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Ann - One thing you might consider is donating blood platelets rather than red blood cells. I am a regular donor of both. I have found that after a RBC donation, I am more tired and need to take it easy for 3-4 days but after a blood platelet donation, I can usually run within 24 hours with no ill effects at all. Depending on your blood type, the blood center in your area may need a platelet donation more than they need a RBC donation. It takes longer to donate but you recover more quickly. Given that you seem very committed to donating (every 56 days) you should know that you can donate platelet more often (every 10-14 days or 24 times a year most places). Last year I donated 20 - double units of platelets.
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Mar 22, 2011