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I sometimes think about the day when I would be able to donate blood. It is something I have always wanted to do but based on the requirements, I don’t qualify. Even though I am healthy, I don’t weigh enough to meet their standards. I think it is a great opportunity to help others without taking too much time. I did not attempt to give blood again but I had a follow-up appointment for the yellow fever vaccine trial I joined which requires me to give them blood for their study. The last time they took my blood, they had a hard time finding a vein to get enough of a sample. I blamed it on getting over my hand infection, being dehydrated, hungry and tired. This time around, I tried to prepare a little. For the days approaching my visit, I chugged lots of water. So much water that I sometimes felt I couldn’t move since I was so full of water. I planned all of my meals to be high in iron and took all my vitamins.

I walked in ready to go! Sadly, my veins were not! Even though the provider said there is not really much I could do, I still felt inadequate. They gave me my payment for coming in for the visit even if I couldn’t fill all my tubes again. Luckily, I can at least meet the minimum amount before my veins shut down.

Here is an example of the vein-lacking arm compared to Eric:

This is Eric’s arm. Notice you can see some veins on the surface with 1-2 raised enough to actually use. His visits usually go really well. It takes them a short amount of time to fill all his tubes for their lab samples…a clinical trial’s dream come true!

Here is my arm. Notice how you cannot see a single vein or raised area. This is even after I tried pumping my fist and squeezing my arm. I think the people at the clinic hate me since it takes them forever to find one decent vein, and even then I never seem to fill all my tubes for the sample.