I’ve ALWAYS had a FEAR of needles, for as long as I can remember. When I was a child and I had to have blood tests done, I remember my mum taking me to the pathologists, literally kicking and screaming. Some times two (if not three) people had to pin me down.
When I fell pregnant with Erin and I had to have all those blood tests done, I was a complete baby!! Most times either Damien, my mum or my mother in law had to come with to hold my hand – ridiculous I know!
I’ve always seen those “crazy blood donor” people at work and cringed at the mere thought. When I was at school I could never donate, as my blood pressure was super low and I weighed less than 50kgs.
Since I started working at the new company I work for (June 2014) I’ve really felt the need to donate (CRAZY thought, but at least the thought was there). So I went to donate in July 2014, but was turned away as I had my appendix operation in May 2014 (you can’t donate for 6 months after an operation).
On Tuesday (03/02/2015) I decided – THIS IS IT, I’M DOING THIS! Not for me, but for those people who may DIE if they don’t get blood. Off I went with my Colleague, Nadia, who is a regular donor. The staff from the SANBS were so friendly and helpful. Steps are as follows:
- Complete a medical history form
- Ensure your iron levels are correct (via finger prick)
- Measure your blood pressure to ensure it’s not too low
- Sit on the chair, drink your juice, eat your biscuit and relax
- Prick in your arm (no worse than when having blood tests)
- Sit for 5 minutes to 30 minutes (depending on how quickly your blood comes out)
- Feel GREAT knowing you made a difference!!!
Obviously I was SUPER nervous, but the great staff made me feel so special and important – they even gave me a first time donor certificate. It really wasn’t bad at all. I promise you, if I can do it – ANYONE can do it!
One is allowed to donate every 8 weeks and I will definitely be going again in 8 weeks time, and 8 weeks thereafter etc.
Minimum requirement to be a donor:
- Between the ages of 16 – 65 years
- Live a sexually safe lifestyle
- Weigh more than 50kg
- Be in good health
I would STRONGLY recommend this “random act of kindness” if you aren’t already doing it. I’m going to try and encourage all my friends and family members to become regular donors. For more, see here – www.sanbs.org.za