Sometimes things don’t work out the way you’d planned, and yet, are still awesome. I met Dan for lunch near her office in Foggy Bottom, but instead of grabbing food, we decided to walk to The Mall. We ended up touring both the Viet Nam and Korean War Memorials. I didn’t get any pictures of the Viet Nam memorial, because there really weren’t any interesting shots that close up. However, it is powerful because several people have left biographies of their loved ones, and you can see people searching for names long lost to that brutality. We went because we are both enjoying the Ken Burns series on the war, and as cool as it is, I’ve seen it many times but had never been to the Korean… which I wanted to see desperately in David Halberstam’s memory. It seemed like a fitting tribute after poring over The Coldest Winter.
After I took pictures, I walked Dan back to her office and continued on to my car, where I drove to The Red Cross and had a terrible time finding parking… only to find out once I got inside that they provide free parking for donors. I had to walk several city blocks both ways, and my legs are Jell-o today because I am what you would call “indoorsy.” I was in pain and annoyed that the parking was not mentioned in all of the information I got regarding the donor center, but I know I’ll go back.
As it turns out, a few cheeseburgers does not raise your iron all that much, and I washed out again. My iron level was 11.7 in one hand and 12.1 in the other. Don’t ask me how that works… but I’ve taken corrective action by adding iron pills to my daily regimen. I should be able to pass in a week or so. It needs to be 12.5 or higher.
And yes, it did feel like failing an exam. Donating platelets has been important to me since 2009, and I’ve never had a problem before. With all the hurricanes and the shooting in Las Vegas, I just wanted to give back. They can transport platelets all over the country, so if it isn’t needed in DC, it will be moved.
I actually think that failing the iron test twice was a blessing in disguise, because 11.7 means anemia in women. The iron pills could give me more energy, and I could use it. I don’t have a problem sitting at a desk all day, but I love walking around the city and being exhausted from it… right now I am exhausted just thinking about it. Yesterday, I used muscles I’d forgotten I had… and remembered fondly the days when two miles of walking was literally nothing. DC is a walking city. The only reason I brought my car yesterday was that I was running late and Foggy Bottom is one of the easier places to find parking in the city that’s not hideously expensive. The parking wasn’t expensive in the Red Cross neighborhood, either, but it was much more sparse…. thus, the reason when I first woke up, thought, why do I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck? It took me a second…. slow on the uptake in my elder years, I suppose.
This morning, I am the living example of a Facebook meme…. “welcome to 40, where you have home Advil and purse Advil.”
It was important to me to get together with Dan yesterday, though, because she’s off on a work trip all of next week. I have two job interviews coming up, so we agreed to get together the following week to either celebrate or cry.
We have so much to celebrate, anyway, though… I just can’t tell you what.