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Should've Been Me

  

Michele

BALTIMORE, MD
October 01, 2012

I first gave blood when I was in my senior year of high school (2004).
A few months later, I found out that my hemoglobin count was extremely low. I was just going for a regular physical with no complaints and when the lab work came back my doctor called me in to see her. I knew I had had an iron deficiency since I was a preteen. However, I took iron for a while then eventually just a multivitamin with iron. I thought things were fine. My doctor opened my file, looked at me, then looked back at my lab results, and asked, "How are you functioning?" She exclaimed, "with these results, you should be in the emergency room awaiting an emergency blood transfusion!" My doctor continued to ask, "you're not tired all of the time? You don't get headaches?" I thought most of what I felt was normal. She explained to me that I wasn't getting the oxygen I needed to circulate to my organs. After years of trying different treatments to bring my iron back up, doctors finally found something that worked. I'm so excited to no longer be defined by how much I pass out. I'm blessed that I never needed that transfusion but I wanted to donate for that person who does need it. I was so excited to be able to donate twice in 2012, for the first time. In 2013, I hosted my first annual birthday party blood drive with a lot of help and support from my Northwood-Appold UMC family.