Sorry, I just had to. I couldn’t help myself. I really didn’t want to but something had to give. All that tosh about being better and turning over a new leaf, wow, look how brave and honest and up front I am and yet … I still faint after giving a pint of blood.
I bet you weren’t expecting that.
Now, technically it’s not even a pint, it’s 470ml to be exact. An hour of my time (well a little more when you are a fainter) but like my preaching to go and do a Park Run, you really should give blood. What’s the worst that could happen, you faint, make a fool of yourself and have a load of pensioners marvel at the new monkey in the reclining fainter’s furniture whilst gently sipping their hot beverage after having (probably) given blood for the umpteenth time. In they bloody strolled one after the other, giving their pint, supping their brew and then toddling out like it was no big deal. And I know they weren’t first timers like me as you are not allowed a hot beverage on your first donation. I guess earning that cup of tea is like a rite of passage. Well first off, when you are extracting any bodily fluids from me in that quantity it is a big deal. Secondly, when the nurse explains that ‘they’ are just going to take drop of blood to check my iron levels (to see if its safe to give Dracula’s Draught) and that the little prick on the end of my finger won’t hurt a bit, well I can tell you it does, it stings and no amount of squeezing to get enough of a globule to drop in your ‘iron-testing fluid’ helps to subside the smarting. And pressing the end of my finger with the force of 30lb per square cm neither helps to dissipate the pain. But still you need to give blood.
Word of advice, do not hyperventilate, do not suggest that you don’t like needles, do not instruct the nurse to just get on with it. Firstly, the nurse is your friend. Honestly, he or she does want your blood and yes they are going to insert a needle in your arm but honestly trust me when I say this, be as nice and polite and sweet to them as possible because they can make that needle prick very uncomfortable for the seven to ten minutes you are in blood letting labour. If you’ve given blood you might understand what I mean? There are these chairs that you recline in, it is the nearest a bloke will ever come to feeling like your feet might be placed in stirrups (unless you are riding of course). My nurse, well let’s say she didn’t really warm to me. Maybe my fear of needles and hatred of giving blood betrayed me, so much so, that she said if I didn’t calm down she wasn’t going to let me give blood, that’s when I related to her that I did not even want to think about it and asked, nay told her to just stick me. Wrong turn of phrase. Especially to a nurse. I tried to make friends soon after. Too late, although we did have a giggle. More like she perhaps had a giggle at the bluff, bluster and bravado of the sanguinary incompetent incumbent. Still, the fact is that although I am a fainter, although I hate needles, although I can’t stand pain and although I am self conscious of competent people seemingly assessing me, I did give blood. I donated 470 beautiful wonderful millilitres of the life giving liquid. I got past my fear, past my hates and I followed through on something important. At work, I often say that I am simple (no, you don’t have to agree with this) and if I can do it, anyone can do it. So the same applies, if a weakling with all of my hang ups can do it and (importantly) be willing to do it again, then surely you can do it. Unless, you already do, then thank you, fist-pump, respect, that’s boss! Please click to register and donate.
Quick mention to my Big Little Sis, 49 pints is a big deal, or is it 50? Either way I’m impressed. In answer to your one-upmanship in the sibling rivalry stakes, I concede. Yes, you are ahead of me in giving blood. No, I have no intention of catching you up. However, the 10 in 10 does rival the kudos of an Iron Man. I know I have to finish it yet, but I have every intention of doing so. Just cause you’ve completed an Iron Man doesn’t mean that I can’t catch you and be almost as brilliant as you. Finally, please don’t tell me what I am capable of, I’m now ready to find out for myself! Love you.