Diary

Type M

08 June 2007 | Diary

I had been hit by a car. Not just any car but a black cab: the sort of vehicle that boasts its zinc-coated titanium body so that the passenger can know that he’s “in safe hands”. If you have one thrown at you however, it is akin to being hit by a small military tank.

My forearm was broken in two places. A once straight bone now resembled a lightning bolt. They had to cut my glove off with scissors. The fracture didn’t hurt per se but all was numb and my fingers wouldn’t move properly. The room spun around me, rotascope, as though seen through the eyes of a sitcom drunk.

This shouldn’t be happening to me, I thought. I’m a gentle person. I was never a tree climber as a kid: I stayed indoors to read books and make my sister’s Barbie dolls kiss each other’s un-nippled boobies. They liked it, the tarts.

Yet here I was; sat silently on a lumpy hospital bed in the Accident and Emergency department of Glasgow’s Western Infirmary and had been administered my first of many shots of morphine.

Nurses asked me questions: was I allergic to anything? Yes! Nuts and Penicillin. Who was my next of kin? I don’t know, probably my mother but she lives in Birmingham. What was my blood type?

Blood type? Do people actually know what their blood type is? This never struck me as something that people should know but now I was in a situation where it was surely vital. I was worried principally about why they needed to know: I didn’t feel as though I had lost any blood. I didn’t need a transfusion did I? It would explain the spinning room and the shortness of breath.

No. Just for the files. I felt as though I might be sick into my own hat but at least I was able to help the NHS keep its paperwork tidy.

I had no idea of my blood type but I became aware, in this state of total discombobulation that I did know someone else’s blood type: someone very close to me. My mother? My best friend from school? My first love? Nope. Try Star Trek‘s Mr. Spock.

It was one of those moments of total self-awareness. One of those defining episodes where you see yourself in the third person for a second, take a good long look at yourself and realize who you actually are.

I, apparently, am the sort of person who doesn’t know a potentially vital piece of information such as his own blood type but does have a wealth of mental detritus concerning 1960s television science fiction series to the extent that he knows about the chemistry of what flows through one of the character’s circulatory systems.

I’m a bit of a nerd, aren’t I?

In case you are wondering (either out of perverse curiosity or out of a genuine medical concern for the chief science officer of the USS Enterprise), it is Type M.

You’re probably dashing off to Google right now to check on this. Sadly, all you will find is “T Negative”, which is wrong! T Negative was the blood type of Spock’s father, Sarek. Spock, being part human, is a unique Type M.

I am a bigger nerd than the Internet itself – a system of talking computers built by nerds for nerds in a world of nerds and I still don’t know my own blood type. If only “Wringham blood type” would bring something up on Google. But it doesn’t. Odd that.



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