Monday, 14 February 2011

101 things in 1001 days: Number 23 - Give blood

Completed: 24th January 2011
Tasks completed: 2/101
Days to go: 870

My first experience of giving blood wasn't as daunting as I'd imagined.

I booked my appointment only half an hour beforehand; I'd expected there to be a long wait as I'd left it so late before deciding I definitely wanted to do it.
They made me drink 2 pints of water while I was waiting (it raises your blood pressure making everything easier)... you're recommended to have 500ml but I was waiting for about an hour so I kept getting told to drink more and more and more, and the waterlogged feeling on top of my nerves wasn't the nicest!
Turns out the nurse who did my finger prick test was born in Isleworth, and his friend used to live in the house next door to the Harvester opposite Ashford Hospital. It's such a small world, and since then I've discovered another 2 people I've met at uni have links to home. Strange coincidences freak me out slightly...
Having the needle put in hurt (obviously, as it was pretty big compared to a standard injection) but not as much as I'd worked myself up to believe that it would. Once it was in it was fine, and it only started to hurt again towards the end of the donation, but it only took 7 1/2 minutes which is no time at all so it was bareable.

I got my donor card the other day and my blood type is O- which is cool because my blood can go to anyone of any blood type, so with my one donation I could've potentially already helped save someone's life which is a really rewarding feeling :). Only 7% of the population are O- though, so if I ever need a blood transfusion there's a significantly lower chance of there being blood available for me than if I had a more common group, but *touch wood* I won't ever need blood so I don't have to worry about it. But it makes me realise even more how important it is for people to donate. It's really simple, quick (the whole thing took about an hour, but that was only because only 4 people could donate at a time and it was pretty busy) and pain-free (other than the initial sharp scratch of the needle then a sort of dull ache towards the end, but that went as soon as the needle was out). Plus you get as much free tea, squash, cake and biscuits as you want, what more could you ask for? :P

So if you've never given blood before, or even if you haven't done it for a while, I urge you to at least consider donating. Your donation will be put to good use, either by saving someone's life or being used in treatment for other conditions like cancer. I think one hour of your time is something so small and well worth giving up to give people the chance to live.

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