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  1. All you need is blood

    Tuesday, 9 March 2010

    Blood's an amazing thing if you stop to think about it.It's fascinating. I just had to pull myself away from my reading to even post this! It's so balanced, that even the slightest change can throw it into complete chaos. I just decided to look up what its pH value should be, and if everything is normal, it stays between 7.35 and 7.45. That's tight control! It really makes me think about what on earth the pH value of my blood was when I was in DKA. All they ever told me was that 'it's very acidic' and that the ketones were at least ++++ most of the time I was there. The part of me that wants to know everything would really like to read my medical records and see for myself.

    I had a thought though. How often did I ever used to see any of my own blood? And how much of it did I ever see? Most of it, for most of the time, stayed inside of me. Which is rather how it likes to be! But these days? Well, I obviously bleed several times a day, I get blood tests done, and so on, and so on. I think about blood so much more than I ever did. I naturally think about blood sugar many, many times a day. But I still remember a time when I didn't, despite that feeling like a heck of a long time ago!

    I used to donate blood. I never did it as frequently as I liked, because donating sessions often used to clash with work, rehearsals, etc. But I did donate, and I was proud that I did. Yes, I was a complete wuss, and used to ask for the local anaesthetic, but do you know what? I didn't care. My moment of wussiness was likely to help someone, so hey, I was perfectly fine with being a wuss.
    Seems though, that I'm not welcome as a donor any more. This makes me really sad, because I know lots of people who, for various reasons, won't donate. Some of them are scared of needles, and I totally understand that. What I don't understand though, are those people who just 'can't be bothered'. Because you don't know whose life that blood is going to save. What if it was someone you loved, or they couldn't be saved because everyone else didn't bother to show up?

    After my DX, my mum decided to ring up the National Blood Service for me, because she knew I was likely to not get time to do it during the times they were open. She wanted to talk to them and ask whether I could still donate or not. Apparently, they didn't really understand what she was saying. I was supposedly welcome to donate if I wasn't using medication. When she told them that I was a type one, and used insulin, they replied as follows.

    'Well, get her to give us a call when she comes off her medication.'

    I really wish it was that easy. With things as they stand, unfortunately that's one life-time ban.

  2. 2 comments:

    1. Saffy said...

      Hi Becky,

      I live in New Zealand and also challenged the blood service here on that one. Here's their fairly lame reply to me in case you're interested:

      "Thank you for your enquiry, there are several reasons why you cannot give blood when you are a type one diabetic. Firstly it is not healthy for you to have that much blood taken as it has the potential to make significant changes to your blood glucose levels.

      The predominate reason is your well being.

      Diabetes is an auto immune disease along with many others, for example Rheumatoid arthritis, so all people who have an autoimmune disease are unable to donate."

      I still don't feel like it's a convincing answer though ;)

    2. Anonymous said...

      Interesting, in the US one can give blood regardless of autoimmune disease or medication taken; except of course medications that would harm a fetus (accutane), current or recent antibiotic use. Also men who have sex with other men can not donate. I take Enbrel (biologic TNF blocker) for Ankylosing Spondylitis (autoimmune arthritis of the spine/SI joints) and I still donate blood.

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