Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Blue Badge of Honor

A couple years ago, I told you about my Green Badge of Honor.

Well, today I'm wearing the Blue Badge of Honor on my arm. Morgenstern Lounge was hosting a blood drive, you see, which is fabulous. But the part that's so exciting is like so: I've tried to give blood a bunch of times, but unfortunately it seems like I have low iron pretty frequently. Today, I was dejectedly told that my iron was only at 11.8, whereas it has to be past 12.4 (or something like that) to donate. I was saddened. Then the lady said: "Can we stick you in the other hand?"

"Please!" I exclaimed happily. I had never realized it made a difference.

Guess what?! My iron count was at 14 in my other hand! (It has to do with circulation, apparently.) So I gave blood and rocked it: I'm a Damn Sexy Blood Donor today!

Also, for the first time ever, I got sick after giving blood. This has never happened to me before. I started feeling nauseous and light-headed just when I was finishing up so the lady had me lie down flat in the chair and gave me apple juice and cookies. She also put an ice pack under my head and opened up the window. And the best part is that she says, "You're not a real donor till you've had a reaction to giving blood. Now you're a real donor!"

And that was very happymaking. So huzzah for me! And hurrah for saving lives!

(If you want to be a Damn Sexy Blood Donor, too, you should donate some blood and join the Facebook group. Rock on!)


The Cousin said...

If you have low iton levels, perhaps it's best to check with a physician. It could be a sign of anemia. Do you know which kind of test they ran?

The feeling faint is a result of a change in blood pressure and/or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) caused by the donation.

Personally, I'm prohibited by the rules from donating (it's secondary to something in my genes--that's all I'll say here--sigh). Otherwise, I'd be a regular donor. Instead, I'm used as a practice subject for blood draws...

Shades of Grey said...

Ah, so that's why they had you lie down. I was half-expecting you to join me at the post-donation goodies table.

A similar thing happened to me once before while giving blood at YU as well. Apparently, I momentarily blacked out or something - I didn't even realize it, but the nurse attending me looked at me strange and said my head suddenly bobbed oddly or something. She also had me lie down and they brought me some water.

harry-er than them all said...

unfortunately i have not had the opportunity to give blood in america yet. I used to give every 3 months in israel (where they reward you by giving 12 months worth of 'transfusion insurance")

I keep getting sick here, so you cannot give blood if you have been on antibiotics in the past 6 weeks. otherwise i'd be game

Malka said...

Yay for you!
I often get woozy after giving blood, probably because of borderline iron issues.
I'd suggest iron supplements for a few days before and after giving, along with big meals and a boatload of fluids the day of.