Giving Blood

September 12, 2008

I gave blood a few days ago it was an eventful experience. I’ve been trying to give blood for the past 4 months. Every time I go my iron count is 35 and I get rejected. I was rejected the last 3 tries. However my difficulty in giving blood does not deter the callers from the United Blood Services. They call every week unless I already have an appointment on their books.

This time I made it; my iron was 38. I have been taking iron pills and didn’t drink any caffeine that day, only orange juice and water. The lack of caffeine probably was the cause of my headache and thus the new problems passing other requirements. My temp was 99 and my heart rate was 105. The 99 was okay but I wasn’t going to pass with 105 hear rate. It wasn’t that I so desperately want to give blood, I’m neutral there. I just didn’t want to get more phone calls and have to come in again in a week or two. The guy was nice and let me relax for a few minutes. Amazingly I got it down to 92, a normal rate for me, I always am running fast. Finally I made it to the long list of questions then out to the donor chair.

I got situated, the nurse checked for a long time to make sure she could find my vein. Mine apparently hide very well but I have been lucky to have always had good nurses that get it on the first try. Unfortunately for my shirt we took so long looking with the tourniquet tight before starting that I shot out blood. It was a work shirt, not important to me so it was kind of funny to me. I was thinking up some horror story to tell husband when I got home.

The last time that I actually passed the iron test, I almost passed out when I finished giving blood. Loud buzzing in the ears room going dark. Not a happy feeling. Still they keep calling sweet as sugar asking when they can put me down for an appointment. I was more careful this time. I ate before going in and had an apple pie and Gatorade afterwards.

It was after driving half and hour back to my town and stopping by an office close to home that I had problems. Jane and I had been talking inside then walked outside to the mailboxes for the storefront and were finishing up our conversation in the shade in front of her office. I’m not sure why we stood outside, perhaps we both had other things to do and figured we would talk for much longer if we went inside. It was a typical hot AZ summer afternoon. I was perfectly fine until we said goodbye. Then the buzzing started, I couldn’t focus. I was stubborn and thought I could walk it off. I took a few steps and then (I think, based on the pain) smacked chest first into the glass front of the neighboring nail salon. I must have scared them and caused a few nails to be repainted. Something Jane had seen in me made her come back outside immediately and saw the last of my fall. She was such a sweetheart and gathered me back into her office, into the cool air and gave me a coke. We called my husband to drive me home. Here I sat, embarrassed, hair everywhere, blood on my shirt and white as a sheet. This is what I get for trying to do a good deed. At least this good deed I am not allowed to attempt again for 8 weeks. The phone calls will gloriously stop for a couple of months.


On a tangent: Why can’t more men man up and give blood so those of us who only succeed in giving blood a quarter of the times we try can be left alone. Men have more blood to give, rarely have too low of an iron count and generally do better after giving blood. Women endure child birth; men should at least give blood. I know low blow, but I’m desperate here. I can’t force my husband. He gets a pass because he might have mad cow disease from living in England. In 40 years when he’s cleared I’ll drag him in.


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