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Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
  Denied Again

I tried to donate blood today, but the American Red Cross turned me away. They said my hematocrit was 32% and they don't take blood from anybody under 38%. If this sounds familiar it should. Back in July, I tried to donate blood and they turned me away, in that case, they said my hematocrit was 36%.

I looked at her and said, "Impossible. There's no way my hematocrit is 32%. I wouldn't be able to function right now." So she jabbed me again, drew blood up the little glass cylinder, and went to spin it down. She came back and said a co-worker analyzed my results and it was a 34. I had blood drawn a couple of days after the attempt in July and my hematocrit was 39%. I even went in there a bit dehydrated, because I knew excess fluid would drop my hematocrit.

The worst part is I was feeling fine when I went in there, I had plenty of energy (I rode a century on Sunday and rode for two hours this morning), then I left depressed and tired as if my hematocrit was actually that low...

One thing is for sure, this is going to be a sucky RAAM if my Hematocrit is really between 32 and 34.

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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