Cowart's Common Room
Almost an Armful

Goody, goody me. Every Christmas the vampires come to town with their big lorry parked in the Town Hall car park and sink their teeth (or in this case their needles) into all those who take one of those cheese-counter waiting tickets and queue patiently to give blood. I've been doing this for a very long time.

The trouble is that blood doning has gone to the dogs. Time was when the nurses (and they were proper nurses in those days - indeed there was even a proper doctor on hand) would all dress up with father Christmas hats and wear baubles as earrings. There was a gaiety about the Christmas doning session. Indeed you had to rememember that it isn't a good idea to laugh with a needle in your arm.

When she was 16, Younger Daughter was hit by a car and badly hurt. Transfusions and the skill of doctors kept her alive, so I don't mind in the least 'doing my bit.' But now it is all so regimented and depressing. You're faced with an ever growing list of intrusive questions and grim faced staff, who these days are not nurses but some variety of paramedic, ask you for your name and address at every turn. The effect is to make you feel like a criminal rather than someone trying to do a good turn for the community. Only the Red Cross volunteers with their tea and biscuits show any sign of humanity.

Still I'm off to give 'almost an armful.' If nothing else you must lose at least a pound in weight I reckon. can't be bad before Christmas.

Posted at 22nd Dec 2008 - 09:49AM   Posted by Fennie   Almost an Armful Comments: 13

Preseli Mags's Avatar Thanks for reminding me Fennie - it's my New Year's Resolution to start donating blood again, so I've just registered online. Shame they make you feel like a criminal though - at least you get a cup of tea and a biscuit!

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 22nd Dec 2008 at 10:16AM

Mountainear's Avatar I am reminded that 'a pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter' and guess that blood must be heavier....I always think of this when giving my armful! (In my case in the grim surroundings of Welshpool Town Hall which must have the grubbiest ceiling in the Principality.)

We've still got quite jolly 'doctors and nurses' too!

Posted by: Mountainear on 22nd Dec 2008 at 10:16AM

Unpeuloufoque's Avatar Once, havingng just returned form living in a far flung hot exotic place , I went to give blood and got as far as having the thingy stuck in my arm when a screaming dioctor belted over and howled at the top of his voice" we can't have your blood!"...apparently at the time the country in question was an at risk zone in terms of contmainated bloods etc or something.. of course everyone else shifted noticably away from me and assumed I had aids or something.. didn't even get me biscuit!!

Posted by: Unpeuloufoque on 22nd Dec 2008 at 10:18AM

Your all very brave Thank heavens not everyones a wuss like me xx

Posted by: Bodran on 22nd Dec 2008 at 11:47AM

Ivy's Avatar Being seriously anaemic I am not allowed to give blood but I really feel bad about it. When I was still healthy I wasn't allowed to give because I lived more than 6 months in Britain, which was regarded as a health hazard due to BSE.

Posted by: Ivy on 22nd Dec 2008 at 12:17PM

Lily's Avatar Change the venue? The staff at the sessions in our village hall are all really friendly, I try to book an early appointment and then don't have to wait very long. What I did find sad when I used to go to Tavistock was the fact that there weren't enough staff to cope with the casual dropper-in, booked folk only.

Posted by: Lily on 22nd Dec 2008 at 01:01PM

Camilla's Avatar Well done Fennie, I completely echo what you say about Nurses. In my day we loved to wear festive hats and those dangly earrings at this time of the year and like to think we were ever so cheerful in making those patients feel loved and cared for.


Posted by: Camilla on 22nd Dec 2008 at 01:04PM

Pondside's Avatar Good for you, Fennie! We were regular blood donors until Canada decided that our blood wasn't desireable - we'd lived in Germany during the 80's and there is a ban on anyone who lived in Europe for more than a certain amount of time due to the BSE that ocurred at the time. Only our daughter is allowed to donate and she takes her responsibility to respresent the family quite seriously!

Posted by: Pondside on 22nd Dec 2008 at 02:36PM

Withy Brook's Avatar I was very upset and felt an outcast when they suddenly decided that the medication I was taking for my deteriorating hip made my blood unwanted. Good for you Fennie and the rest of you who do / are about to start giving blood.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 22nd Dec 2008 at 04:32PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Oh what a shame Fennie - sign of the times . . . hope you armful was a bit more festive this time.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 22nd Dec 2008 at 06:37PM

Patsy's Avatar Good for you Fennie, precious stuff that blood!

Patsy's blood is known to be about 30% proof at this time of year. No matches for heavens sake...Wink

Posted by: Patsy on 22nd Dec 2008 at 07:28PM

Frances's Avatar Well done Fennie.

My grandmother was a nurse, and I still remember her disapproval of how poorly some folks were trained to take blood. She was quite proud of her training and her skill. And reading about the ladies that you remember, reminded me of her! Thank you. xo

Posted by: Frances on 23rd Dec 2008 at 02:13AM

Kat's Avatar Yes, and those questions...the one about "have you ever had sex with a member of the same sex who has had sex with a member of the same sex...."Blink

The last time I gave blood, I watched a huge man faint dead away in his chair while the technician queried intrusively and chatted about needles. It took three technicians to move him out of the way.Rolling Eyes

Posted by: Kat on 23rd Dec 2008 at 04:47AM

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