Chartreuse Knits

Where a college student learns--and struggles with--the zen of knitting. It's the process, not the product, though the product is much more fun to wear!


Close, But Not Quite

So I decided I would try to accomplish #98 on my list of 101 in 1001: Donate Blood.

The blood donation buses are all around campus, people are talking about it in virtually all my classes, I see people with the little arm bands walking around, there are people handing out flyers for it and all sorts of other stimuli, reminding and insisting that healthy individuals donate blood. I've donated blood before, and both times were very rewarding (not only did I get a T-shirt and cookies, but my blood could be used to save 3 lives!). So today after my Geology lab, I figured, "I'm feeling healthy, a little tired, but not sick in the least. I haven't had any medication recently or gotten injured. I should donate blood, and knock that off my list of 101 things to do." So I go, fill out the paperwork and get ready. The nurse takes my blood pressure and pricks my finger to measure blood iron, takes my temperature, asks me a few questions, and is about to give me my little blood donor packet when he looks at my blood iron reading. He tells me with a serious face that I have a slight bit of iron-deficiency anemia. The iron count is supposed to be 12.0, and mine was 10.7.

I don't really think about it, but I remember from my nutrition class last year that not eating balanced meals can lead to iron-deficiency anemia. I'm a little concerned, and I call my mom to tell her about my inability to donate blood for a few days. I explained what the nurse told me about my iron levels, and she freaked out. (She's a nurse, so any health problem is either shrugged off or made a huge deal of). She asked me if I'd gotten injured, what foods I'd been eating recently, all sorts of questions about things that can impact blood iron. Well, it turns out that I haven't been eating much in the way of iron-rich veggies or meat. It's been mostly pasta and rice for the past week. Plus, I just got through with certain female occurrences which are known to cause iron deficiency in women (Sorry for the TMI). So that's why I'd been feeling tired recently. In short, all I neeed to do is eat well for the rest of the week, and I should be good to go.

So that's the story. However, I encourage any of you who are healthy and over the age of 17 to donate blood. It's really not a painful or scary thing, and even less so when you have a friend who will go with you. I find I can handle it about twice a year or so, and it's really quite rewarding to know that people who need blood can get it because of you. :) If you get the chance, do it!