I have no idea why it's taken me 30 years to give blood. I have no excuses really. It's not like I'm even scared of needles. I guess the stories I've heard from people about fainting hasn't encouraged me to do this sooner but again, no real excuses.
There was an email about the National Blood Service coming to my work to take blood and in doing so my company pays you while you are there donating. I thought that was quite good for the company to do that as more people would donate knowing they weren't losing pay. I figured that because I don't drink, do drugs or smoke, my blood is probably in good condition, so good in fact that people will be targeting me for my top quality blood! I'll have to keep one eye open when I sleep. If anyone starts squeezing my veins and asking how my blood is today then I will probably run and not look back. I bet on the black market my blood will probably be worth millions, billions perhaps.
The day arrived at my work and the 'bloodmobile' was ready and waiting. I stepped onto the vehicle and was met with a smile from a ridiculously camp man and also a questionnaire with medical and sex questions on it. I guess if I was handing that questionnaire to people, I'd have a smile on my face too.
I sat down on the table to fill it out. Opposite me was a woman who had clearly filled out this questionnaire and was watching my pen go down the tick list answering questions.
- Are you currently on medication? No
- Have you ever injected yourself with drugs? No
- Have you had a tattoo in the last 4 months? No
- Have you had anal sex with another man in the last 12 months?
I looked up. She was looking at the bit of paper. She looked up. She looked at me. I looked at her. I looked at the bit of paper. I knew what she was thinking. She was waiting for me to answer THAT question...
The actual blood donation went well. I laid on the bed, he stuck a needle in my vain and I watched a pint of blood say goodbye to my body. I find out in 6 weeks what my blood type is. I sat down in the chair afterwards to rest and they told me to drink some water and eat some biscuits to help with the recovery
to prevent death. I originally ate 3 but a combination of being careful and me being a greedy bastard meant I ate another 3 - hey I'm writing this so I didn't die, so eating 6 biscuits worked! :)
I got up and left the bloodmobile and saw a friend walking past outside. I warned him that I could potentially faint at any moment after losing a pint of blood and the look he gave me was one of those "I wish I was anywhere but here" kinda look.
He told me he hated needles and he could never give blood. He then went on to say I was a good person to do it and I felt proud of myself.
Back in the office I spoke with my friends who also gave blood. They asked which nurse helped me. I told them it was the ridiculously camp guy and he put a huge one in me! - queue a lot of laughter. I went bright red, which probably helped because my face was quite pale after donating.
Do something amazing. Give blood.
I am a life saver. You can be one too.