Today I went to 9:30 mass. I parked in the lot and saw a sign for a blood drive and as I walked into the side entrance, I saw a sign on the doors reading, “Blood Shortage.” I have never donated blood before but thought what better act of kindness than to do this today. I have always been a bit nervous about it but I am not sure why.
It was almost time for mass to start, so I went to the room where they were doing the drive and asked what I needed to do to qualify. The woman told me I had to have eaten breakfast and that I had to be older than 17 to donate. Perfect. I told them I would return after mass. I figured after all the blood work I went through last year with my headaches, how bad could it be. Plus, by going in and talking to them before hand and promising to come back, I figured I would have no reason to chicken out!!
After mass, I headed back down to the blood drive. I recognized a few of the volunteers working there and chatted with them for a bit while I signed the forms. There were so many questions! Questions about time spent out of The USA or if I have eaten meat from another country. Questions about whether I am taking medication for blood thinners or have every used needles or drugs! Fortunately I could answer no to all of them. A good thing I thought.
That is until I went up for the second step of the process where a medical attendant goes through all of the information and registers me in the system. Question 1 is what got me rejected. It was, “Do you currently weigh more than 120 pounds?” Well today….no.
I had a goal this year. My goal was to weigh under 120 pounds by my friend’s wedding, (which was last week.) I am only 5’2″ so that is not an unrealistic goal. It has been a long time since I saw the scale at a number under that number and now that I have been working hard to eat better and work out several days a week it has happened. Honestly, it is only a pound or two under and depending on the day, it could even be back at 120. It just happens that today, I was under.
The woman was so nice. She told me that the amount of blood they took was equivalent to almost one pound and that taking that much could adversely affect me, even if it never has before. I pleaded with her that it was only a pound but she said no. I even told her, I’d go home and eat a big lunch and come back but no. Rejected.
As I left there and the man I had been chatting with in the beginning said, “leaving so soon?” I told him I couldn’t donate today and even he seemed surprised but obviously, it is better to err on the safe side. I know that, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about it.
I am torn right now. So pleased that I have met and maintained a goal I have been working to reach for awhile, yet really bothered by the fact that because of it, I cannot do something as simple as donating blood. I FINALLY get up the courage to do it and I couldn’t. It has upset me quite a bit. Probably more than it should, but it has!
I guess what I can do, is promote awareness. There is a shortage and blood is needed, so if you see a drive in your area, and you are able, please donate. It could truly save a life.