In college I donated blood a couple of times. Although, I tried about 4 times total. But I kept getting declined; my iron levels weren't up to their standards. So this time around, I was going to make sure my iron levels were top notch.
Most of you aren't aware of this, but last year I decided to attempt being a vegetarian. This worked and I enjoyed it, until I moved in with my meat-eating, picky-eater boyfriend. Since then I don't eat a lot of beef, but I'll enjoy chicken and every once in a while, venison.
In lieu of this diet, I decided the best way to boost my iron is to eat beef. And lots of it! I made hamburgers for dinner the night before I donated. And then the next morning I ate another hamburger a few hours before my appointment. Needless to say, my blood was a very dark red when they pricked my finger. And later on, my tummy was a little upset about all the beef-next time I'll stick to broccoli. :)
The last time I was able to donate blood everything went perfect, I hardly even bruised. I gave my blood, ate my cookie and went to class...Where I then became dizzy and had to leave and lay down for a while. That was about 4 years ago.
This day, was a little different. I never watch the needle go in, its bad enough being able to feel it! And shortly after I stopped flowing. The attendant was turning the needle to try and get it to flow again. All I could think about what that my vein collapsed and afterwards I would have a badly bruised painful arm. I was not enjoying myself at this point.
After a minute or so, the attendant fixed the needle-my vein had temporarily flattened! Once the blood started flowing again I thought my arm was going to collapse from the fast rush of blood into the bag. From then on everything went according to plan. Afterwards, I took my time to eat a few cookies and some chex mix then went on my way back to work. (mostly) Pain free and I didn't have to do anything but sit there for 12 minutes. :)
Donating blood doesn't take a very long time-the whole process lasted just under an hour for me-yet, only 5% of people donate in this country. 5%! 37% of Americans are eligible to donate, yet a majority of us don't.
Do you know if you're eligible? It's very easy to find out-if you haven't left the country, don't use drugs, haven't gotten a new tattoo in 12 months and don't have AIDS your pretty much eligible (some health conditions may prohibit you from donating).
Get out and DONATE today!! It's easy, you get free food afterward and it is a great way to give back to your community! So bring a friend and give it a try! Your local area has a donation center-just google it!
I know in 56 days I will be returning to donate another pint. :)