One of the things on my ’50 Before 50’ list is Give Blood.
Give Blood also featured on two previous life lists I made, but I’ve never quite got around to actually doing it.
I am not the world’s biggest fan of needles (who is?) or blood – I don’t actually mind having injections or blood samples taken at all, but I don’t like to see the needle or the blood. On the one occasion I watched a blood sample being taken from my arm, I felt extremely sick and quite faint, so I’ve always kept my head averted on such occasions since then.
I decided it was time I got it ticked off my list so I could stop thinking about it, and I checked the dates last month and made an appointment for the next session, which fell on Monday afternoon.
I won’t lie, I was dreading it, and spent the morning trying to come up with valid reasons not to go. I’d made an early appointment, right at the beginning of the session, so that I didn’t have to wait around, as I knew that would make me even more nervous.
The first thing I encountered on arrival was a massive queue, which I stood in for a good five minutes, next to a waiting area seething with people, and not a spare chair to be seen.
Eventually I got to the front of the queue, where I told the chap on the desk that I had an appointment and asked how long I was likely to have to wait. He didn’t seem to know, which didn’t fill me with confidence.
He looked up my name on his list, said ‘oh, it’s your first time’, and sort of grinned in a slightly maniacal way. Not sure what that was all about. Anyway, he asked me to sit down and read a long document, about six or seven pages of A4.
I duly sat down and started reading. Page 1 was OK, page 2 a little unsettling with all its talk of feeling faint and side effects. Then came page 3, which was a graphic description of exactly how the process of the removal of my blood was going to take place. Halfway through reading about tubes, blood bags, syringes, needles, veins etc etc, I felt sweat break out on my brow, and I literally felt the contents of my stomach start rolling around. I took a deep breath, braced myself, and read another sentence or two. The edges of my vision did that thing where they start to go swimmy.
No, I decided, this is not for me. Sorry, I said to the bloke at the desk (still dealing with a massive queue – clearly they’re not short of people donating blood!), I couldn’t get past the description on page 3. And off I went, back to my car, all my blood well and truly inside my body, where it belongs.
So, that’ll be a fail for Give Blood then. Oh well, at least I tried.