It's Good to Give.....
Friday, May 2, 2014
And it's been quite a while since I've given.
Fifteen years to be precise; a child and a whole life full of changes later.
It was easy to give back then - The Blood Bank bus collected and returned us to the workplace.
But now the workplace is my own home, and although my intentions were good, a very busy home life kinda got in the way.
However a few weeks ago I finally took the bull by the horns as it were, and finally just walked into a relatively local Blood Bank branch to make that appointment. The appointment to donate some of my life's blood so that it be available to give life to another, if needed. But would they want me back? Would my since-aged blood be good enough?
Well, I was certainly welcomed back by the lovely and very understanding staff, who were easily able to access my details from all that time ago, and a suitable appointment was swiftly made. One that fit in very well with my new busy life of mummy jobs and school pick-ups. And it turns out I'm not that old for giving blood.. you can give blood if over 70, in certain circumstances!
When the day itself dawned I didn't pay much heed to the deed to be done. It was simply added to that day's to-do list.... you know, the usual running around with a quick trip to the gym squeezed in en route - Oops.
It was only when I crossed the threshold that I began to feel a little anxious - 'why the hell did I agree to this' type of thing. And when I get anxious or nervous I make jokes and talk. A lot!
But the staff are used to this I reckon and they welcomed me again and thanked me for coming; as did each person I came in contact with that day. As it was my first donation in such a long time I was given some literature to read, forms to fill in and was sent in for a quick interview and pin-prick on the finger blood test with the nurse.
Some things have changed but mostly it's similar. You are no longer prohibited from giving blood by being on blood pressure medication though, once it's under control and you're well established on the medications. And cholesterol medications don't prohibit you either.
I was given instructions on correct procedures before and after donating; drink lots of water, have a good night's sleep and get plenty of rest. And that means no, you do not attend a gym on the day of your donation, nor do you organise a dance lesson for a group of friends later the same day - Oops.... again!!
With my haemoglobin at a very good level it was soon time to get the deed done, and then the nervousness really hit. I told them how I felt and they made me feel very much at ease. They talked to me. A lot. Which suited me perfectly fine! After a while I did feel some tightness and tingling in my hand, which would have been understandable had it not been on the opposite hand to the one from which the donation was been taken! It was a bit confounding and it was put down to my earlier trip to the gym.
Within ten minutes my fast flowing blood donation was complete and I was brought to get some post-donation sustenance. The advice was sweet and salty to restore blood sugars and lost salts. These were doctor's orders I was prepared to ditch the diet for and absolutely followed to the letter, Well, I haven't had a Twix in years!
So, I finally donated and lived to tell the tale, and I really appreciated the follow-up 'thank you' text that I received today. Although I did give the dance lesson last night I kept it very short - I know, I know I shouldn't have but I didn't want to disappoint! I rested when I could today, when the tiredness hit and totally avoided the gym.
It was a really good experience, one that I very much intend on repeating in three months time, and this time I will follow the advice that I am now aware of. I am so glad that I did this, especially on the Thursday leading up to the May Bank Holiday weekend.
Check this link for the current Blood Supply levels
Do you think you could donate to boost these levels?
It doesn't matter how long it's been since you last donated, you'll be welcomed back with open arms. Remember though..... avoid the gym/exercise completely on the day!