I feel a bit drained today. Must be because I gave blood last night. Boom boom.
It had been years since I’d given blood. The Blood Bank‘s hours aren’t exactly convenient for me. Then I happened to hear that the mobile blood bank would be paying a visit to my neck of the woods, so I thought I’d better leap at the opportunity and get down there.
To my surprise and delight, it was quite crowded when I rolled up at around 6:30pm. A lot of people seemed to be stopping past after work, including a guy I recognised from the train who slightly resembles East Timor hero Xanana GusmÃ¯Â¿Â½o – in fact I bet that’s the only reason he keeps the beard.
Despite the 6 years since I’d previously donated, they were able to find my records, but I had to fill out a lengthy form so they could figure out if my blood was worth taking. During the accompanying interview a few people overtook me in the queue – it’s amazing how a bit of overseas travel and a recent(ish) relationship with someone from overseas can impact how many questions they ask you.
The lady took a small sample, and seemed impressed that my haemoglobin level was 17 – whatever that means. Obviously I’m living healthier than I thought I was. My blood was deemed worthy, and I joined another queue.
I sat waiting, thinking of all the popular culture blood donation references I could. Hancock as The Blood Donor: "A pint? That’s very nearly an armful". Pete Townshend’s song "Give Blood". Neil in the Young Ones, when told "You may feel a bit of a prick", replying "So what’s new?"
And of course, Ultraviolet. Arrgh! What if this was all a Code V front?!?
I lay down, and the lady stuck the thing into my vein and slurped out my blood. The number of times I got asked if I was feeling okay was a bit of a worry, but all went well (except for a few drops spilt when she took it out) and I wandered into the next room for some food and drink. Then went home, vowing to do it again soon, and happy in the knowledge that I’d done a bloody good deed.