Hey everyone, bit of a different post today, but I hope you like it all the same 🙂 It’s inspired by something I did for the very first time recently and feel quite passionately about, so if my writing can encourage even one of you to take the plunge, I’ll feel like I have used my audience to achieve something good!
I’m talking about giving blood of course 🙂 It was something I had thought about doing for ages, but wasn’t sure if I could, or even how to go about it which really put me off booking into a session. I’d signed up as a donor in June but never got around to going, so when I saw that a blood drive was coming very close to where I work I decided enough was enough and that I was going to do it (after persuading my friend/manager Tim to join me too!)
After wandering over to the blood drive in my lunch break and booking in to give blood a few hours later, I was anxious to see what it would be like, but when I arrived to give my donation, I was quickly reassured and felt very safe 🙂
As a first time donor the process is slightly longer than those who have donated before, but the process really takes less than an hour from start to finish even with the extra bits! Initially you have to fill out a form which asks questions to make sure you are able to give blood (again something that put me off donating was the list of reasons you cant donate e.g recent holiday abroad/illness/tattoo, but after speaking with someone I was quickly calmed that I would be eligible assuming my blood was suitable.) You’re then called off to see a nurse who does a secondary evaluation of your questionnaire, take a small sample of blood from your finger to check you have enough iron and then confirms whether or not you are able to donate and once that is all done it is over to a chair ready to be hooked up.
Another nurse puts you in a chair, lets you choose which arm you’d prefer, lays you back and inserts the needle to withdraw blood. It doesn’t hurt at all even though the needle does look pretty initimidating and once it is in you are given exercises to do like hand and bum clenches to keep the blood flowing, although my blood was a little slow! Once your pint is taken, the needle is removed (my least favourite part but even that wasn’t bad!) you can see and even hold you blood bag if you want and then once they are sure you feel well it’s over to the tea and biscuit area!
And that is literally it! From start to finish feels pretty relaxing, is over quickly and you get to meet some really lovely and amazing people in the process too 🙂
So hopefully this post tells you all about the process and puts your mind at rest if it was something you were considering but were scared about. I can assure you there is nothing to fear and after all, a small bruise is a tiny price to pay considering you can save up to three lives with every donation you give. And don’t think “oh well I have a common blood type I don’t need to give!” I found out I am A Positive (the second most common blood type) which just means they need more of it as more people need it! I even found out from the staff at the blood drive that they only ever have enough supply for 3 days worth of supply! 3 days?! That’s insane for something so critical!
And also don’t think why would you give because you’ll never need it, it’s actually quite common to have blood transfusions. Not only for serious illnesses such as cancer, but also for things like newborn babies and their mums who lose blood in childbirth, so one day it could be you or someone you know who needs it!
So get yourself to the Give Blood website now to find out how to become a donor (UK Only but please please google for your blood drive operators if you aren’t in the UK) and to find out where you can donate 🙂
One final thought as well as most of my readers are female, 70% of people who donate are women, so let’s carry on doing our bit by getting even more of us to sign up as donors as we can only give blood every 16 weeks so its important there are more of us than ever to ensure we are never short of what we need!
Please let me know if you have given blood or if you are thinking of signing up or just have any questions because I’d love to hear and help!
Lots of love, Leanne xx