Selling My Blood for Dough

by MarenEliz

Out-of-work baby boomer woman describes selling a pint of blood at a lab. Although some think it is very lower class, dangerously dirty, & unhealthy, she gives it thumbs up.

Am I needy enough to do this?

Yes.

After learning that one of my siblings and spouse did it, I figured it deserves exploring.  Especially during a recession.  Doubly especially if one needs honest money.

The good news is that in the short term, you make a few bucks.  Period.  The better prospect is that if your body can take it, there is a potential for a regular stream of income selling your plasma.

With vague memories of ads for blood buying in the job classifieds of the local newspaper, I sat at my trusty computer.  In short time, I found two establishments in my town which buy blood for research purposes.  From the addresses given, I could tell that one was in a not-so-nice neighborhood and the other was on the fringe of the downtown business district.  I chose the latter lab.

Not the best place, but

not the worst place.
Blood-buying lab operates near here.
Blood-buying lab operates near here.

So far, so good.

A phone call verified hours and general procedures.  I left with a book and a magazine in case there was waiting or down time.

From my Internet research, I also had a couple blogger descriptions of the general system.  They glowed about it.  I even found a review of the exact facility I selected.  Thumbs up, 4 stars and all that good stuff. 

Why do poor folks own

fancy TVs, phones, games?
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Let's not sugarcoat it:

poor is poor.

I expected and got fellow vendors who seemed to be economically challenged.  As the annoying ubiquitous waiting room television shared the sad tale of an oxycotin-addicted, dealing mother of three, they listened.  All were horrified with the addict’s potential prison sentence for her many offenses – showing me that the finer points of jail time were very much part of their knowledge base. All the same, everyone was clean and wearing clean clothing. 

Furthermore, the lab building was spotlessly clean. The waiting room, interview cubbies, exam nooks, and blood collection room would be acceptable to any medical professional.  That comforted me.  One does not want to contract hepatitis in exchange for a measly twenty dollars.

The staffers and phlebotomists all appeared to belong to our local minority group – Latinos.  Somehow, staffing by “minorities” also matches the stereotypes I have about blood-buying labs. All these employees were professional and competent.  They asked me the entire gamut of screening questions (I have donated to blood banks for free) and followed protocol for any unusual or complicated answers I gave.  This increased my comfort with their impending needle stick.

Come on in and join me in this writing group!

You can do it!

Works for me.

Given the profit-seeking nature of myself and the lab, I wondered if they would offer “donors” something to drink.  Replacing fluids is a large part of the care of a donor.  However, I wondered if I would need to handle that myself after the visit since unnecessary expenses would cut into their profit.  No – a list of seven flavors of soft drinks was given to me for immediate consumption.  I liked that.

The largest surprise was the speed of this lab’s collection device.  It was faster than the Red Cross lab’s. Wow, I thought, these people do not mess around.  In and out.  That was nice because I feared the meter police would find that I had not put enough coinage into the meter.  Fortunately, my guardian angels wanted this experience to go without a hitch.  No ticket awaited me when I got back to my car.

My conclusion is that selling blood is a good option for respectable people in need of cash.  I must wait 8 weeks before I can either sell blood again or be evaluated for eligibility to sell plasma.  I withhold judgment on whether plasma selling gets my blessing – for my crusty old body or for younger people.  In the meantime, as I do not have a regular job, the bi-monthly run to trade a pint of blood for grocery money works for me.

Updated: 12/02/2011, MarenEliz
 
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MarenEliz on 12/03/2011

Thanks, Boomer. We keep learning and keep growing, don't we?


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