22. To give blood. ✓

I have never gave blood before. Most probably due to the fact that whenever I just had to do a blood test, the nurse really struggles to find a vein. People pop in and out, whereas I take residence in the chair with three nurses prodding my arm just to help them fill up a couple of little bottles.

But with me wanting to go travelling next year, I thought of two things. I firstly want to be very charitable this year, as next year I will be really selfish and be doing whatever I fancy doing, I will be seeing whatever I fancy seeing and I will be having the time of my life.

But secondly, and most importantly, I needed to find out what my blood group is. I doubted that I would not be the extremely popular “O” due to my folks dodgy blood groups. (My mum is AB postive, and my dad is B negative).

I signed up and knew instantly that it would not be an easy ride. My folks use to give blood whenever they could, until my dad had a serious operation in his arm which now prevents him from donating, and my mum is on medication that would also effect this.

The only time my elder sister went, she got told that her veins are too thing. So what hope did that leave for me?

Well, I got there and after all the checks and so forth, it was nearly my turn. I was nervous, but I felt proud in what I was doing. My name got called and I was all ready to give blood.

This was until the nurse said to me she doesn’t think I can. The vein she has found (after numerous attempts) kept disappearing and that she doesn’t think it will hold out for the procedure. I was gutted, but she said to me that she will take the samples so I could find out my blood group.

After she did that, she said that she could try and see what blood she could literally squeeze out of me, so I told her to go ahead. I managed to fill up the minimum amount (just about) but I took twice as long as everyone else, and my hands were going grey. But when she said they have got enough, I was chuffed. I gave blood!

I know that many many people do this many many times, but there is a sense of helping someone else out who might desperately need my blood which makes it so much better.

A couple of weeks later, I got my letter with my card with my blood group on it. I am AB negative. I share this blood group with only 1% of the UK’s population. At first I was bit scared, if I need blood, I am going to struggle, but at the same time, someone else in the UK is feeling like this, but they may receive my blood if and when they need it. Such an uplifting thing to do.

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