Day 123: Bloody donation

Donate blood periodically

Short answer: I can’t.

Long answer: I did donate blood when I lived in Norway. Or rather, I tried: my hemoglobin count was on the low side, and about 50% of the time, they wouldn’t let me. I spent half an hour, 45 minutes to get to the Bloodbank, and then another half an hour waiting and checking my hemoglobin count, just to hear that it was just too low. I got 50 crowns for my troubles, though — but I usually donated them to the Red cross. (Once didn’t, and decided to have a T-shirt instead. Unfortunately, they only had women’s T-shirts left (why they had two make one for men and one for women, I don’t know); I still have that T-shirt, eight years later. It’s black, with LYNKVINNEN (“the lightning woman”) in big letters on the chest.)

But even when my hemoglobin count was OK, I often couldn’t donate anyway. I went to Bosnia with my future wife – quarantine. I got married to someone who was born in Sarajevo — blood not good enough. I was sick, I got antibiotics, I had a tattoo, I got syphilis… OK, the last two aren’t true. And I never tried drugs, and I have never slept with a man or been with a prostitute — but still, it seemed they would never allow me to donate blood.

(Why aren’t gay man allowed to donate blood? It’s complicated.)

So I stopped. The last year in Oslo, my blood stayed in my veins, and in Prague, it never really crossed my mind anyway: I felt too foreign, somehow.

But we are in Denmark now, it’s almost like home — there are no major obstacles for donating my blood here, right? They are changing the laws and making it easier for foreigners to give something of themselves?

Well, no. And there are many reasons:

  • Since my wife was born in Sarajevo and Bosnia is high or medium risk for hepatitis B, as far as I can tell, that means I can’t donate blood here.
  • One must have lived in Denmark for a year; I have lived here since August only.
  • Oe must have a Danish CPR-number. We don’t, or rather, we do, but it’s not a normal CPR-number, we’re supposed to be able to use it everywhere, more or less, but no-one seems to accept out special numbers anyway, and we have to explain it every time, and it’s a royal pain in the arse. My special CPR-number might bar me from donating blood here in Denmark.

If I can, I will. I’ll mail them and ask. But I don’t think I can.

I’ll try to find others way of being kind, then.

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