On a whim four months ago, I donated blood. They pricked my finger and checked my iron level. I measured at 12.5 (the bare minimum level necessary). I also hadn't traveled to any foreign countries that they had designated as unsafe in the past 3 years. They deemed me worthy of blood donation.
For the past two months, I have been trying to donate again but my iron levels have only measured 12.2 or 12.3. Not high enough to donate!! So I get rejected and am instructed to eat more vitamins and/or beans. I start to take my multivitamins and still get rejected a week later. Apparently, some people are unable to absorb calcium AND iron if taken at the same time. Ah... the catch. So I start to take iron supplements and still, one week later... rejected. The nurse told me that it could take up to month for the iron to fully absorb in my system. Okay, fine.
So today, with my little bloodmobile appointment in hand, blood donation has not only turned into a good samaritan deed but my life's mission. I go in, tell the nurse my iron level situation before I fill out any paperwork. She has me enter a little room where she pricks my finger. She puts the blood on a slide and the blood is read using a small machine. There is about a minute pause where I am just waiting, waiting, waiting to see if this whole month-iron-absorption thing was legit or if the last nurse just wanted me to feel better about my inadequate and measly iron levels. The machine beeped, indicating that the score is read--- 13.5!!! Holy crap!
Oh look, the world changed
2 months ago