I get those calls every once in a while. You know, the ones where you think it’s a solicitor so you’re all prepared to say, “Don’t you know I’m on the National Do Not Call List? Don’t annoy me anymore. K? Bye.”
Then it turns out to be the American Red Cross looking for a blood donation. So with a screeching halt, the rant becomes a sweet, “Sure. I can come in Sunday at 1:00.”
So I drive myself over to the blood donation center across from a local hospital on the appointed day at the appointed time. I read their pages of disclaimers and legalese, acknowledge that I understand and sign the waiting list. Just as I dive into a good book, the intake coordinator asks me to follow her. I usually tell them to just do the iron test before I waste their time, but today I didn’t. I was feeling strong.
I’ve been riding almost 8 miles every day, steadily improving my average speed. L’Alpe d’Huez has been conquered pretty regularly. I’m eating healthier than I have in months and I’m taking vitamins. I haven’t eaten red meat much, but I eat a lot of spinach and that’s got heaps of iron.
So we go through the routine – name, address, social, temperature, ok finger prick time. I held out my left hand and just as she was about to stick me, I must have unconsciously pulled my hand back a little. “Oh no you di-n’t just pull your hand back!” she laughed. I lost it. Laughed so hard, I apparently laughed the iron right out of my poor tired blood! She proceeded to stick me and this time I behaved but my iron was too low to donate. She even called an RN over who had me rub my hands together and then pulled the blood out of my right hand. No go – one point too low is too low to donate but still normal so I’m not anemic.
It just seems like every other time I donate, I go through this. Maybe I need more time for my blood to regenerate. Maybe 60 days isn’t long enough and I need 70 days or something. Who knows? It’s just that every time it happens I feel like driving right to Rite-Aid and buying me some Geritol.