From the “Fluid of Life” by Diana Tibert

Fluid of Life – What doctors never told me about my blood tells the story of Diana Tibert’s experience of living with anemia. Here’s a clip from the first chapter.

My First Blood Test

I was a healthy child and teen, so my parents saw no need to take me to the doctor’s office for a check-up. We didn’t go unless there was a problem. After all, it cost money to visit a doctor back then, and we were poor. The two dollar-service fee could buy a lot of food in the 60s and 70s and with 12 mouths to feed, every penny was needed.

I was in grade 11 or 12 when I had my first blood test, which really wasn’t a blood test at all. The organisation in Nova Scotia that did blood drives in the early 80s came to our high school and set up a blood-donor clinic in our gymnasium. I heard the rumour that if we gave blood, we could skip class. What teen doesn’t want to miss class?

I met up with my friends, and we got in line. The woman behind the information desk did a simple test to see if we were anemic. She pricked my finger and squeezed a drop of my blood into a vial containing a clear liquid. After shaking it and observing the chemical reaction, she hesitated with my results and said something like, “You’ve got low blood, but not too bad. You can still give.”

So I did. After that, I gave blood once a year until I was about 28. During this time, I never had an official blood test to see what my red cell count was.

Fluid of Life, coming later this spring.

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