Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Giving Blood, Saving Lives

It is a well-known fact that the need for donated blood increases dramatically during the holiday season. To anticipate this need, the American Red Cross is calling past donors. I am a past donor. As a matter of fact, I gave during a blood drive held where I work in early October. I hadn't given in a long time and I felt a sense of duty. I am fortunate enough to be blood type O negative, which not too many people are. We O-neg people are the true univeral donors because we can give to any blood type/Rh factor combo. That is a beautiful thing.

I am also borderline anemic all the time. That is a bad thing. Curiously, many people I know who are O-neg are iron-challenged. Many have had experiences like the one I had after I donated blood in Ocotber, which went a little something like this:
- Caren gives blood
- Caren catches funky early-season flu and is deathly ill
- Caren, barely recovered from flu, gets flu shot
- Caren is sick yet again
- Caren has respiratory problems until today

When I caught flu (it's a rare occasion when I am ill at all), I remembered why I stopped giving blood. Last time I donated (several years ago), I was sick for a couple of months and it took at least six months (rather than the usual 8 weeks) before my iron built back up. This time, it has been 11 weeks and I am still fighting a cold and popping vitamins with iron.

The Red Cross called this morning and I had to tell them "no". Now I feel guilty. As do many other borderline-anemic O-negative people out there. I want to give, I wish I could give. It is simply too much toll on my body. So, if you are a healthy person with nothing besides busyness or squeamishness stopping you, please go donate - for me, if not for you. You can find a convenient donation site at

Anyone else dying to give blood and having to say "no"?



At 5:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a fairly regular donor (even though I'm A pos and I don't think they much care if I show up or not... heehee), but I went to Mexico in October so I'm out of the running until next year.

At 9:17 PM , Blogger Caren said...

You know, Sonja, I didn't even think of that. Instead of blaming my low iron, I can blame my cruise to Mexico! I knew that cruise was more than just a good time.


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