My motherSeptember 10, 2009
My mother needs a unique form of blood platelets to have some kind of chance to last a little longer. Her sisters are the most likely to have a match. Her children have a less likely chance to match. Unlucky for her, her sisters were not a match but luckily, she has seven children.
My sisters tried. One isn’t a match and the other didn’t have the right amount of blah blah blah. A doctor told me today to get tested. I didn’t think I could since it involves blood, and gay men aren’t allowed to donate. I went to the donation site where my grandmother was there, speaking with an admistrator.
The lady kept speaking in circles and I was insistent that I understood that it’s different from a blood donation, that my mother would be the designee, that it’s not a test for bone marrow, etc. The nurse took me into the back and started asking me the list of questions.
“Have you had a tattoo?”
“Have you had a transfusion in the UK or France in the past 12 months?”
“Since 1977, have you had sex with a man? When?” ………….. She told me I would be listed as a permanent deferral. She told me that I would not be allowed to donate. She told me to check back another time because the laws with the FDA are always changing. I stared blankly at her and looked at my hand on the table. My shaking hand. I pressed it to the table to make it stop. My mind raced. Should I have lied? Could I have a standoff with the clinic? Would they possibly help, understanding that I’m not a real risk and that I’m clean? The nurse interrupted my thoughts.
“Is there anything I can do?”
I looked into her eyes and half-whispered, “My mom is dying.”