Huh?! Okay, this doesn’t compute. I can’t register the fact that I’ve just been deferred on two visits in a row to the Red Cross, both on account of iron deficiency. Not me. No way.
I’ve been a regular blood donor since 2002. In Buffalo I always used the Red Cross. In Chicago, I used an independent organization called Lifesource, but the rules and regulations are almost the same so it doesn’t make a lot of difference. I have a rare blood type, so I consider donations to be one of my more important personal contributions to the rest of the world. You need a certain amount of iron in your blood to be accepted for a donation, which I’ve apparently been lacking for at least the last month and a half now. I was turned away for my last two visits because I don’t have the requisite iron level.
Ironically, the exercise habits are suspected as the primary contributor to my lack of iron. It’s summer, after all, and I’m drinking a lot more water in order to stay hydrated during the hours and miles I spend on my bicycle every day. I’m not sure I buy this completely, though, because I worked as a messenger in Chicago, and even when wasn’t a messenger, bicycle was my primary way of getting back and forth everywhere. When the economy wasn’t in the gutter, I was bicycling probably 30 miles every day on average. I didn’t have the problems with iron then the way I am now. I was deferred a couple of times from Lifesource, but the problem wasn’t nearly this severe.
I’m constantly told that the way to hold an optimum iron level is by eating a balanced diet. I’m doing this; iron is prevalent in a lot of foods, including pretty much every meat I eat and a lot of the fruits and vegetables I eat with it. My diet is much better than it was when I lived in Chicago.
I have another appointment scheduled for Saturday, and I’m launching an iron assault on my body. I’m attacking with an extra stock of raisins, and eating more meat at lunch. If I get deferred again, something will have to be wrong with the damn machine.