Saturday, 10 January 2015

The only new year's resolution you should have

Sorry I've been an inactive blogger and I am trying to change that! I was unsure what to post about but it occured to me that there was something I feel very passionately about. And that is blood donation.

Now before you click off the page, shuddering at the thought of a needle entering your skin or the idea of the red liquid, please please please read this. Because I feel the same way. Blood makes me grimace, veins make me gag and the idea of needles makes me feel slightly faint. I have cancelled my flu jabs for the last year because the thought of being injected makes me cry, I put off a blood test for months purely due to fear, so how can I be so passionate about blood donation?

Because it's not for me. 

That is literally the entire reason. I would rather risk flu than be injected and I will cry in the waiting room of a blood test because I know that the horrible needle feeling is only going to affect me. But knowing that my discomfort will be helping someone makes that suddenly irrelevant. Watching a pint of my blood leave my body and knowing that I will be helping someone makes me so, so happy.
'Red cells are used predominantly in treatments for cancer and blood diseases, as well as for treating anaemia and in surgeries for transplants and burns. Plasma provides proteins, nutrients and a clotting agent that is vital to stop bleeding - it is the most versatile component of your blood. Platelets are tiny cells used to help patients at a high risk of bleeding. They also contribute to the repair of damaged body tissue.' -

Your blood will not be wasted, it might be used to help someone who has been in a horrible accident or with a serious illness. You can spare a pint of blood, the person you're giving it to is relying on it.

And hey; there are free snacks! What's not to love?!

I first gave blood in October and went along with my friend Lauren in a double free lesson we both had. We filled in some forms (only I was signed up to donate but that didn't matter!), answered questions, sat around for a while, had our haemoglobin levels tested and then sat on weird chairs doing exercises for 10 minutes whilst we donated a pint of blood each. Then we sat at the snack section and then went on our way. Everyone was lovely and reassuring, constantly checking we were okay and making sure we weren't worried.

I didn't get hideous bleeding, it hurt but I'd describe it as 'mild discomfort'- nothing like stubbing your toe or knocking your elbow- that pain's intense.

It was genuinely such a great thing to do and I definitely want to be a regular blood donor :-)! More than one in four of us will require a blood donation at some point in our lives, so tbh you're basically just paying back!

There are also regular appeals when blood supplies are low, which is so worrying as people's lives are put in danger so unnecessarily!

There is certain criteria which you need to meet to give blood (I went along to a session on Wednesday to donate and discovered I have anaemia and can't give blood for a year:((((( ) but most people are fine!

You're under no obligation to donate more than once even though it's great to, so why not suggest to your friends going along? Sessions are regular and in a lot of locations so it is genuinely convenient!

Here is a link to the blood donation website, I hope this may have encouraged you or even just made you think about blood donation!!!


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