I gave blood for the first time this week!
I signed up to say that I was interested months (possibly years?) ago, but have never actually made it to a donation session before … for a variety of reasons including being a wimp and not wanting to go on my own, and sessions being tricky to get to (but mostly being a wimp).
So! I was really pleased that I finally actually managed to get my act together to donate – and now that I’ve done it once it won’t be so daunting next time. I was there for about 45 minutes overall, though I don’t know how long I was actually hooked up to the tubes etc for – probably about 10 minutes. It was a mobile donation unit, so it was pretty tight for space but everyone was very cheerful and efficient. They made me drink lots of water. It really wasn’t scary – I was a tad apprehensive about how it might be, but it was fine. The needle went smoothly in first time, and it did feel like a “long sharp scratch” like the nurse warned me it would – and basically, that was it, apart from 10 minutes of crossing and uncrossing my legs (apparently this keeps the blood circulating?) and wiggling my fingers (to keep the blood flow up in that arm).
I did feel a bit odd for the rest of the day, but that just meant needing to spend lots of time sitting down. Such a small price to pay for doing something so worthwhile.
Give blood! It’s such an important thing to do … I am sad to say that I wimped out for so long. If you’re in the UK, you can go to http://www.blood.co.uk for more information.
(also: this post would have had pictures, but the only photo I’ve got is of a great big plaster on my elbow … yeah, figured you didn’t really need to see that)