Monday, October 31, 2011

Giving blood

I had a lot of errands planned for today starting with donating blood first thing. The day's half over and apart from the blood donating and a spot of gardening (harvested our first cauliflower), I've achieved next to nothing.

I was at the blood donation centre WAY longer than I expected. It was my 13th donation and for the first time ever I managed to faint whilst sitting down on the donation chair in the five minutes or so after they'd finished draining me. It was so embarrassing! I came to with three nurses fussing over me, my chair tilted back so my feet were higher than my head, a fan on and cold flannels being dabbed over my forehead. As soon as I regained some colour I was apologising and thinking about how my flatmate wouldn't let me forget this after I mocked her for feeling dizzy after a blood test. So anyway after that I had to sit for ages and forced to eat bikkies and drink lots of cordial before they finally let me leave the building.

One of the best things about donating blood (other than knowing that it might be you or someone you know needing blood products one day) is getting a free iron test every time you donate, so every 3 months. I was very anemic as a teenager but managed to build up my iron levels through my diet so that I could ditch the supplements. Coming back from Argentina and all that meat last December my iron was the highest it had ever been at 132. Now it's down to 123 which is only just over the cut off point to be allowed to donate. It's so helpful knowing that as now I can eat a bit more steak and stop having a cup of tea with my daily dose of spinach, beans or legumes and in 3 months time I can see if it's made a difference.

Coming back from travelling I also got a malaria and chagas disease blood test through them. Chagas disease which you get from a biting insect in rural Latin America, has no outward symptoms, it just enlarges your heart until you suffer a heart attack 20 years down the line, so it's nice to know I haven't got it!

Now I'm feeling better it's time for lunch and then off to Pak n Save to attempt to bring 10kg of flour home on the bus along with the rest of the groceries. Wish me luck! I may have to do two trips. And I need to pop into the TAB to put some money on the Melbourne Cup. I'm yet to pick a winning horse so here's hoping for better luck this time around.

1 comment:

  1. What a great thing you are doing! Donating blood! Bianca's required 42 blood product transfusions when she was on treatment and we will be forever thankful to donors like you!