Life isn't always plain sailing and there are going to be times when you need the help that only other people can give you (I've started to sound all airy and I've only just started.... Just bear with me!) I'm one of those people who'd like to think that if I can help someone then I would. I'm a registered organ donor - you can read all about that here!) - and so the next logical step was to give blood with the NHS Blood and Transplant people.
Today I finally managed to get my act together, with the help of a rather enthusiatic housemate (Thanks Em!) we got ourselves over to the local donation event. I was pretty much painless and I know that there is a shortage of blood in the UK so would urge anyone who can to donate and help save lives. and you get free biscuits....
All that happened was that you filled out a form asking basic healthcare type questions, like; are you pregnant?, do you have conditions X,Y or Z? and have you travelled abroad in the last 12 months? This was followed by a test for anemia which involved taking a drop of blood from my finger. Then off to have the blood taken which I was laid back and took literally 5 minutes of me flexing my fingers. A quick drink & biscuit. Then that's it. Done.
Pretty much painless. I say pretty much. Just a short sharp scratch.
The blood I've given will be split down into its different componants and stored ready for those who need it. The only problem is that, as with anything, it has a shelf life and so can't be kept indefinitely... I think it was the red blood cells that have just 5 days to platelets that can be held somewhat indefinitely if frozen. Fascinating.
I'll definitely be going back to give blood. That hour of my time will have helped someone out there and that is all I need to feel it was worthwhile.