Another Bloody Weekend

Another Sunday rears its dopey head and I am once again full of fry up and thinking about the best way to enjoy the day before another week of work.

Yesterday the boy and I went to Leicester’s illustrious Odeon in the Freeman’s Common and went to see Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. WOW! It is the best film in creation. Johnny Depp is an orgasm in a cravat with blood-stained shirt-sleeves. And he can sing! The man has a maturing-boy-band warble which could bring any closet, twenty-something teeny-bopper out in lust-hives. I must say, I need more than just cold cream to stop that tingly sensation brought on by those brooding, smouldering eyes.

Unfortunately all there was to entertain A was the blood and gore and Helena Bonham Carter’s cleavage.

Anyway, swooning over. I am giving blood again this afternoon. Although it is hardly a pleasant experience, as I am such a selfish person I feel it is necessary to donate my own haemaglobin, platelets and plasma to the NHS, an institution I have enormous respect for despite its current newsworthy-problems ie. C Difficile and MRSA etc. Ostentatious, maybe but I don’t think you can knock it.

So howsabout it? If you have never donated blood is it because you are afraid of needles? Does the idea just not concern you? Are you worried about getting Hepatitis or AIDS?

Donating blood is a half-hour procedure. You go in, sign in if you have never given blood before and are given a file talking you through the system and stating clearly whether or not you are a good or a bad candidate for blood donation for example if you have ever had sex with a man who has had sex with another man or if you have ever taken drugs with a needle. You have to fill in and sign a form stating that you are fit to donate blood. If all if hunky dory then you wait.

By this point you get called into a cubicle with a nurse who asks you all the questions you answered on your form again just to be sure. If you have sudden recollections of being in an opium den or selling your body on streetcorners now is a fantastic time to mention it. If all is above board then the nurse checks your weight if you look like you may weigh under 8 stone (HAH!) and then takes a little prick of blood from your finger. This prick of blood is then put in a vile and if it floats you aren’t fit to give blood. They sometimes do it again and it sinks on the second go. Then they give you a plaster and send you back to the waiting room to wait for a bed to come free.

When there’s a free bed and nurse you’re called over and you lie down. The nurse asks you what arm you want to donate from and if you desire she can give you a little anaesthetic. I am hardened and tough and get man points for refusing the anaesthetic. Now I cannot honestly tell you what happens next because I look away because the idea of seeing what goes on makes me feel sick but at some point they insert a needle into your arm and pump out about a pint of blood. All thsi time you are asked to clench and unclench your fist which does get more difficult as more blood drains out of your arm.

The actual blood-draining process takes me about ten minutes. I am an eight-and-a-half stone, 21 year old female of medium height but I would imagine that it would take less time if you are a big muscular man, bigger blood vessels probably. I dunno! Don’t ask me medical questions… Ignore that.

Okay, then they remove the needle which is horrible but only takes one second. You are then required to lay on your back holding a bandage down on your puncture so the blood can clot. They then plaster it up elastoplast style and you are asked to lay there until you feel confident enough about walking and not fainting, being sick or bleeding to death.

Then the best bit, (when I was a student it was the best bit anyway). Free biscuits and tea served toy ou by kind parishoners and/or elderly nursing staff. Followed closely by that smug sense of satisfaction.

Anyway, I like giving blood because the whole horrible process amounts to something that is making the world a better place.

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One Response

  1. I agree with you. 🙂
    Not many people at this day would like to give “something” to change the world. Making the world a better place.

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