Donating blood has been one of my… Goals? Dreams? I don’t really know what to call it but I’ve wanted to do it for a long time. Ever since I was 13, to be exact. I saw my sister in law donate some at a fair and so, I waited 5 entire years.
And today, I had the opportunity.
I’m going to talk about blood (duh), so if you are squeamish about the matter please don’t continue reading. I don’t want anyone getting sick or upset over a post.
Consider yourself warned.
About 3 weeks ago our teacher came into the class with a piece of paper and told us that if someone wants to donate blood then they can sign up right there. Seemed like a good opportunity, so I went.
We only got the warning yesterday that we would go to the medical center today. So I spent the rest of Tuesday with drinking an insane amount of water and trying to eat as much meat as possible. These were the suggestions. But I also took an iron vitamin, just to be sure and vitamin D as well. I know that the latter doesn’t show up in blood, but whatever, I wanted to make sure.
And this morning I started off with an entire liter of water. Normally I don’t drink until like noon, which isn’t exactly normal, but it’s what I’m used to. So this day begun with me running to the bathroom quite often. I’m not stupid though, I learned and lowered my liquid intake so it doesn’t just flow right through me.
Also, I ate breakfast. Which I literally never do, so it was quite strange.
The actual “blood donation”
To be honest, way too many things happened and I’m probably being overdramatic by writing it out this long
The way there and the plans
I only had a Math class today and after that we were off to the medical center. Every one of us was anxious, so we planned to go drinking straight after. Alcohol hits the best if the percentage of it in your blood is high, so our immediate thought was to start drinking. Yes, we are stupid teenagers. But it’s a cheap way to get drunk.
And honestly, we needed something to distract ourselves with.
We went in, waited to get our IDs checked and our info written up. This took around 5 minutes for each person and there were 9 of us, including the teacher. I spend around half an hour in line.
After that I had to fill out a quiz. Medication, vaccination, travels to tropical countries, illnesses and all that. As far as I could tell I had literally no problem. But as a patient and not a doctor, my conclusion was clearly not right.
This part I remember clearly. I was called into a room labelled “The Lab” and a nice lady sat me down in front of her. She measured my blood pressure and pricked my finger so she could get a drop of my blood.
My blood pressure came up a little high, but she said that it was normal because I was obviously nervous.
She then smeared the blood drop on a paper, put some kind of solution on it and started rubbing into the sheet on two points. Two colors came up and she was able to tell me that my blood type is A. Negative or positive? I have no clue.
But then she put my blood into a small machine that measured my hemoglobin levels. At first it came out low and I’m not kidding when I state that she said “The machine is just wrong, nothing is wrong with you.” She then took another drop, tested it and it came out the same way… She warned me that because of this I might be turned away.
The health check
After this I went into the doctor’s office. She listened to my breathing and asked me a couple of questions about my answers on the sheet. The kinds of illnesses I had in the past month, where I went abroad in the last year and the worst of it all… When I had my period. I know, it’s relevant, but it felt weird being asked that…
And finally, she asked me if I had been dieting. When I said yes she simply shook her head and told me that I need to visit my doctor because my hemoglobin levels are low because of it.
And I was turned away.
The teacher very enthusiastically asked me if I was fit to be a donor, because he could clearly tell that I really wanted to be. Well, everyone turned sour when I said no. I quickly excused myself to go home and started walking out.
I’m not afraid to admit that I was kind of hurt… Badly. Raindrops and tears fell, but it’s fine now. I have gotten advice how to get my hemoglobin levels right so I can donate blood. And there is no time to sink into self pity when I need to improve myself.