Through inheritance I was given a genetic curse, Hereditary Hemochromatosis. It's also known as iron overload. A normal body can use then discard any excess dietary iron. My body thinks it doesn't have enough iron, so if grabs and stores every single little molecule of iron. Where does the iron go? Anywhere, everywhere it can…..joints, the synovial fluid which surrounds the joints are an excellent beginning storage spot. I was originally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis because my hands, thumbs especially were swollen, almost frozen in place. Upon further testing, an MRI, Hemochromatosis was discovered hiding in the synovial fluid. It was the telltale sign. The little hook shaped pieces of iron causing inflammation in the fluid which makes a joint mobile.
When my genetic test came back positive for 2 copies (homozygous) of H63d genes. I underwent a liver biopsy. That also showed the H63d genes. It also showed I had a pretty decent amount of iron stored in my liver… several weeks later I began weekly therapeutic phlebotomies. The difference between therapeutic and not therapeutic phlebotomies is a matter of how often blood can be drawn. Red Cross guidelines state a
I chose a hospital with a blood lab who has a variance allowing the blood taken from donors with Hemochromatosis to be placed in the general donor pool. Most blood recipients need that extra iron!
Tomorrow is my 150 phlebotomy!! Party? 🎯💋⛑🍾🥂🎊🎉💈‼️
Since 2009 I have given 150 pints of love.
Go ahead call your local Red Cross and make an appointment to donate a pint of blood! It only takes an hour or less. The only pain you might feel is of the needle stick. It's really is just a tiny little pinch!! Don't look!! After it's done you will get a drink and a snack. If you are lucky enough to use the donor center I visit, Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Massachusetts, you will get a home made cookie, cake or something yummy.
My favorite lab is super kind and treats their donors with lots of love!
BLOOD DONATION AT ANNA JAQUES HOSPITAL IN NEWBURYPORT MASSACHUSETTS
This is a link to the REDCROSS website with information about donating blood.
AMERICAN REDCROSS BECOME A VOLUNTEER GIVE BLOOD
WHO guidelines…a little more formal instructions in the medical field.
125 PAGE GUIDELINE FOR PHLEBOTOMY