In the past 7 days, I’ve heard two people say, “I’m giving blood this week.” I automatically interpreted it as an altruistic gesture, treating “give” and “donate” as synonyms, and replied, “That’s nice.”
Only to be told that it’s routine medical stuff, not actually a donation.
When I go in to have routine medical blood testing done, I refer to it as a blood draw or having my blood drawn. I guess everyone interprets things differently.
This week, I actually gave my blood away. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to donate blood in a traditional sense because I don’t weigh enough (yes, people with diabetes can give blood). The blood draw (as I have been calling it) won’t result in lab information for me or my medical team. It got packed with ice and shipped to scientists.
I did this as part of the T1D Exchange Living Biobank. I originally became involved in it through participating in a multi-clinic research study where I let them track my medical records and test results alongside thousands of other people who have type 1 diabetes. I signed up for the biobank about a year ago and got called for a blood draw a couple of weeks ago.
It was a really simple process, they contacted me, I agreed to do it. They set an appointment for me at a local lab and shipped me a kit. The kit contained a Styrofoam cooler, ice packs that I needed to freeze and supplies for the lab along with instructions. I took the whole thing with me to the lab this morning, they drew my blood and collected a urine sample, then the lab packs it all up and ships it back to the research folks. In the interest of full disclosure, I will receive a check for my time.
Diabetes has been making me pretty mad lately. Both my CGM and pod sites hurt, and my a1c jumped up by 0.4% at my last endo visit. I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself having to live with this disease lately and slightly apathetic toward my own care. Maybe the busyness of life has made me want to put diabetes on the back burner or maybe I’m just a little burned out. Regardless of what excuses I come up with for how things have been lately and how I feel about them, it can’t continue. It won’t continue.
Would you give away your blood for research?
If you have type 1 diabetes, you can sign up for the Living Biobank here.