That’s right. Would’ve been. Read on.
My older brother has been giving blood for years on his birthday and either on mom’s anniversary and/or her birthday. Here in the U.S., you have to weigh 110 lbs./50 kg. to be able to give blood among many other eligibility requirements. For 19 years, I never weigh enough.
Finally, I’m fat enough to qualify!
I checked the Red Cross website and read up on what I have to do before and after the donation. My eyeballs were floating in my head as I had drunk plenty of fluid for the past few days. For a moment, I thought my recent trip to Thailand was going to be an issue. But the CDC site declares Bangkok a malaria free zone.
Brandon even got out of work early to drive me to the blood drive site although it’s just a few blocks away, just in case I pass out. Being low on the weight scale, it is a bit of a concern. Even the attending physician wanted to make sure that I’d lay down afterward, and that she would definitely check in on me.
She also asked if I was over 19. I heart her. LOL
We didn’t know then that I wouldn’t get to lay down at all.
And so I went through the medical history and filled out the health questionnaire. Then a staff member came in to go over my answers.
“For your trip to Bangkok, was that a direct flight or did you stop anywhere?”
“We stopped for a few hours in Korea.”
“Is that North Korea or South Korea?”
“Um. South.” Is North Korea even a question on this one?!? Oh well, I guess if you like to travel while being accompanied by government agents at all times, it is an option.
“What city was it? Was it Seoul?”
“It was actually outside of Seoul but they call it Seoul Incheon Airport.”
“Incheon, you said? …Oh…”
“We’ll have to defer you because Incheon area has reported malaria.”
The CDC malaria map says this: “Limited to the months of March-December in rural areas in the northern parts of Incheon, Kangwon-do, and Kyonggi-do provinces including the demilitarized zone (DMZ).”
I’ve packed 10 lbs. to be able to donate blood. All it took to foil the plan was 4 hours of transit time through the airport in podunk Korea.
So…no donation today. Not until June of 2013.
I’m not embarrassed to say that I did cry a little bit as I was writing this.
I am utterly crushed. I was so excited to get to do something good that would also let me share the experience with one of my siblings half the world away. Something that would save lives. Something that my mom could be proud of.
I’m just disappointed, that’s all.
Meanwhile, for the next 9 months, I’d like to ask those who can donate blood to do so. Please. Do it for me.
Now I guess I can lose the 10 lbs. Hey, I have 9 months to get them back!