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Reverse vampirism

Short one today. To be perfectly honest, even though I have had four days off work this week, I have not fancied doing anything until today, and so I have a few in progress projects, but nothing to show on the blog. Apart from the stitching progress.

I love it when a stitch starts coming together. I'm still nowhere near complete of course, and it can be frustrating at times, not only for me in terms of actually stitching, but of not being able to put much on this blog at times. Hopefully there will be some more in the next couple of weeks.

THIS was the week I thought I was going to chicken out of.

Life's vital fluid
donated to help others
moves from vein to bag

So this week was a big one for me. Giving blood. I discussed it with my old boss a while ago, who told me that when he was a young man in London, he would donate blood whenever he was going for a night on the tiles. Made for a cheaper night, but probably not a good thing to do. I do not like needles, and have not got a good history with them, but it has been a while, so I thought that I would try to see if anything had changed, and do it for a good cause.

See, it's easy to give money, at least for the main part. To give your time, and your blood, is far harder than shoving a few coins in a charity pot, and it makes you feel as if you are truly giving of yourself in a way that nothing else can.

My appointment was this past Friday, and I was shitting myself (not literally). After coming home, I ventured out again in the pouring rain, to get to my appointment. I was so drenched that they had to provide me with a fresh shirt, and cover me with a blanket when I was donating, in case I was too cold!

So, to start off with, you have to fill out a questionnaire. Basically, if you answer yes to anything, they will have to ask follow up questions to ascertain whether you can donate. After that, they will encourage you to drink (you should be drinking loads of fluids anyway) and then shoot you in the finger with something, in order to get some blood out. It feels like a sudden sting, and the blood id taken via a pipette and dropped into this jar of fluid. I think the time it takes to travel to the bottom is indicative of your Hb level. Mine was ok, so the next stage was sitting in a bucket chair that tips back so you can lie down. The nurse put a blood pressure cuff around my arm to help them get to the vein, then washed the area for 30 seconds. Then it was time for the needle! It did hurt going in, and you can feel it all the way through, but it is not pain just a weird feeling of something being stuck in your arm.

It takes up to 15 minutes to get a pint of blood (the bag is rocking backwards and forwards below and to the right of you as this is happening) and will beep when it is done. It helps if you clench and release the hand of the arm the needle is sticking out of, and even to clench your bum! Mine was a little slow to begin with, but once they had readjusted the needle slightly it was fine. When it's done they take the needle out, attach a plaster, and send you to the area with juice, tea and biscuits so that you can recuperate. And that was me done! Amazingly enough, I didn't even get a bruise. I did see a badger on the way home as well; turned on my torch cos I couldn't see where I was going and there was a badger right in front of me. So all in all it turned out to be a good day.

I urge anyone who is able, to donate blood. It literally is life saving. It's easy to sign up, just google it and you will be able to find what you need.



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