I thought I was going to finally end my blood draught, when I met the minimum iron level after the re-prick. I've been deferred the last 5-6 times I've tried to donate blood for a low iron level, or my vein being too small. One time, they missed my vein, and had to dig around in my arm to find my vein, because they're not allowed to re-stick you. Needless to say, that was not very comfortable.
Today, after they checked my iron level twice, because the first time I was .9 below the minim level of 12.5, I finally met the minimum level--I was right on point at 12.5. So I was super excited, because it's been at least a year and a half since I have last been able to donate.
I got on the table, and was so excited. I braced myself for the initial pain, and was ready. I don't know why, but I used to be fearless about needles. I loved getting shots as a kid. However, I've been finding that the older I get, the more nervous I get. Maybe it's just because I've had a few problems when it comes to donating...and the fact that the needles they use for blood donation are way bigger. Anyways, after they stuck me, the blood was flowing out slowly, so they babysat it, turning the needle every now and then to try to get a better flow. After ten minutes, they decided to stop, because apparently you have to fill the bag up in 20 minutes, or the blood will start clotting. Now, I have a very vivid imagination, so I don't usually like to look at the needle inside my arm, but sometimes I can't help but take a peek. After the nurse unwrapped and untaped my arm, I took a peek at the needle that was still in my arm, and it did not look pretty. It looked like the needle was poking up inside my arm--very disturbing. I don't know how it wasn't poking out through my arm. Freaky. I was already bruising, too, and my arm was both in pain and numb.
The worst part about this, is that I asked if they were able to use at least the blood that they did draw. Unfortunately, they have to throw away the blood they took. Before today, I was annoyed that I haven't been able to donate in a while, but this is worse. And I may not have filled the bag, but it sure looked like there as plenty of blood in that bag.
I greatly look forward to the day I will once more be able to save three lives with a pint of my blood.
For the rest of you, here are some tips to keep in mind if you are planning on donating blood: