Giving back.... My Experience as a First Time Blood Donor

Hello Everyone, 

It's been a while since I wrote on the blog. 

I've been on a self imposed reduction of screen time mission. But now I'm back! 

--

I thought that I would write a post all about where I have been, but I wanted to talk about the most important experience that I have recently been through. 

If you follow the blog on Instagram or on the Facebook page, then you might have a clue as to what I am talking about. 


At the start of February, I faced my fear of needles and I donated blood for the first time via the NHS. 



* Disclaimer - later in this post there is a picture of a needle going into my arm... you can just scroll past it if you need to *

--


A little bit of background on this for you all.... My Fiancee Luke has been doing this for years and every time he had an appointment card come through the post or a letter, I always wondered if I could do it. 

If I could overcome a childhood fear to do something good for my fellow human. 

It took about six years for me to decide to do it. Last year I signed up to both the Bone Marrow registry and to become a blood donor. 



You may recall that I have been involved in the past in raising money for those suffering from Blood Cancer.  

The Two main charities that we supported were Bloodwise and Antony Nolan. 




Under Luke's advice I signed up for an appointment in October as he said that it was best that I had a time so that fear wouldn't have time to build.

 But this session got cancelled at the last minute. So I rebooked for February. 

Because I am the kind of person that has to research everything before I did anything, I found that a large amount of blood goes to help those people that are fighting against cancer. 

Cancer is something that sadly has touched my family more than once. 

So this was all the motivation I really needed, that and I really wanted to know what Blood type I am.

--

The day came and I was really nervous. It was a work day and I sat at my desk overthinking the process. I got a text to say to eat properly and hydrate and that they were looking forward to meeting me, which I thought was a really nice touch. 

I left work early and went to one of our local churches. My session was quiet, chilled and I was seen as soon as I drank the required amount of squash when I got there. 

You have to go for a little assessment before you can go ahead and donate.

 This is where one of my main concerns came to play, as you know I have a mainly vegan diet and the main draw back of that is a lack of iron. 

However, due to the food I eat and the supplements I take, I had so much Iron my blood sailed through the sinking test. 

This was done via a little pin prick to the side of my index finger - which I didn't feel... although I did ask if Luke could come and hold my hand for this part... it reminded my of my Grandmothers test for her blood sugar level and I thought it was going to really hurt. 

After this was done I was taken to a chair and I did question myself as to whether I could do this. 

The Nurse was so lovely and she kept the needle hidden from me as I asked her to. Its not a fear of the feeling, its not a fear of loosing the blood... its just the metal pointy thing. Its just blergh. 

She took me through all the steps as she found my vein and cleaned my arm and prepared everything. 

I got a little emotional, I could feel the tears in my eyes. 

Luke held my hand and put my headphones in my ears so I could drum it all out. And the needle... it glided in.... It barely pinched me... and there we were giving blood. 


I had to do some exercises to encourage blood flow and a couple of minutes passed... the bag was full and before I knew it I was munching on free popcorn, a sugary drink and other treats. 

--

It was so much easier than I thought. 

Luke kept a close eye on me as it was my first donation and bought me a lovely chippy dinner. 

The aftercare is to relax for the rest of the day, avoid heavy lifting, hot showers and also to eat and hydrate.

Alot of people wanted to see my arm and this is what it looked like after a couple of days, I think this is just because it was my first time. 



It didn't hurt at all.

--


A couple of days later, I got a little update... my blood type. 


Turns out I am AB-, which is one of the rarest blood types. 

 I had already booked my next donation before I had even left the first session, but I now feel a new motivation to keep going. 

 I read somewhere that I have this type because I've got one gene from my Dad and one from my Mum and this doesn't happen very often.

 I do hope that if I am ever in need of blood another AB - donor will have my back. 

A message also appeared on the App, a thank you message from a patient that has sickle cell disease saying thank you for saving my life. 

I felt those same tears in my eyes. As the process was so easy, I didn't feel like I really did much....

--

A week after donation, I got a message to say that my blood has ended up in London, all the way from my session in Northampton. 

There were the tears again... part of me could potentially save three other people, it might have already saved a life. 




--

My next session is just before my birthday in July.  Luke has also given blood in the last week. 

If you are considering donating, please sign up.

 Its the easiest thing in the world and you could save a life. 

There is always the possibility that you might need the help of someone that made the decision to help. You get what you put into the world.... 

--

I got a little present in the post today - So now I can show everyone that I have overcome my fear of needles! 



---


If you have any questions about Blood Donation then you can go to the official Give Blood Website

--

Thanks for reading 

Becky 

x


 Twitter : @BeckyRussell

Instagram : @beckydoodah 







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LIFESTYLE : July Goal Results & August Goals 2018

LIFESTYLE & TRAVEL: Let the Holiday Begin!

TRAVEL : The Peak District