>> Thursday, June 26, 2008

Every couple of months (or possibly monthly) in my office building the local blood bank sets up station in the building's large conference room encouraging anyone and everyone who can donate blood to donate blood.

I went in hopes of doing my good deed for the day by donating a pint of my lovely red blood. The man who greeted me and verified my info to get me started pointed out that today was a special day for me if I was able to donate. Currently I'm at seven pints donated so far so today would've been eight. Eight pints equals ONE GALLON! Wow! With one gallon logged I would've received my commemorative gallon pin. Could you've imagined the celebration for such a milestone?!

Well, unfortunately, I have a history of "hit or miss" when it comes to donating that many times I don't bother with the blood drive because I'm turned down so often. This is due to my low iron. However, today I was feeling really good about donating. It's like the stars aligned for me that I took it as a good sign that Today is the Day. I mean I've improved my eating habits dramatically over the past year that there is no way I'll get denied today. Nope. Not for this lil lady eager to give away a pint of her blood. I'm in a sharing mood!

Can I just say that the worst part of donating is when they prick my finger? Ouchie! And I start to get anxious too as we're getting ready for this. I can just feel my blood pressure rise and my hands are clammy. I also start to freak when they're about to take my blood pressure and temperature too. It's this mentality of it's-a-test-and-must-do-well sort of thing. Weird I know. Back to the finger...I can't watch them stab my finger either. It's just too much. However, the big blood needle doesn't bother me in the least. It's just the initial process I freak out over.

After the blood lady took my blood sample she puts it in the machine to check the iron count. There's a chart they follow and the minimum required to donate is 12.5. I'm not sure what these numbers stand for but whatever. I had warned her that in the past I usually test low but in the back of my head I kept thinking, albeit nervously, that I'm going to score well on this test. I'm going to achieve 12.5 or better.

Sadly, no.

What?? But this can't be! You're saying my blood isn't good enough? It's good enough for me why not for someone else? UGH! But even if they were to test me again I'd still fall short (she explained that the test can't result in a false high but can result in a false low due to tissue matter getting in the way but the numbers would only be off by small margins in these cases) because I wasn't even close to the 12.5 minimum. Well, close in the sense that retesting wouldn't even matter. I was around a 10 so with a 2nd test I might improve to be somewhere in the 11's but it wasn't worth getting my finger pricked again. No thanks.

Geez, I was so disappointed. Here I was all geared up and excited to finally be donating but was DENIED! So much for helping someone today. The blood bank has turned down my loan, saying my credit is poor. I have an iron deficit!

It's a good thing I'm drinking some fresh watermelon juice right now. If you click on that link it's quite an interesting read but here's a snippet:

Melons [sic] intake is also extremely important for preserving our health because they are as rich in iron content as spinach is, which means they are the richest fruits in iron. Plenty of iron is found in red meat, too, but watermelons are more appropriate to be eaten because they are not that rich in calories as meet [sic] is.

This is something I wasn't even aware of when I began this post. How is it that I never knew this before? Good thing to know now. Time to stock up on watermelon. Actually, we've been having watermelon a lot lately but now we'll have it even more. Mmm...

I'm bummed I wasn't able to contribute today but I tried. Better luck next time I suppose. I really want that gallon pin. It's been many years in the making to get this far. :D

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