I am 3 (or 7 depending on which source) blood donations away from reaching 10 gallons.
I have officially been diagnosed with mild anemia. Not only are my hemoglobin levels too low, for the first time my average red blood cell size is too small and the range of variation in my red blood cell sizes is to wide.
This past Spring it took 3 weeks (one try peer week) before I passed the hemoglobin check and I was allowed to donate.
This past August I tried on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th. (I gave my poor fingers and my stress a break on the 5th.) My hemoglobin levels started out the lowest they’ve ever been recorded: 9.something. I got them up to 11.7 by the end of the week. I was SO SICK of red meat by then! And both my middle fingers and both my ring fingers were ouchy sore. (At each attempt to donate, the Red Cross will prick up to two different fingers for the hemoglobin check. Each day I alternated which finger on each hand.)
Yes, I have tried multivitamin pills that contain iron. It used to be that if I took those once a day for a week before the donation, my hemoglobin levels would be fine!
Yes, I have tried eating high iron foods, and eaten plant based iron foods with Vitamin C.
Yes, I’ve put salad back in my diet. Yes, I’ve tried raisins and dark meat (mmm, chicken thighs) and ground beef. Did you know pork is NOT a good source of iron?
Yes, I tried scheduling my blood donation for the week after my period.
Yes, I have gotten advice from my doctor (325 mg ferrous sulfate – which is NOT the kind of iron used in multivitamins – taken with 84 mg Vitamin C).
Yesterday I failed the hemoglobin check again, twice. And the phlebotomist in charge told me I may not be allowed to donate for a while even if I get my levels back up. Because if I’m anemic, medical people will likely want me to hold on to normal hemoglobin levels for some amount of time before I try donating.
*sigh* I’m only 3 donations away…
I’m already getting sick of red meat again. Trying “high” iron tuna now too. But I know. *nods* I know I’m gonna have to go to liver.
Only 3 donations away. It was supposed to be next year that I reach 10 gallons. I’m gonna make it, somehow….