of sunshine and rainbows comparatively.

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