Liquid Gold


This blog is where I usually write about food, family and friends ~ today, I want to bring some awareness to a topic that has had a most profound impact on my life of late.

Growing up, I was told I was anemic ~ “Punkie, you look puny today” was something of an endearment, I heard it so often.  Well, several years ago, after a severely low HGB (hemoglobin) and HCT (hematocrit) reading on a routine lab work up, I was asked if anyone in my family had thalassemia. “Huh?  What is that?”

Thalassemia is a blood disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anemia. (

Well, in the last month, my HGB went from low 8.5 to “You need to get to the hospital for an immediate blood transfusion!” 5.2.

Normal ranges for your hemoglobin range from 11.0-16.0; hematocrit:  34-47.

My heart was nearly beating out of my chest, working so hard to get oxygenated blood to and through my heart and other organs.  Well, I went in ~ received 2 units of life giving blood that nearly brought my body’s capacity to within normal limits.  I kid my family that I must have received some “bad” blood, because I seem to be under this fog ~ I seriously feel as though I am walking around looking at and living my life through a veil.  I am quietly and curiously waiting for the “You’ll feel great! You’ll never have thought you could feel so good and have so much energy!” aspect of receiving my liquid gold ~ soon, I hope.

If you haven’t had a knock on your door from the “baking angel” ~ gotten a plate of cookies or a jar of jam lately ~ you know why.  I will not be shaken, though ~ it kicked my butt, but last night I came through for the family with a meal that they say was out of this world… AND Toren had fresh baked sweet-sourdough bread for his school lunch ~ me? I’ll just have some leftover hummus and chapati!

In the meantime, I am including a couple of informational websites for you to peruse at your leisure ~ if you see me and I seem a little “off” ~ remember, I have someone else’s blood running through my veins!

Please give blood if you are able!

Thanks ~ blessings ~ Val


Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells.

Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues.

Blood Donors Must:

  • Be healthy*
  • Be at least 17 years old in most states, or 16 years old with parental consent if allowed by state law – see more information for 16-year old donors »
  • Weigh at least 110 lbs.
    Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.

* Note: Healthy means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, healthy also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.

Donation Type Donation Frequency
Blood (whole blood)
Every 56 days
Every 7 days, up to 24 times / year
Every 28 days, up to 13 times / year
Double Red Cells
Every 112 days, up to 3 times / year

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