No, this isn’t about a bad experience removing an infusion set (fooled you, didn’t I?).
From the I Must Be The Only One Who Didn’t Know This Department comes this news flash:
I have Type 1 Diabetes, and I can give blood.
When the word went out recently about a blood drive at my place of employment today, I had the same reaction I usually have. I thought, too bad I can’t donate. Prior to my diagnosis, I used to do that all the time. Like, at least twice per year.
This time though, I wanted to find out exactly why. Admittedly, I thought there might be a blog post in it, so there is some selfishness going on here. Anyway, I went to the American Red Cross blood donation site to see if they had any information on it. Then I was going to try to find another source to see if I could determine whether the information from the American Red Cross was actually true.
There’s not a lot of information on the Red Cross site, but two things jumped out at me. First, the big surprise:
“Diabetics who are well controlled on insulin or oral medications are eligible to donate.”
I was ecstatic to find out that I could actually donate blood. As I stated above, I’m probably the only one who wasn’t aware of it, but I was under the impression all these years that a bad pancreas meant bad blood, and I couldn’t give. My father’s life was saved after an auto accident over forty years ago thanks to some great doctors and blood donations, so I want to pay it forward. Plus, even though it may sound weird to some, I consider it kind of a civic duty to give.
Second, something just a little scary:
”Donors with diabetes who since 1980, ever used bovine (beef) insulin made from cattle from the United Kingdom are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about variant CJD, or ‘mad cow’ disease.”
This is not a concern for me, thank goodness. So for now at least, I can still donate.
Don’t be too excited for me yet… I still have to go through the initial in-person screening questions and blood pressure, temperature, etc. tests before they’ll actually put the needle in. But I’m feeling pretty good about my chances right now.
To find out more about giving blood here in the USA, the process, and more, check out the American Red Cross blood donation website at www.redcrossblood.org
What about you? T1D or not, have you given blood? What was it like? Were you ever told you couldn’t give blood? If so, were you told why?
I’ll let you know more about my experience tomorrow…