Thursday, March 10, 2005

(Stereo)typed for Life

On Wednesday, myself and fellow students proudly wore our "Typed for Life" stickers showing that we had signed up to be part of the national marrow registry. Great. Well, not so great. As it happens, if you are gay you are ineligible to donate marrow. I know being gay precludes you from donating blood but so does having lived outside of the US for more than 6 months, having a fever, being an IV drug user, being anemic etc. With marrow registration, however, it's more or less the only factor that will preclude you from registering: you could be an IV drug user with track marks up and down, have a fever of 103 degrees and sucking back zithromycin and they'd still take you and give you a sticker.

So it was galling to see super cheery, near-manic medical and public health students in our lobby accosting people and asking them to be typed for the registry. You couldn't avoid them. Not an easy situation to navigate if, in fact, you are a man or have had sex with a man who has had sex with a man since 1980. Perhaps they should have been giving out "Don't ask me, I'm Gay!" or "(Stereo)typed for life" stickers, too. Of couse, the sticker I'd like to see is "There wasn't a match for my child's tissue type but boy am I glad that thousands of willing donors were cut out of being typed due to a non-sensical restriction as everybody's donations are routinely and thoroughly tested for hepatitis and HIV". I'd totally wear that one.

In other news, I spent the morning with a public health nurse who visits pregnant women in Baltimore housing projects to provide pre-natal care and counseling. She was wonderful. She meets many of her clients in her car because they have no other safe place to meet. She also encourages many of these women to request students from my school to act as a doula/birth companion for their births. I accompanied the nurse to meet my future client but my client was "at the welfare," according to her mother and wasn't home (we'll go back in two weeks).

Have you ever seen pictures of videos of the United States Public Health Service nurses who travelled around their precincts on horseback, braving the elements, delivering babies in woodsheds etc? Well they still exist but they wear navy blue pant suits, drive beat up old cars and help the absolute neediest of inner city people.

4 Comments:

Blogger Ilan Muskat said...

"There wasn't a match for my child's tissue type but boy am I glad that thousands of willing donors were cut out of being typed due to a non-sensical restriction as everybody's donations are routinely and thoroughly tested for hepatitis and HIV"

In the words of Opus the Penguin:
"Naah. It'd look lousy on a Burger King glass."

Also, what the f**k.

When blood levels are critical and it's 100% clear that there's no trace of infection, HIV or otherwise, and a guy has taken (or inserted) it "up the butt" -- with protection, even -- he may no longer ever help save a life.

Oh, wait, he can, as long as it's up a girl's butt.

O tempore, o mores

4:42 AM  
Blogger Ilan Muskat said...

And I'd explain Mithrandir except it would involve long stories about elves, stormcrows, and runic script that I'm not even sure I understand.

The gist is that Gandalf would always show up somewhere -- say, Edoras, or Minas Tirith -- then there'd be war right after, which wasn't expressly his fault: they could have chosen to die instead of fighting if they'd wanted.

Still, he was generally a bearer of bad news. As was I, with the search term thing. So I rattled off some of Gandalf's names, which had become epithets.

4:43 AM  
Blogger job opportunitya said...

Prodigious blog. Loved it so much I went to it
again! Just go online and search for blogs that are
worth the value as yours.
Look into my plastic surgery kansas city blog.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Best Home Based Business said...

Creative blog.  I thought it was the best site out
and we had to go back to it! Every chance I get on the
net I search for blogs just like your site.
Look who checking out my christian home based business opportunity blog?

6:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

« Blog Baltimore »