Today, after 6 years, I finally managed to pass the haemoglobin test and successfully donated blood.
The first time I did it was in 2007, when I was still in Junior College. We had to sign a consent form to do so. I remember that I had canoe training after that as well.
I breezed through all the checks and found myself on the chair giving blood in no time. I remember asking for the pretty orange bandage.
When the blood donation drive came again in my second year, I went to donate again. I remember going in the morning only to be rejected because my blood pressure was too low. ‘Drink some water’ I was told. So I did, and returned in the afternoon to pass the blood pressure stage, only to fail at the iron level test. I think it registered around 11. You 12.5 to donate.
In 2009, before I left for London, I tried again, this time at the blood donation centre at outram. I remember the person that went with me then, I remember being turned away for having only 10+ level of iron. I remember being distraught. Was I an unhealthy individual?
I never tried since.
But among my colleagues there are a few who are regular donors, and a few who want to be donors. They went once earlier this year, but I wasn’t confident of my iron levels and decided to pass.
But when they said they wanted to go again, I thought, hell, you never know till you tried.
And so it was with much apprehension that I entered the blood donation centre at dhoby exchange today. I filled in the form, i waited my turn to see the doctor. Blood pressure is fine, I was assured. One down, I thought to myself.
Next was the iron level test. The nurse cleaned my finger and pricked it. There was less pain than I remembered. He then proceeded to try n draw blood from it… but I guess the blood wasnt flowing right, as he kept swiping off that little blob before asking if he could try my other hand. Thankfully the bloodflow was alright on the other hand and he got sufficient blood to put in the iron testing machine.
And so I waited with bated breath. There was a little info sheet on the table which said u needed a min of 12.5 to pass. It also gave info on iron rich food as well as people who were more at risk of having low iron levels.
I kept glancing at the little machine, wondering what number it would spit out. It seemed forever before a number appeared. 14.4! I had passed!
I was extremely jubilant, and the nurse must have been quite amused by that. But honestly, it’s a great feeling to know that your body allows you to do what your mind wants to 😀
So I got into the chair, the nurses came and poke a needle in to drew blood and in less than 15 mins I was done. They had phased out orange bandages though, so I settled for a bright yellow one (:
So thankful to be able to do this today!