Apart from making some extra trips from my desk to the printer (instead of doing big eyes at passing colleagues in the hope that they’ll bring me my stuff), my exercise was gentle but worthwhile today. I say gentle, I simply sat, squeezed my buttocks, crossed and uncrossed my feet, and clenched and unclenched my fists. Oh, and a nice young man stuck a needle in arm, took a pint of my blood and sent me on my way to eat some guilt-free biscuits.
By sheer coincidence, this week is National Blood Week and NHS Blood and Transplant wants people to fill the gaps in their donor numbers (you might have seen the #missingtype – it’s why I’m missing my As, Bs and Os). Every year, they need over 204, 000 new donors to replace those who can’t donate any more but numbers are dropping. If you can donate, it would be amazing if you could sign up as a donor. It’s incredibly simple and donating is absolutely nothing to worry about.
It only takes about an hour (I was in and out in 45 minutes today, even though I turned up 20 minutes early for my appointment) and if nothing else is an education in brilliantly run logistics. Think about it, the team turns up in the morning, sets up a reception area, two waiting areas, a few private consultation booths (for the health questions and iron checks), the beds for donation, two clinical areas where things are labelled and generally dealt with, and a chill out zone with tea, crisps, biscuits and squash. And at the end of the day, it all gets packed up into the back of the lorry and off they trundle for the next day’s donating. Bloody amazing.
Everything (in my experience) runs amazingly smoothly. Today it was a bit like crowd surfing, I had only just finished reading the essential information when I was passed onto the health check lady, the health check lady got me a nurse to check I could donate while using creams for my manky skin, someone appeared as if by magic to check my iron, I was directed to a waiting area where my bum had barely hit the seat when I was summonsed to donate. And did I mention the biscuits?
I’m incredibly fascinated by the whole process and want to badger them with questions about what everything’s for and how it all works, but they’re all busy being really efficient so I don’t like to interrupt. As I have donated today, I am now banned from strenuous exercise, heavy lifting and flying planes, so I plan to sit back and relax for the rest of the night.
To find out how to register as a blood donor visit www.blood.co.uk.