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Hematology and Me: A Bloody Mess

Being a teenager, you hear, "Be comfortable in your own skin!" a lot. But what about what's underneath it? The following is a brief and bumbling journey to find myself. Well, about 7-8% of myself.

 

I couldn’t tell you what blood type I am. I can manage the average day with this deficit, but it strikes me as very wrong on a personal level. This occurred to me quite suddenly when I helped host a blood drive at my high school. Hearing every donor confidently relay their blood type as easily as their middle name was disheartening. I felt a self-disconnectedness that was new to me. 

Now, you may think that this could be easily fixed by simply finding out what blood type I am, thus depositing this writing time directly into the “wasted” category.  I could stroll right up to my parents and ask them, because surely, they know. 

 

Wrong. 

 

So wrong.

This brings the total number of people in my home who know which antigens correspond to the ones floating around in my very veins to zero. This is unacceptable. I’m sure there are hundreds, if not thousands of cases headlined “Precocious Teen Saves Own Life by Knowing Blood Type”. Okay, maybe not that many, but even one would be enough. I feel as if I’m a legal courier carrying documents about my own case, and I can’t open the folder! Then it hits me, wouldn’t it be on my birth certificate? Or somewhere in my most basic medical records? The safe downstairs. 

 

I run. 

Could it be O Negative, the universal donor? Or maybe A positive? 

I’m flying down the stairs. 

What if it’s AB Negative, the least common type? But that would be bad, right?

I race to the oft-neglected closet in the corner of the basement. 

How could I possibly deal with having O positive, the most common blood type? Am I that unremarkable?!

 

I open the door, and push past musty coats and too-small dresses condemned to hang above the patient Christmas decorations.  There it is, small and grey. I kneel down and face the lock. The locked lock. My heart sinks and whatever concoction it’s pumping goes with it.

At this point, I take the easy way out and tell myself that I’m not meant to know. My blood will do its thing and we’ll remain polite acquaintances, only seeing each other under the most dire circumstances. Co-dependent strangers, apartment building neighbors. 

And maybe one day, my ambiguous plasma will need more pints of it’s own kind. In that case...

 

“What’s blood type are you?”

I’ll take a breath and reply, 

 

“Red.”

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Judi March 05, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Excellent and thought provoking article. I too, don't know my blood type.....and so my own quest begins. Nice work Karli. Judi B.
Karli Marulli March 13, 2013 at 03:41 AM
Thank you so much, Judi! I still don't know mine.... I should probably look into that :)

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