Individual photographs found here
On Friday the 27th of February I finally got off my arse and gave blood for the first time.
I decided to live tweet the event, because I needed some moral support (virtual kick up the arse). So it went something like this:
1.Mumborg has just gone off to theatre and I have just stuffed my face with spinach and rocket in preparation for #giveblood session.3:13 PM Feb 27th from TweetDeckOkay here is some filler, because sometimes a simple tweet is not enough, even though the needle twitpic was probably too much for some.
2.Nearly at blood place now. Feeling nervous and dishevelled. #giveblood5:37 PM Feb 27th from txt
3.Filling in forms now and there is a big queue. #giveblood5:47 PM Feb 27th from txt
Reading booklet thing about blood safety whilst waiting to #giveblood6:05 PM Feb 27th from txt
4.Just been health checked and iron levels are good. Its on to the next stage #giveblood6:18 PM Feb 27th from txt
5.Palms are getting sweaty now its getting nearer to #giveblood time!6:24 PM Feb 27th from txt
6.I think its me next halp! #giveblood6:25 PM Feb 27th from txt
7.I am now losing blood feels okay! #giveblood6:42 PM Feb 27th from txt
8.Half way! Still feels fine. #giveblood6:47 PM Feb 27th from txt
9.http://twitpic.com/1qb45 -6:51 PM Feb 27th from TwitPic
10.I am done in eight minutes flat biscuit and juice time. #giveblood6:54 PM Feb 27th from txt
11.Do it for the biscuits they are yum! #giveblood6:57 PM Feb 27th from txt
12.http://twitpic.com/1qc3z -7:24 PM Feb 27th from TwitPic
13.http://twitpic.com/1qcet -7:35 PM Feb 27th from TwitPic
On arrival at the blood donation centre (a church hall), I was told that there would be a long wait for folks with no appointments. As I was one of those folks, I could of legged it then, but I was determined to do it. So I filled in my form and joined the other blood givers. The form filling wasn't difficult at all, just a brief tick list of recent travels, if you have had any unprotected sexual encounters and brief medical history. All very basic yes/no stuff, so if your a bit form phobic like myself, there is nothing to worry about.
Then after waiting awhile perusing though the facts and figures of blood giving, I was called for my basic health check. This involved going through the initial form in a bit more detail and a pinprick to test for iron levels. The pinprick was painless and they then drop a blob of blood into a phial, if the blood sinks, hey presto you can give blood. I think the spinach and rocket came in handy, as I always have to reassure people that I am not anaemic just very very pale.
Onto the next waiting area, which was two rows of chairs away from the first waiting area, alas no luxury for us blood givers. I have to admit that the palms were starting to get a wee bit sweaty at this point, but I wasn't left long enough to get too nervous. I had to hop up on a bed and then the nurse took my blood pressure. There were six beds in total, right in the middle of hall for everyone to see, but it still felt very relaxed. After a few making fists and releases, I then had to make a fist and hold it tight (not sure if that sounds right). I had to this for both arms to see which had the better vein, they were about the same. Which was good news for twittering! As I got to keep my right arm free. The nurse didn't seem too impressed by twittering, I think she thought I was just jabbering away nervously.
Now that she had a picked my left arm, I had to make a fist and release my hand a few times and finally make a fist and hold it.The area was then cleaned with an alcohol swab and the needle was inserted. I wont lie and say I couldn't feel a thing, because I could. It was not painful at all, not even horrid like the needles they use at the dentist. It was just slightly uncomfortable because you could feel the needle there.Once the needle is in and the blood is flowing you can relax your hand. To keep the blood flowing nicely, you just gently make a fist and release it constantly. I just lay there listening to the background music (Kings of Leon) and twittered a few times, before being told I was all done! Eight minutes was all it took to potentially save three people's lives.
After the needle is removed, painless again, the area is cleaned and plaster whacked on. You get up nice and slowly, wait for a moment to sit up properly and then you are released for biscuits and juice. The nurse recommended that your drink a cold drink at your first session, not sure why. The biscuits were yum and I found myself sat there feeling peaceful and slightly smug with the satifaction that I had done something nice. I have to wait a few weeks to hopefully get my card and see if my blood is any good. Then in four months, I will be giving blood again. I may video it next time!
1.Simple steps to blood giving found here2.Virtual session here
Thanks to the tweeps!
The folks on twitter really gave me the support I needed to do it. Sometimes it just doesn't work when you say 'Oh I think I will give blood this time'. By tweeting it, I added that little bit of pressure to live up to the promise I had made to myself. Also to everyone else that gave me support, god this is turning into an Oscar like speech, but it really helped honest!
I tried to keep track as much as possible using the hashtag #giveblood and following it on my tweetfeed.
Of course in the back of my mind was the mumborg, as I was waiting to give blood, she was losing it in surgery.The wound was successfully cleaned and the clot removed. To hopefully prevent any more clots forming, she now has three drains coming directly out of her leg. They look like mini hosepipes, rather horrid. So things are feeling uncomfortable for her at the moment, but the leg is otherwise fine, sort of! I think you should give blood regardless of personally circumstances, but it took this latest bout of mumborg surgery to really make me think about it. Please don't be like me and give blood when/if you can.