New badge

Hard to believe that’s three months gone by already, but I got a reminder from the Blood Donor Clinic that I could come back in any time from the middle of this week on (used to be every 6 months but now you can give 3 times a year), so after work tonight I went in on the way home to donate a pint of finest quality Celtic red, organically grown and with just a hint of peaty aftertaste from all those single malts. And I got a badge!!! Heheheh. No, really, I got a nice little pin and certificate when the nurse noticed this was my tenth pint since I started donating regularly again and apparently they like to mark this so you get a special pin and wee certificate, which was quite nice. All this and some Tunnock’s Teacakes afterwards.

I’d given blood a few times back when I was at college and got into the habit again a couple of years ago when The Bookstore Who Shall Not Be Named fired me. The job centre I had to go to (you have to go not to the closest one to you but to one designated to deal with names beginning with certain letters for some daft reason known only to the civil service) was close to my old student flat and near the Blood Donor Clinic. I was feeling really down – I’d never been out of work in my life and the job centre was so depressing it made me feel worse, so I decided to do something positive and went to the clinic right afterwards and started donating again. Felt good to do something positive when I was feeling so far down and later when my uncle was declining it felt pretty good too – I knew my blood probably wasn’t being used to treat him but it was going to help someone who needed it, kind of my own little up yours to Death, and it did make me feel a little better.

I’d lost count since I started going back and I found it slightly amusing tonight when I realised I had now given more blood than is actually circulating in my body at any one time. Two or three donations ago though I was sitting next to a much older man who was on to something like his 34th donation, so got a long way to go to match that. I would have taken my hat off to him, but being indoors I had already removed it. Anyway, once again I’d urge anyone who has seen the adverts asking for more donors and thought, I should do that but not gotten around to it to give it a go – it doesn’t hurt, doesn’t take very long, it’s very easy and most centres have late evenings and weekends so you can fit it in around your work (and you get choccy biccies afterwards!). Go on, give it a bash – it might be a stranger you help, it could be someone you love, but it will help someone for very little effort on your part. And you’ll feel better for doing it. Donation levels are very low, so why not do something about it? I mean if I can do it then a lot of other folks could too. You can find details on the Transfusion Service’s site.