One of the things from my original Look Wider list that I completed was to donate blood. Fact is, it is so simple to book yourself in for an appointment and once you’ve booked it you can’t really unbook without feeling like a selfish biddy.
So I researched the process and the website has a great virtual tour where you follow a woman through each stage on giving blood. I strongly suggest having a look at it if you’re nervous about going. I booked myself in for an appointment on a Sunday afternoon in August and asked James if he could drive me. You are allowed to drive yourself home, you’re given a drink and snacks after your donation and told you must rest before leaving, but I was nervous and needed the moral support.
So on my first visit I had James following me around like a shadow but if you do bring someone for moral support expect that they will be constantly asked to give blood as well. James has his reasons for not doing it, but he says that one day he will. I am a nervous person so having James with me was a great help but on my second visit he stayed in the waiting area.
After reading the information leaflet and drinking a cup of water I was taken into a screened area to speak to a nurse about my situation. If you’ve had this, that and the other you can’t donate for this much time. Check the website to be sure you can donate. Once everything was clear a drop of blood is taken from your fingertip to check the haemoglobin level. It’s like a pinch, so doesn’t really hurt.
Then you wait to one side for your moment, secretly hoping that the lady next to you gets called first.
But then you will be called. You lie on a bed and the nurse goes through the details, then they take the blood. It takes about 10 minutes and you can watch the progess of how much is taken as a light rises to the top of a bar. Although on my second visit the light seemed to drop at one moment, which doesn’t usually happen but doesn’t hurt or damage anything either, I’m just weird.
After it’s over you told to sit at the table and drink tea or squash and eat biscuits and crisps. Any reason to snack really.
I decided to do it as it seemed like an easy way to give back to people. And it really is simple. It only takes an hour out of your week, and if you can find someone else who wants to donate then it becomes a social occasion! Please consider it, one day it could be you who needs it. Oh, and I found out my blood group is A+, always good to know!