I decided recently that donating blood for the first time will be a real step in the right direction. Breaking through that taboo in my head would prove enlightening and beneficial. Well I suppose it was enlightening – I discovered you cannot just donate that easily!
You wouldn’t believe what a huge disappointment it was for me.
I approached the day with enthusiasm but when I reached the town hall where I was to donate my nerves were jangling. Inside my nerves only got worse, for a bit I actually thought of calling it quits and going home. I felt nauseas and ‘spacey’. I stuck it out and went through my screening process. They were exceptionally thorough, even calling my GP to ensure I could safely donate because I had miscarried 4 months before. The fact I was born in South Africa also became a small sticking point, the final check of my iron levels finally cleared me to donate.
I drank my 500ml glass of water and then I was called to come and sit on a weird grey chair that tilts you back. I was hooked up and almost immediately there was this beeping sound. I had to squeeze something in my hand to keep the pressure up, that continued for a few minutes, but the beeping kept coming back. I learnt that the machine weighing my blood also checks that its flowing at a fast enough rate. Mine was not, if they do not get your full donation in 15 minutes it becomes unusable. So after I had only managed half a pint they had to ‘let it down’ and call it quits for real. The reason is my veins are too narrow, the donor carer advised me to try again in 2-4 years as my veins may have changed by then.
I got up, had my water and a biscuit and then made my way home, feeling rather dejected by the experience. The disappointment that I wasn’t able to do what I had set out to do really got to me. I never thought for a moment that my slim little veins would be what got me!
As the title of this blog says, ‘oh well, I tried’. Still doesn’t feel very good though!