My bag of blood

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My bag of blood. :)

I donated blood today, for what counts as my real first time (not like crappy last time, which left me bruised and newly nervous about needles). Squirted out 420ml in 6 mins 50 sec. The interviewing nurse said to keep doing whatever I’m doing with my lifestyle cos my iron is high and blood pressure is good. I feel healthy!

…ish. I most certainly did not feel healthy after getting back from the clinic. Very sleepy all afternoon and evening. TIL no, you almost certainly cannot play indoor football the same day you give blood.

Oh, and apparently you’re not allowed hot food after donating either. Not at the clinic canteen anyway. It totally felt like a prank they play on freshmen – the canteen lady looked way too chipper when she refused my order for a sausage roll. She gave me a muffin. It was okay, I guess. I had a teriyaki chicken when we were back at work, but really just wanted a dirty old Mrs Macs with sauce.

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Ups and downs; I’m proud of today. Giving blood has been a ‘life goal’ for about seven years. This time back then, I was 36kg, unhealthy, unhappy and very disorganised. When I learned the minimum weight was 46kg, I set that as my personal target and donating as my KPI.

My friends who focus on weight loss usually look at me funny when I say I have to manage my weight too. It’s not a strict numbers game for me, but I try to stay at this shape, size, tone and level of fitness so I don’t get injured as easily, so my body has enough bulk and fuel to repair and sustain, so I don’t get sick as easily – all that stuff comes into it. Aiming for a blood drive entails getting to a healthy weight and staying well for a long enough stretch to be ready for a donation day. :) And that’s what today means to me.

That said, I don’t know if I’ll do it again. I don’t know how some of my colleagues go in every three months for a big fat needle prick, and then get through the day without getting floaty headed or dozing off before dinner. Can you condition your body to produce blood faster if you give blood often? Luckily, my blood type isn’t in high demand anyway, so there’s no pressure. I guess we’ll see. I should qualify for a sausage roll next time, so there’s a bit of incentive.