I gave blood yesterday. It was my first time in years to do so, and I only thought to do it because a friend of mine organized a mobile blood drive in front of the office building next door to mine. It was fun to see her, and it was interesting to see how the donation process has changed and how it hasn’t. Here are some tidbits from that experience.
- Years ago, someone would ask questions to determine your eligibility. Now you answer those questions on a touchscreen computer. That felt weird.
- In the past, I’ve been rejected for my iron level being borderline or too low. The cut off apparently is 37, and yesterday I was in the high 40s. That felt like a win for me, like maybe I’ve been doing better at eating in a more balanced way.
- I’ve been told I have terrible veins. My experience yesterday confirmed that. The person who stuck me couldn’t find the vein, so his supervisor had to take over. I’d forgotten how much it hurts to have them jiggle the needing in search of blood.
- Afterwards, I had chocolate chip cookies and Nutter Butters sitting in the mobile truck. Then, for lunch, I went out for Chipotle just to make sure I put something hearty in me. It made me think of the days when some attorneys from my office would venture to the South Lamar blood bank and then lunch together afterwards. That was a long time ago. I miss those days.
- Last night, I had a glass of prosecco at an event downtown. As I stood talking to my friend Blair, I suddenly got super light headed. At first I thought, “Wow, has it really been that long since I’ve had a drink?” Then I remembered the blood donation and realized the drink probably wasn’t the best idea. Thankfully, Blair and Dave talked me through that yucky feeling, and it went away quickly.
- This morning, I went for a run. The lady yesterday told me not to do any strenuous exercise for a few days, but I figured that direction didn’t apply to me since I do something pretty much every day. But I felt it this morning. I ended up doing a run/walk for just three miles. And while it felt great to be out breathing the cold morning air, I felt depleted physically.
So now I’ve been drinking water all day. I had my cold oatmeal breakfast and Mom’s food for lunch. I’m trying to feed myself what I need so maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to exercise without incident. I’m glad I did what I did yesterday, but I can’t help but think that I used to give blood every few months in my younger days, and I don’t recall feeling puny afterwards. Is this just another thing that’s harder because I’m older?