If you’re new to ‘Scaring Matt’ you might think I’d enjoy having my (dreaded) blood donation bumped back by 10 days. Just push it further into the future, so I can have a few more days free of blood-stress, right?

Alas, that’s not the case.

For some context, feel free to read last week’s Scaring Matt entry. In a nutshell, the whole idea behind scheduling the appointment as soon as possible was to get it over with and move on. That plan got railroaded earlier this week, when the good folks at Vitalant suggested that I postpone my donation until next Thursday.

Why, you ask? I blame Arizona.

Altruism, engage!

Nothing against the state — although the dry air there made my contact lenses unwearable in my only visit to date — but my wife Jillian picked up a sinus infection out there a couple of weeks ago, when she and our son Lukas joined my in-laws for a winter getaway.

Not only did I have to stay home because of work obligations, I ended up contracting the bug my housemates picked up in their travels.

Worst of both worlds, I’d say.

With that said, I really wasn’t feeling that bad when I woke up Monday morning to give blood. Yeah, my voice was raspy and my energy level wasn’t great, but I also broadcast a couple of Robert Morris men’s hockey games over the weekend, with a round trip to Erie, Pa., and two subsequent late work nights mixed in.

When I tiptoed into the Vitalant office in Moon Township, I had to fill out a questionnaire. Alongside the questions about genetic blood disorders and STDs — no on both counts! — there was something about whether I had been ill recently.

Can you define ‘ill?’ I’m not sick enough to stay home from work, but I could probably use a nap at some point, and maybe an Advil Cold & Sinus for good measure.

It turns out that was enough to scuttle any thoughts of donating blood for the next several days. Womp.

I was told by a Vitalant staffer that standard in the industry is to play it safe in these cases, since there could be an infection present in my system that I could transfer to the recipient.

Not the kind of generosity I had in mind.

To be clear, I understand the caution here. It’s cold and flu season; my wife is on antibiotics; my immune system is down and my white blood cell count is up.

How It Works!

How Do-Goodery Works

Intellectually, I get it. Emotionally, I absolutely hate it.

Another week of waiting for that dreaded vein puncture. Another week of dreading the needle reveal.

My saving grace? It’s playoff time in college hockey, so I still don’t have much time (or energy) on my hands to obsess over this. I bet I still find a way to worry about it, but it could be much worse…

… … …

Actually, it could definitely be worse. I could be watching my blood gushing into a donation bag right now. That still sounds awful. Really wish I had this whole thing in my rear view mirror.

Until next week, when I should have a proper vein puncture to report (😩).