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kimberlyaz

Donating Blood

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With Hurricane Ike getting ready to bear down on the Texas coast, and evacuees from Houston and Galveston pouring into my home city of San Antonio at an incredible rate, I decided to give blood for the first time since being diagnosed with Narcolepsy.

I have donated about 6 times before in my life -- I've been rejected a couple of times, either due to low iron or once due to the fact that I had visited an area in Mexico that was considered a Malaria risk.

My husband didn't want me to donate. He was worried that it would sap my energy. (He can't give blood because the sight of his own blood causes him to pass out.) However, I feel pretty strongly that right now is an important time to give blood if I can. Patients from hospitals in the hurricane's path have been relocated here and to Austin, and the blood banks in the lower-lying areas will also be closed due to the evacuations. With the high winds (110+ mph) expected, it's sad to say but I think there will be serious injuries due to flying debris.

Well, I am happy to say that I met all of the qualifications -- had enough iron, good blood pressure, enough time had passed since my Mexico vacation. They had some questions about my medications, but nothing I was on (Provigil, Effexor, Xyrem, or my contraceptive injections) precluded me from donating.

The actual donation went fine. I stayed afterward and drank water, gatorade, and ate a granola bar. I was able to run a couple of other errands that I needed to on the way home. BUT.. my husband was right. Since I got home, I have been really exhausted. He called me a couple of times from work and said I was "loopy." Now.. I don't feel LOOPY, but I do feel tired. I took one more nap than usual. I'm trying to drink as much water as I can and to keep my electrolytes in balance, but I am just pooped.

Just wanted to share this with all of you. Not sure if any of you have had similar experiences. I would not want to discourage anyone from giving blood -- especially in a time like this. But I know that in the future I'm going to have to plan a day to recover the next time I give.

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I Hope you are feeling better very soon!

It's totally great that you do this. Especially this time of year they are really needing it not just because of the hurricanes, but in general. My appointment is not till next week. They started sending me cards about two weeks ago. being O negative, that makes me universal or something. I go every fall except the last two years. (because I donated to myself over the summers for a couple of surgeries.) I think that anyone who can do this should.

I know that when I go I always have a ride home. I usually dont do to well. I'm not afraid of needles or anything but it really seriously drains me. I get all woozy and such. I end up sleeping a whole lot and dont plan anything for that day or the next day either just in case. It never occurred to me that Having narcolepsy could affect how I recover from this. lol... I just assumed everyone felt like crap after! Maybe I should pay more attention to how I eat before and after this. They deffinately have great cookies down there, but I guess that is not enough! Since I dont eat meat that probably does not help either. I never really thought about any of this before so Thankd Kimberly for bringing it up. I should look into being better prepared... then I will let you know how it goes.... :P

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Another option: I'm a regular platelet donor. It takes longer than whole blood, but it doesn't take as much of my energy.

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Another option: I'm a regular platelet donor. It takes longer than whole blood, but it doesn't take as much of my energy.

Whats the process for that? how does it work? Can you do both? sounds grosser than blood if you ask me!

I never heard of this before so I am extremely interested.

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It's a needle just like when you donate whole blood, but the blood goes into a machine which spins it around. It just takes out the platelets and give you back your red blood cells. I'm sorry if I'm explaining this wrong lol... anyways it takes about 2 hours for me, but I just watch a movie or study during it. :)

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Lais, that is so cool! I will have to ask about it next time.

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oh yeah that does sounde grosser!

Arent ou suppose to get paid for that kind of donation? Or am I thinking of something else?

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I think you can get paid for that, but I just donate :) I don't really know though, sorry.

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