So the other day, as part of this new mindset of taking action and just DOING, I went and gave blood for the first time.
It’s something that my other half has been on at me to do for ages, pretty much since we got together actually, and I’ve always managed to find an excuse not to go. So when presented with the ‘Roosevelt Action’ mission 10 days ago, it was the first thing that popped into my head so I went with it.
It was all going swimmingly… until I fainted.
Now as someone that has zero experience of fainting, this being my first episode, I can tell you it’s not something that’s all too easy to describe. The sensation of having lost control of your own body is unpleasant, to say the least. The slow, labouring walk from the blood-taking chair to the promised land of tea and biscuits suddenly turned into a lunar adventure; every step a floating, out of body experience. Add to that the feeling of slowly being tuned out of your surroundings, like a radio searching for a signal…
I could hear the fuzzy requests of kind nurses asking ‘Are you alright?’, ‘Can you hear me?’, ‘Let’s get you on this chair…’ but was unable to formulate a response. As if hearing and speaking has suddenly become mutually exclusive!
When coming to it took a moment to reconcile my field of vision. The last thing I remembered was being hoisted into a chair but the first thing I saw was the ceiling. Evidently, I hadn’t made it onto the chair and the floor was the next safest stop, complete with a ‘legs in the air’ cushion tucked under my bum. My first words:
“Did I fall off that chair?!”
Thankfully the answer was no, but my relief quickly turned to embarrassment as I realised I had decided to faint 5 yards from the entrance! Now, if the sight of a sweaty, confused, ginger woman sprawled out on the floor of a city council building isn’t enough to put you off donating blood for the first time I don’t know what is!? Luckily my episode took place before the post-work rush of donors so the witness pool was minimal.
Mercifully my recovery was pretty quick. I was able to peel myself off the cold parquet flooring, aided by a production line of friendly, kind-faced nurses, who plonked me in a nice velvet covered chair and
allowed me to stuff myself full of chocolate biscuits and orange squash (to restore my blood sugar levels, of course, strictly medical – nurses orders).
Despite all this, I haven’t been put off! I still felt like a million bucks (once I’d recovered) when I left and
it still makes me smile to think that just 470mls of my blood, 10 minutes of my time (minus the hour recovery) could potentially save someone’s life…
So go on… Give Blood. You never know, you might like it!