Actually, there is no such idiom `as mad as a cow'... and I'm not really mad (as in angry, not insane). Just disappointed and a bit puzzled. But I'll explain what I mean shortly...
nationwide blood donation drive being organised by the alumni association of MRSM, together with the assistance of AEON Jusco and the various hospitals. It is the 6th annual campaign and they hold it a few weeks before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan. I was at Jusco Tebrau City yesterday morning, with the intention of giving a pint of my blood. I am not a regular blood donor... the last time I did so was in 2007 during a similar campaign.
For those of you who have never donated blood before, the process of giving up a bit of that precious liquid is not just simply offering your arm to be pricked with a needle, see the red stuff flow down a tube and into a plastic bag. You would have to first fill up a form containing a zillion questions where you tick boxes to indicate `Yes' or `No'. A nurse would do a teenie-weenie jab on the tip of your middle finger to extract a drop of blood, from which she would determine your blood type.
You would take the form to the doctor on duty who then interviews you based on the answers you have given. The questions on the form are of course, to determine your level of health and suitability as a donor. Since lives would be at stake, you'd better answer all questions truthfully, no matter how embarrassing some of the questions might be. There was this question that asks whether you had paid for sex in the last 6 months... and if you had ticked the `Yes' box, then you better forget about donating. I guess the same would apply if you got paid for sex too.
There was also this question about whether you have visited or stayed in the United Kingdom for a least six months from 1979 to 1990. I ticked `Yes'. The young doctor asked me why I was there. I said I was a student for nearly 5 years. I queried back, what's the significance? He couldn't answer me but looked towards another senior doctor for help.
The senior doctor said that it has something to do with the Mad Cow Disease. Goodness me! That was so many years ago. The epidemic in the UK was in 1987... I had left the country a few years before that. Bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE), that's the official medical term. It's a bit strange that the health authorities believe that I may carry the infectious agent after all this time. I told the doctor that I had previously donated blood five years ago with no problems. She replied that the issue was not considered back then. Unfortunately today, they can't take my blood. Yeah, right...
So now I am no longer acceptable as a blood donor. As long as the Health Ministry believes that there is a threat of UK residents of that period carrying a risk of the BSE agent in their blood, until then I won't be able to donate my blood. Bummer.
Anyway, the day was not a total loss. The hospital representatives at the event were also promoting organ transplant pledges. I took the opportunity to pledge the donation of some of my organs in case of my demise. I offer my eyes (cornea) and kidneys to be shared with any person in need at some future time.