The answer to the above question is I don't know yet. It's too soon to assess how I feel. I can't say I feel strong and I'm certainly not up for any type of strenuous exercise but I was afraid that I would pass out or need somebody to drive me home. NOT THAT BAD! My arm is a little sore at the site of the needle mark but that's to be expected. The only thing that's a little unusual is frequent urination. That could be a good thing because Iron can be lost in urine and mine does seem to smell of it. It could be my imagination but it seems like my legs are feeling slightly less heavy than usual. I could know more tomorrow.
I left work just before 3:00 as planned and it was a 10 minute drive to the nearest Red Cross donation center. The screening went as expected. I passed the hemoglobin and blood sugar tests by comfortable margins. My BP was a little funky at 130/60 and my pulse was a bit elevated at 74 but I can attribute that to nerves. I wasn't quite visibly shaky but not too far from it.
It turned out that I had nothing to worry about. The nurse found my vein with ease and told me to open and close my fist at 5 second intervals. I was periodically asked how I was feeling and I truthfully answered that I was fine. I even managed to make small talk about the bad weather and the tropical storm on the coast. I figured that it would take 10-15 minutes to collect the full pint of blood but it turned out to be less than that. I was done in not much more than 5 minutes. When the nurse assured me that the blood was flowing well and I was almost done, I felt relief in knowing that I was going to make it. I sat up and walked a few steps and reported that I was a little lightheaded but nothing severe. I think it was more apprehension that anything else. Oddly, the only thing that felt a little different was bit of a strange feeling in my feet. It wasn't painful, just a tad numb.
I drank a can of orange juice and ate a small bag of mini oreo cookies then went to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror and found that I wasn't pale at all. I asked for permission to leave and got the clearance. I stopped at Outback for a small NY Strip steak and made it home without a hitch. I know this hasn't been my most exciting post but if anyone is considering donation but feeling some anxiety about it, I'd say do it! Both the donor and the recipient can stand to benefit.
Again, I don't expect a miracle overnight. I fully expect to remain dependent of adrenal supplements but I would like to test out the methylation. I want to see how I do without the MF, TMG and B-complex and assess my tolerance for Curcumin and IP-6. The latter 2 were not tolerated before the detox but were okay before the donation. If I'm not horrible, that would be great news. If I miss even ONE dose of any of that stuff, I will be worthless and get better ONLY AFTER I remember to take the missed pill. Add to that, the magic formula can shift at any time. I was lucky that Teton was not a week earlier. Excess Iron can mess with enzyme binding sites so there is a chance of improvement in the sensitivity area.
Readers of this blog know better but many people still think I'm simply dealing with a manageable condition that is treatable with little more than a cup of coffee and the most bothersome symptom is that I can't run as fast or far as I used to. I could talk until I'm blue in the face and some people just don't get it. If this procedure is successful, you will see improvements in every area of my life.
In addition to the fear of passing out, I was hesitant because this procedure cannot be undone and I can't predict any possible side effects. With the pills, I can simply stop taking the culprit and feel better in a few days. If an unexpected complication comes up now, it could be a long and difficult process to reverse it. That's why I put this off until I exhausted the conservative options. I'm not in the clear just yet but early signs indicate this was a good call.
Alternatives to Donation:
The only other plausible option is the Hulda Clark Liver Cleanse, which I just did last weekend. The theory is that some of the Iron stored in my liver will be dumped into the blood and tissues. I can take Curcumin and IP-6 to reduce serum Iron, which is most probably effective. However, serum Iron can get too low, which will suddenly force me off those pills while the stored Iron (Ferritin) remains high. I would then have to do another Liver Cleanse to allow me to tolerate the aforementioned pills and the cycle repeats itself. Who knows how long? I'm not even completely sure that it will significantly lower Ferritin because I've never tested it after a detox. Given the choice between the 2 procedures, I would opt for the blood donation at least at this point in the process. As of now, the only way that I do another one of these detoxes is if I see a continued elevated Ferritin combined with a low serum Iron on a blood test.
In about 10-14 days, I will go back to the lab and get my Ferritin and serum Iron tested again. By that time, if I have improved, it ought to be evident in my running. We shall see where my numbers stand at that point and whether or not I even need the Curcumin and IP-6. I won't be racing for at least the next 4 weeks so I picked a good time to experiment a bit. I am not allowed to donate again for 2 months so I will probably do so again in September and again in December if I am pleased with the results. After that, it will be only twice a year for maintenance. I predicted that the outcome will be known by the Fall of this year and it may very well be true this time.