I’m identify-able

The first book genres I fell in love with as a kid were adventure and detective stories. Screw age appropriate literature my 13-year old self thought, I don’t want to read about horses and girly stuff, give me dead bodies and mysteries. To this day, I love finding out who did it, either in novel or TV show form. However I don’t read as many detective stories any more as I used to as a kid.

Nowadays I feel underwhelmed with many of these stories, they all feel more or less the same. I’m sticking with a couple of book series because I’ve been reading them for a long time and have gotten attached to the characters but that’s it.

This post is about to take a turn for the eerie and I’m sorry. The Kathy Reichs novels along with several procedural shows have taught me one thing above all else and that is, I will be able to be identified should my dead  and or mutilated and decomposed body ever be found in a landfill. My left side is full of markers, like remodelled fractures, I had all wisdom teeth pulled and I have fillings, there are more x-rays scattered over various hospitals and doctors offices than I can remember. So I feel confident that my remains could be identified. That’s something, right?

What got me thinking about this again (I get to this point  every so often) is the package I received the other day with a request for me to get blood drawn and tested. This is actually a good thing. Remember last year when I registered to be a bone marrow donor with DKMS? Back then I got this little swappy thing for my saliva from which they could determine my basic tissue markers. As it turns out, these markers are actually pretty common and so I’m a more likely candidate than other registered donors. In order to speed up the donor/receiver match-up process, I have to send them a blood sample so they can determine more tissue markers and store them in their data base.

Bringing this back to the beginning of this post, Germans in general are really scared about who and where their personal data is stored, who has access to information and so on. This is fostered by our government as well as the media. It’s a good thing, a lot of people act too careless with the internet and such things. So part of me is concerned to have this additional information of me stored away while another part is totally down with it. First off, I could actually get to help a sick person (which is also a little bit terrifying but only a little) and second of all, this again could maybe help to identify my body if it should ever be necessary.

Now I’m not hoping I will ever land on a coroners or MEs steel table but at least I know there is hope for me to not end up a Jane Doe in a plastic box because I am unidentifiable. Morbid? Me? Never!

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  • readmeanything

    Thank you for being on the bone marrow donor list. It’s something that strikes home for me.


    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Well, I’m a strong, healthy and young adult, it’s the least I can do.

  • Melbourne on my Mind

    I’m not even allowed to be a blood donor on account of I lived in England during the whole mad cow debacle, so I doubt they’d let me be a bone marrow donor…

    I sometimes wig out about the fact that I’d be a total Jane Doe. The only time I’ve ever been to hospital was to have my wisdom teeth removed, and I’ve never had a filling. Short of a couple of moles – which aren’t really helpful because they’re always covered so no one would list them in a description of me – there’s literally nothing identifiable about me. Womp womp.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I didn’t know that was a thing. I just remember the whole mad cow debacle (not that it stopped my family from eating meat) but I didn’t even think it would be considered when giving blood. To be honest, I have never given blood in my life so far.

      I remember I had to answer a bunch of questions upon registration but nothing to the sorts of if I lived in England during this time or so. Maybe though because we’re so close and it was an issue over here as well?! Idk.

      • Melbourne on my Mind

        I think it’s just a regulation that the Australian Red Cross have set up, seeing as how the length of time that Cruetzfeldt-Jakob can remain dormant for keeps lengthening…

  • Vanessa

    Good for you being on the bone marrow donor list. That’s awesome. I’m still working up the courage to be a blood donor, so in my mine bone marrow is…ugh. So good for you!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      You and me both, sister. I haven’t given blood yet. I know that’s really lame but yeah, I’m a registered bone marrow donor but never given blood. It’s stupid.

  • Tim

    I don’t see a problem with morbidity. That said, I’m all for people donating organs, bone marrow, etc to people who need them or to science. It just seems like the right thing to do, in my opinion.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Yeah, me too. I don’t see why I should not be able to help in any way I can.