February, 2011

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Giving Blood

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Don’t worry!!!  I’m not actually donating my traitor blood to anyone, but they are going to start me on a phlebotomy program!  Imagine that…I never thought I’d see the inside of the blood donor center again, but I will be donating a unit of blood once a month for a while.  I’m sure it will be promptly discarded as soon as they take it, but it’s still rather exciting, don’t you think?

Perhaps I should explain myself a little more.  Due to the many blood transfusions I had from 2005 through 2008 (119 to be exact), my ferritin (a protein that stores iron) level is very high.  For women, the normal range is anywhere from 12-150 ng/mL (nanograms per millileter)…mine is a whopping 1,598 ng/mL.  High ferritin levels can lead to organ damage, so it’s important to take measures to reduce that number.

Back in 2006, I started a new medication called Exjade that helped to reduce the amount of ferritin because my blood counts weren’t high enough to actually remove a unit of blood.  Exjade also caused some side effects, and it certainly didn’t work as fast as a phlebotomy program will.  So, are you excited for me now?  :)  The whole concept of being healthy enough to have them actually remove some of my blood is wonderful.

So here’s to donating blood…even though they’ll be throwing mine in the nearest garbage bin, it’ll be a thrill to be on the other end of the needle.