Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Do Something Amazing...Give Blood


Today I have crossed off the very first item from my bucket list.
 
I gave blood.
 
I have wanted to give blood for a long time.  I often feel like I didn't achieve everything I could have done in life, I didn't have much guidance growing up and early on I made some very bad choices.  I am a mum and a partner and I have a lovely job, but I often feel as though its not enough.  I always wanted to make a difference in my life and this is just a small way for me to be able to do that.  

I received the invitation to give blood through the post some time ago, I am neither pregnant or ill so I rang them and made the appointment for 6.25pm on Wednesday 10th July.
 
I got to the venue, a local hotel only a few minutes drive from my house, on time and as I handed my forms to the smiley nurse on the welcome desk I took in the sight before me.

Spread across the decadent function room were rows of large bucket seats, with  numerous people laying horizontally in them who were hooked up to long lines and machines and each had a partially filled bag of blood swinging somewhere beneath them.
 
As I took a seat to await my assessment and finger prick (to check you are not anaemic) I inexplicably became a little bit choked up.  I don't know for sure what it was, maybe I'm just a little bit daft, but looking at all the different people (and there were people of all different ages and from all different walks of life) in that room and knowing they were all there because they wanted to make a difference by potentially saving a strangers life made me feel a tad emotional.
 
After my assessment and finger prick, where we established I was not anaemic, I got shown to my own special chair.  As I was laid back the nurse explained to me each step of what was about to happen and I felt calm and relaxed.  As the needle went in I looked away, once upon a time I would have been shaking and crying at the sight of a needle, but I guess I've grown up a bit since then and made do with a muted flinch instead as it was carefully inserted into a vein on my left arm.
 
10 minutes....that's all it took for the machine to take my unit from me.
 
The needle was taken out and my tiny little puncture wound was then dressed, I was carefully sat up into normal sitting position over a period of 2 minutes.  After slowly getting to my feet, no dizziness here, I was shown to a large table full of drinks, biccies and crisps...one has to keep ones strength up don't you know?!  I sat for just a few minutes marvelling in just how quick and pain free the whole experience was.
 
Then I went home, I was sat on my sofa by 7.05pm.
 
My blood will be grouped, labelled, processed, tested and be ready for use within 48 hours.  It could help someone who is receiving treatment for cancer, leukaemia or sickle cell. My blood could help someone who has had a transplant or surgery.  My blood could help a baby, child or pregnant mother or it could help an accident victim.  
 
My blood could help someone just like me or my children, or someone like you and yours.
 
Do Something Amazing....Give Blood.

Image Credit: Raygun

You can find details of a donation session near you here.

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