Thursday, February 17, 2011

Give Blood ... Save Lives

I thought about trying to come up with a really cool title for this blog post but decided I would stick with a tried and true slogan used by the Australian Red Cross.   It means what it says.  If you give blood, you save lives.   It's that simple. I'm wondering why it took me 47 years to actually do it?  

Was I scared?  Hell no, I have blood tests every couple of months.   I think it was a case of too hard, can't be bothered, too busy.  In reality that is simply a poor attitude on my behalf.

Two of my favourite bloggers and lovely friends, Bern Morley from So You Think You Can Dance ... oh hang on its So Now What. (sorry I always say that in my head when I read your blog) and Sarah from Ahh, The Possibilities both recently donated blood and posted about it.  You can read Bern's blog post here and Sarah's here.

After reading their posts I made a deal with myself.  The next time I saw the Red Cross Van at a shopping centre I would pull in and donate blood.   Today it happened.  I was racing home after staying 2 hours longer at a client than I expected and stopped in to buy some meat for dinner.  There was the big Red Cross Van.  I knew what I had to do.

I made my way over and was asked if I'd had much to drink today (I hadn't, he was talking water too by the way) but he said as long as I drink 4 or 5 glasses before I go in I'd be ok.  I did.  It was going to take an hour.  I was already 2 hours late home, what's another hour.  Particularly if it means I help save a life.

I filled out form after form, drank cups of cordial until I was buzzing. I went in for an interview where I had to disclose all manner of sexual preferences and drug use.  Needless to say there was nothing to disclose.  I've led a sheltered life to date, (well that's my story and I'm sticking with it).  I was then asked to make myself comfortable on the bed once I finished drinking the super sweet popper they also wanted me to drink.  I couldn't get comfortable.  Very hard to lie down and relax when your bladder is full of cordial and juice!  I had to ask to go to the toilet. Embarrassment.  They understood, apparently it happens all the time.

Finally we were ready to draw blood.  Unfortunately my veins weren't in the mood.  Hidey veins they called them.   Three different people tried to find them.  I was almost going to be turned away when the lovely Annette came to the rescue and found the slippery little sucker.  I was finally donating.   The needle didn't hurt  (only a little) and I didn't feel the blood leaving my body.  It took about 10 minutes.

Afterward I sat up and they gave me another popper!  My sugar levels must have been sky high.  So much for my sugar free week.  I only made 2 days!!   Once I finished the popper I was allowed to go to the chairs and have chocolates with cheese and crackers.  Excellent.

It really was easy.  Sure it took an hour, but hey, I can waste an hour on Twitter or surfing the net.  This hour was not wasted.  I can help someone by donating my blood.  In fact my one donation will be used for 3 different people.  I love the fact that I am making blood every minute of every day and by giving some of it away I can help someone else.  How incredible is that?  

Unfortunately so many people can't donate blood due to illness, bad veins, travel to the UK etc.  Mad Cow Disease rules out thousands of potential donors in Australia.  Today I feel incredibly lucky because I can donate.

I have already booked in for my next donation.  It is Thursday 9th June at 3.00 pm.  If you think you would like to donate, I can't recommend it enough.  Contact Red Cross Australia and go for it.   It's totally worth it.



  1. Yay!! I'm the same as you. 35 years and I've never found an hour out of my life to give something that naturally replenishes? I'm now a total convert.

    Oh, and I may very well change my blog to So You Think You Can Dance. Channel 10 won't might right??

    Love Ya Annie xx

  2. Good on you Annie! And don't those cheese and crackers afterwards make it totally worth it? And the fact you're helping save lives too. Awesome.

  3. I'm one of the ones who can't do it because of Mad Cow Disease, and also the medications I'm on. Very glad that there are people around like you lovely ladies to make a difference.

  4. You're a Great Australian, Annie. x

  5. I'm so jealous! I would love to give. good on you xox


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