Sunday, July 8, 2018

Blood Letting Blues

Last weekend I donated blood. I like donating blood. What's not to like. You go in. They ask you if you've had sex with another man, a prostitute, been in a jail, stick needles in yourself, lived in countries where they had mad cow disease. Then you get to lie down while THEY stick a needle in your vein and they take blood from you.

You also get to eat snack food like Doritos and Cheetos because you are supposed to be replenishing the lost sodium as soon as possible. I'm never eating those because we don't eat processed foods so that's good right? I started this about 6 years ago when I was diagnosed with high levels of blood iron. The way to treat is take out the iron by getting rid of blood. It has worked wonderfully. So that's good, right?

Oh, and you are saving peoples lives. That's good too right? I mean really good.

About a year and a half ago, the friendly folks at the blood donation center asked if I would like to do a double red cell donation. Evidently such a donation is much more valuable because they get more of the usable components and for people with the most valuable blood type (in my case O+) that helps. First time we tried it, it didin't work. They put the plasma back in your body in the process on my vein was having nothing to do with it. Since I need the blood out for my own health reasons, I demurred when asked again. But a couple of donations later a tech convinced me that she had the magic touch and we would be successful. And she was right. And advantage to doing the double is you can only do them every 16 weeks rather than every 8 weeks. That means you don't come up on their system as often which is a benefit since they harass the hell out of you with phone calls, emails and texts until you set another appointment.

This is the third one I've done and I still am not use to the side effects which are substantially more noticeable than the regular one. The day after I was completely lethargic, as if I was the avatar of the deadly sin of sloth. Then I went hiking the next day and I was gasping for air as I realized that with the fewer red blood cells I was getting was getting less oxygen into my system. The whole week I was real tired despite taking my regular naps. It was only yesterday, a week later that I felt up to snuff.

One REALLY good thing happened when I did the donation. At the end the tech asked me if I'd like to set an appointment for my next donation. I was hesitant as I don't know my schedule that far out. But she sealed the deal by letting me know, "You won't be getting any reminders if you do." It was a done deal. That was pretty good, right?


Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

It's impressive that you donate considering the side effects- both the exhaustion and the reminders:)

Thank you so much for doing that.

alexis said...

do take care of yourself, it may become too much if the recovery is so demanding. Non-sequitor, I read the sloth of sin initially and not the sin of sloth.

de-I said...

The Sloth of Sin would work very slowly