I wanted this to be a glowing advert to persuade you all to give blood, how it’s really not a big deal. luckily it’s not quite a horror story about me fainting – I just about managed to avoid it.
I’d already gone on the blood.co.uk website where you can search for local sessions where you can donate, and book appointments to minimise your waiting time. It also has a really good step by step guide through how it all works, from walking through the door on your way in to walking out again, so I knew what to expect. except for the almost fainting, but I’ll get to that bit.
After the questions, the registering, the double checking on the questions and my identity, the initial finger prick test, the water and the triple checking on my identity, I was ready. they laid me down on the bed and set everything up and then put a needle into me. It wasn’t painful, but I wouldn’t say it was pleasant. And then I knew for the next 5 minutes I had this needle in me. but I was doing some calming breathing and you have to open and close your hand so I was doing that too. How the person in the bed opposite was able to read at the same time I don’t know.
Anyway as I slowly got up, I was feeling OK. not “Joey Jump” energy levels but I wasn’t expecting that. I went over to the refreshments, started eating some crisps, drinking some water, and then I felt worse, and could start seeing black spots. Which I thought would pass but it didn’t. So when one of the staff soon asked if I was OK, they quickly put me onto a bed, put my legs up and gave me wet towels. And I felt better. This was while everyone was packing up wanting to go home, so I felt a bit bad for prolonging their exit. Mum came to pick me up so I didn’t ever make it to choir, let alone the pub. About an hour later I felt “Joey Jump” better, not that I did one.
I would like to say I’ll do it again, because I did actually give blood and survive. And well if not enough people give then the people who need the blood maybe won’t survive. Only about 4% of those able to give blood do. Some people might not have a body “that agrees with it” mas one of the nurses said to me, and if I do it again and almost faint again, that will be the end of my donations. But I was the lucky 2% of donors who feels faint afterwards, so you’re far more likely to be just fine. Don’t let my story put you off something amazing, something like saving a life.