Thursday, 15 March 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Part the First.

I intend for this to become a regular thing on my blog, at least weekly, but possibly fortnightly. I got the idea from someone else’s TILT post I saw a little while ago. I think it could be a good idea to help me realise just how much good stuff I have in my life; how much stuff I have to be grateful for. How much stuff we should all be grateful for.

I already have a few ideas for post themes. Family, dreadlocks, geology, books. However, this first one is on the theme of Health. More specifically, giving health or even life to others.

Today is Thursday 15th March, 2012, and today I gave blood.

I’ve given before (9 times now), it’s no big deal, but when you actually sit and think about it, it may well become a very big deal to someone, and that someone’s family. Normally I wouldn’t write a blog such as this, but I’m beginning to realise a few things in my life, and if I or any member of my family ever needed blood, I’d hope there was some going spare.

I have no idea if the pint (it’s not even a full pint – less than 500ml is taken) of red stuff I’ve just donated will be used for research, or as part of a routine transfusion, or as part of an emergency life-saving operation. I’ll never meet the people who have benefited, either directly or indirectly, from receiving my blood.

I know that as a B+, I’m quite rare – I make up 8% of the UK population. EIGHT. That’s not a lot. Only 10% of the population are blood group B.

Facts & figures are taken from, and more can be viewed, here: (It’s also quite ironic that I’m a ‘B Positive’, since I have depression!)

I’ll be honest; I’m not the world’s biggest fan of needles. I have to look away and think pleasant thoughts. When I went to have my tonsils out a few years ago, the nurse held my hand and talked to me while they injected the stuff into my hand. When I have blood taken, I have to look away (sometimes I faint). There was an occasion where I came very close to fainting just as I reach the tea and biscuits – kudos to the nurses who appeared out of nowhere, carried me to the bed, and within seconds I was flat on my back, feet in the air, fan on, cold press on, and someone watching over me. (I never did get my brew.)

I managed to almost faint today; nowhere near as spectacular as last time though!

Giving blood is sosoSO simple, so easy, so quick. I’m a fast bleeder, though sometimes I get told off for bleeding too quickly, and tonight the machine bleeped at me three times for not bleeding quick enough! The total time I’m there (including tea, biccies & gossip time) is probably less than an hour. I’ve started to call it mine & my moms “date night”, and I’m fairly sure we have a rep for being peculiar.

I didn’t start giving blood until I was 20ish. I used to go with my mom and sister and watch them, and laugh at them, and then drink tea & eat biccies. I used to sit and read the leaflet. I used to sing along to the radio. I used to stare when there was a bleeder at the tea table. Now, I give blood whenever I’m due – it’s about every 16 weeks.

It’s such a simple thing to do, such a simple way to help someone, to show you care. Yeah, so you may never meet them, but you do come away with a good feeling. You’re part of the club, you build up relationships with the nurses (meaning: you know which ones are gentle!), you become a regular at this little social event. I really really really believe more people should donate – I’d never force anyone, but if you want to change your life this year, Give Blood.

FYI, I go to the Northfield session, at Oddingley Hall. If you go to you can enter your postcode and find deets of the next and nearest session. Recruit a girlfriend/boyfriend/cousin/parent/sibling, and go. Turn it into an event; go to the pub after (not before!) or go and see a film, or whatever you want.

Also, here are some picture froms today:

L x

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