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when i donated blood...

...i thought for a moment that i made a bad choice. lol

i felt super dizzy for a few minutes, i closed my eyes and the next thing i knew, i was lying down (i had been sitting upright with my legs in front of me before.) oh, it was freaky  :o

the lady said she knew it would happen (thanks for the warning, hon) because I'm "tiny" (this is how she described me) and i have a pretty low blood pressure. well, i lived, LOL  :D and I'm glad i did it! but i was a little disturbed by the nurses, almost all of whom were overweight. hm, that seems worrysome.  ???

i also could not help noticing that the slightly 'heavier' people had no problem dropping a pint of blood while i had to sit/lie around and eat nasty (non-vegan) cookies and apple juice. not sure what to think about that... ???
anyway, I'm feeling fine, now.

well i was trying to get to a point (before i started rambling  ;)) My blood iron was higher than my Mom's! (she's an omni) so there! HAHA  ;D
lol, this is a big deal for me because my parents are always going on about iron and protein and blah blah blah....

anyway, the real point is that giving blood is a great thing to do. i did not really think about it much, but it can really save a life! OMG, that's amazing!  :D
i wanted to give blood because i have a rare bloodtype, but the gravity of it did not really hit me until later. It's just a pint of blood and some dizzy spells for me, but it could be a huge difference for someone else.

anyway, i just wanted to say all that. it was an...interesting experience. i can't say getting stuck with a needle and having blood sucked out of you is fun, but it sure is worth it. think about it!

go out and donate today! (or sometime soon!)  ;D

well,
        a) they take the same amount of blood from everyone, so a smaller person is losing a larger percent of their blood, so don't feel wierd about that.
        b) a lot of health-care professionals are in really poor health themselves... they work really long hours, at really stressful and undervalued jobs (even doctors, especially young, non-private-practice doctors)
      c) the only time the blood donor people told me i had low iron was AFTER i reverted to an omni diet from a veg diet a few years back.
      d) yeay! you gave blood! it does get easier, as long as you're always well-rested and hydrated before

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Yay for giving blood!  It drives me nuts that we have donor dlinics so infrequently in my area... but there's not enough people to justify holding one for more than a couple days every 2-3 months.  The only other option is to drive 3 hours to the closest permanent clinic and I'm not quite that dedicated!

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I donate blood six times a year (lol, the max you can) and volunteer weekly with the Red Cross.  I see a lot of women get deferred from donating blood because they have low iron.  Periods can effect that.....but either way I ALWAYS have super good iron levels.  Even if I forget to load up on dark leafy greens and lentils before I give.  Lol, technically I'm not even allowed to donate, as I don't meet the weight requirement.  Oh well.

It's very important you stay hydrated when giving blood.  Drink double the amount of water you normally would.  And never drink tea before/after donating.  (I'm not sure why, but EVERYONE says this).  And wipe off the iodine shit they put on you as soon as possible, as it can really irritate your skin if it sits there.

And Bobbi, you're right about the nurses being super un-healthy.  I volunteer with them for 8 hour shifts...and all shift long they just sit there and eat.  Not good stuff either....just nasty cookies and cheetos.  Just snack after snack after snack.  It bothers me too.

It really pisses me off when a person gets deferred, and a nurse tells them to "eat red meat to get their iron up next time"  Arg....I just tell them to eat some raisins and drink a glass of orange juice.  Easy and effective.  (raisins for the iron, and orange juice for the absorption).

(Oh and next time, they should have pretzels available for eating, which would be vegan, or bring your own snack.  I don't get why they give people cookies, seems that would just spike your blood sugar and set you up for a crash later  ::))

FYI Only 5% of the ELIGIBLE population donates blood.  So get out there and donate, again and again and again.

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Ashleykinball, thank you so much for the info!

this was my first time going, and everyone told me cookies and juice, cookies and juice...i was still pissed off sitting there eating Famous Amos (i ate 1 1/2 cookies, lol) and when i was finally feeling better, and about to leave, i saw that they had pretzels, too! they were holding out on me! lol

and thank you so much for mentioning the thing about the tea - i am a huge tea drinker! i think i know why they say not to drink it before you donate or after - green tea leeches iron from you're blood (i just now remembered that, and i just finished a HUGE mug of green tea  :-\)

on the bright side, i drink green tea every day, and my iron was still fine, so that's good news! next time i go, I'll keep the raisin and orange juice thing in mind (oddly enough, two of my least favorite foods, but still better than red meat or Famous Amos!)  ;D

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Oh yeah, I forgot, my blood type is B positve.  And my blood pressures usually 120/60  (suuuper low)

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geez mine is usually 110/60 or 70 is that bad???

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That's wonderful that you all donate blood! One nurse while checking my blood, for anemia I think, told me she could tell by looking at my blood that I was a very healthy eater. This before I told her I was vegetarian.
I usually eat a little bit more for breakfast before I donate and have never had any problem with dizziness or fainting, and I don't even meet the minimum weight requirement either. There's usually a table with cookies, pretzels or fruit juice for donors to enjoy afterward. I prefer my own piece of fruit.

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I'm glad you posted about giving blood because it's something I've been considering doing this week.  I think I should qualify on every point, but I'm not sure if people who take anticonvulsants can donate.  I've heard conflicting reports--enough of them to make me want to call the blood bank and ask them.  I'd hate to be told "no," but I think it's certainly worth finding out.

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Six times a year??? Women in Spain are only allowed to donate 3 or 4 times. Men 4 max. But then Spain's hospitals are v. strict about blood quality. Certain medications disqualify you, etc. and they are very careful about body weight, both too low and too high. After donation they give you a slip for the hospital cantine and you order whatever you want that they've got. And people make way for the blood donors in the line, I don't know if they're afraid you'll flake out, or if it's about respect! ;D
Props, kudos and bouquets for all those who donate! Especially if you're not that fond of the procedure!  ;) People here complain about it but we have the highest donor rate in Europe.

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Every human body only had about 6 to 7 pints of blood.  Being overweight doesn't mean that you have more blood to pump through the fat.  Fat is not vascularized.  Being tall is another matter, however.

Some people faint when they give blood, some people don't.  I was 20 the first time I gave blood and I didn't faint or even feel like it.  I was giving blood next to a larger man, certainly taller and weighing more than I did, who was jovial the entire time and talking like mad.  He passed out cold the second he tried to sit up. 

I am glad your iron levels were so good.  What a vindication for the vegan diet! Especially as your parents have been ragging on you. Apparently you are more fine than they are.

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I think it a brilliant thing to do - I'm a scaredy-cat when it comes to needles:  I fainted when I had my ears pierced aged 13  ;D - I can laugh about it now, after I've dealt with the cold sweat just from thinking about it!

Keep up the good work all you blood donors - life savers the lot of you!

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When I gave blood a nurse told me to avoid drinking tea next time because it can be dehydrating. This was because I have very tiny veins and need them to be as big as possible. They also recommended drinking lots of water to "swell" my veins. I ended up filling only half a bag, clotting, and having 3 nurses on me! I can't donate because the needles they use are simply too big for me and do not go into my veins... I actually have trouble with anything bigger than a butterfly needle, even when getting blood checked at the doctor. I'm sure that is not diet-related, though I don't remember having that problem before going vegetarian 5 years ago. Anyone else have that happen? Kudos on the awesome iron levels everyone!

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You guys are so wonderful to donate blood. :)

I had (several) blood transfusions a few years ago while I was hospitalized for meningitis. It saved my life, so there's a special place in my heart for people who donate blood.

Unfortunately because of the blood transfusions, I'm not eligible to donate.

BTW Soy Sauce is rich in iron :) So have yourself a delicious stir fry with soy sauce when you decide to donate.

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Last time I tried to give blood, I was rejected because I have "issues" with my thyroid.  I'm about to have 1/2 of it removed because of  "suspicious" nodules.  They did a needle aspiration to determine the nodules are "suspicious".  They can't just go in and take the nodules out and leave the rest of that 1/2 of my thyroid because the nodules are too small.  If the nodules are malignant, they'll go back in (I'll still be asleep on the table) and take the other 1/2  out.  I wonder if I'll be able to give blood again if I'm on thyroid replacement hormones?  Anybody know?  My DH is a donor saint.  He gives as often as they let him and has for many, many years (he's 60 years old.)  I think he's about to reach the 6 gallon mark!

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TT - just reading that made me nauseous  :P - I really am a wuss

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You blood donors are sooooo brave!

I really can't handle needles.  Now, if one of my cats, or my husband, or a good friend needed a transfusion; I'd be first in line.  However, most people are such *&s$@#%# that I don't make it a priority. I know I'm horrible. 

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Hey! I didn't know that! See why I love this place?? Thanks Blackdaisies!

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I tried to give blood one time, and they made me stop because my blood was pumping slowly and i kept almost fainting. My iron levels were perfect and my veins are big- (needles scare me a lot too!) I think it's just because I'm only 5'0" and can't handle giving the same amount as other people.  Maybe I'll go try again... but the experience was very very unpleasant  :-[

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to answer drug and donation questions. it depends on the drug and stuff, but here are my expirances

tintexas: i used to take thyroid hormones and could donate with those.

ibsenskid: i take/took anticonvolsents for years, different ones too. my understanding is if you have a seizure disorder you can't donate. i was taking them for other reasons and they would let me donate after i told them i didn't have seizures. it may depend on the med also, you could ask your doctor about it.

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blackdaisies, thank you for the tip about the soy sauce! i think that must be the secret to my iron levels, lol, soy sauce is my fav!  ;D

my blood pressure was really low, also. i think it has always been low.

BTW, how long does it take for your body to reproduce all of that blood? i felt fine yesterday evening, but this morning, after i took a shower, i felt so dizzy i almost fainted and had to lie down. (my dad wanted to take my blood pressure, but his cuff was too big for my arm, lol) after a while, i felt fine. i was a little tired today, though. :P

and for anyone who is saying that they are too scared, hey i was really scared too! needles+blood+me=AKKKK! but it was totally worth going. i would do it again! if you want them to, the nurse will cover up the needle with a towel or something and you don't have to see it or the blood at all! i had kind of a bad reaction to donating, but not everyone does! just go and donate, if you can, and think about the lives you could be saving!  ;D

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