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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Hemoglobins. Hemo Goblins??

I'm always community minded and happy to lend a hand for a great cause. So when the request came out for volunteers to donate blood as part of a blood drive, I didn't hesitate. I recalled donating blood when I lived in Brisbane, but that was so long ago they no longer held the records, so I became a "first time donor". Again.
The ladies were very pleasant as I completed the multiple forms to ensure they could screen me appropriately, then I had my face to face interview where we went through the forms verbally. I've got to say if I was ever receiving a transfusion, I'd be pretty comfortable that the blood was clean and suitable. The last little assessment I had was a hemoglobin test. My hemoglobin level came back at 120. The interviewer advised me that this was borderline and he'd have to confirm with the manual as to whether I'd be able to donate. The cut off was 119 so I was fine. Still, it made me a little hesitant and nervous. I wasn't really sure what hemoglobins were but I didn't like the fact that I was borderline - anyway, I put that in the back of my mind as I was led into the sitting room and asked to sit in a comfortable, clinical looking chair. With the press of a button, my legs were lifted as the chair reclined and then it rose up. I felt like I was in some sort of a movie - it was fantastic. At the angle they had me I was starting to worry about whether or not I'd be able to stay awake through the process.
I won't detail all the gory bits, but I was donating blood. I was also asked to appear in a photo with a little boy to raise awareness for donating blood. I can honestly say, donating blood wasn't scary, in fact quite comfortable. I have a funky looking bruise today, but it was worth it.
Now comes the best part. Upon completion of my donation, I was guided to go back to the sitting room for at least 10 minutes. Once there, a lovely lady offered me a "proper coffee" (not instant!!) and also a snack. Well I'd just donated blood, so I didn't hesitate. Proper coffee on skim and a slice of thick raisin toast with real butter. The flavours were sensational, even the smell was fantastic. When I was ready to leave, the kind lady also offered me a chocolate, so I grabbed a snack sized kit kat before my brain kicked in. Mmmm chocolate.
Anyway, back to hemoglobins. After I came back to the office I googled - I always consult google - I love google. Google advised me that hemoglobins are my iron levels. This surprised me as on top of eating healthy, I also take a daily iron supplement and I eat red meat, leafy green vegetables and a lot of lentils. I consulted the forums and facebook and came to the conclusion that it was probably time for another visit to the doctor, so Friday I'm booked in to see my lovely doctor and hopefully get some answers.
I'm also booked in to go back for another donation in June. If you've been thinking about it, then don't procrastinate - it's worth it - even just for the raisin toast, muffins or chocolate!!

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