Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Giving Blood, Getting the Finger

Or two fingers.

The first time I tried to donate blood, my iron was too low.  Rejected. 

The next time, it was acceptable, and I was able to donate.  After what seemed to take forever, I was rewarded with a medical professional's admonition to "go eat cookies."  Unfortunately, I almost passed out later.

However, I feel donating is important, so I signed up again about a month ago to give at the blood mobile outside my church.  Once again, my iron was too low.  The nurse told me another nurse could check my other finger to see if it was better.  After suffering another painful finger pricking, it was determined that not only was the iron level not high enough on the other side, it was even lower. 

Returning into church with a look of defeat, my fingers bore the Band-aids of Shame.  The woman who looked after me the previous time I almost passed out noted my lack of donation success.  Fortunately, she didn't mock me.

Somehow, my desire to donate no longer stemmed from care for my fellow man.  It was personal.  My blood is good enough, dammit!  After a careful reading of the Red Cross' recommended foods and advice for higher iron, I went shopping and whipped up a concoction so high in iron, a vampire would have chased me.

I stayed out of the sun.  I didn't drink tea.  I ate an enormous breakfast. 

After proudly sauntering into the center, well ahead of my appointed time, I found out again that my right hand was too low - 12.3!  So close to the 12.5.  Again, I tried a different nurse for the left hand.  11.9.  Fail.  Double fail.  So humiliating.  But why must they be the middle fingers that endure such pain? 

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