So it was with great pleasure that I read a piece on About.com (go to ms.about.com) by Julie Stachowiak, PH.D., answering the Question of the Week: Can I donate blood if I have MS?. Surprisingly, her answer was "Yes. If you have multiple sclerosis you are eligible to donate blood, according to the American Red Cross."
Not one to believe everything I read on the web, I decided to check out the link:
and Julie is right! There is nothing that says people with MS cannot donate. The closest issue is:
Most chronic illnesses are acceptable as long as you feel well, the condition is under good control, you have an adequate hemoglobin level and your temperature is normal when you come to donate, and you meet all other eligibility requirements.
I'm so happy - but then I continued reading...
In some parts of the world, cattle can get an infectious, fatal brain disease called Mad Cow Disease. In these same locations, humans have started to get a new disease called variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (vCJD) which is also a fatal brain disease. Scientists believe that vCJD is Mad Cow Disease that has somehow transferred to humans, possibly through the food chain.
You can't donate if you might have been exposed to this disease, and GUESS WHAT! I've been exposed. There is a long list of dates and places where you might have been exposed if you were living in Europe. Well GUESS WHAT!
"You cannot donate if:
You were a member of the of the U.S. military ... who spent a total time of 6 months on or associated with a military base in any of the following areas during the specified time frames ...
• From 1980 through 1990 - Belgium, the Netherlands (Holland), or Germany "
Well, I enjoyed my tour with the US Air Force in Germany from 1979 - 1981.
So now, in addition to a goose in my brain, can I say that I might have MAD COW DISEASE?? tee hee!!!