As I quickly approach my 40th birthday I’m on a bit of a mission to be more kind. I’m even planning to write a book about it (more on that in a later post)
However one of the things I have done for quite a few years now is to give blood on a relatively regular basis.
Often when I talk to people about giving blood they often recoil in horror.
“I can’t do that Chris” they tell me and then go on to explain that they’re afraid of needles, or they don’t have the time or they don’t like the idea of someone taking just under a pint of their blood in one fell swoop!
However if you’re thinking about giving blood (and I’d suggest you do) here’s some reasons why you might want to consider doing it.
Firstly, and I wanted to start with one of the most important reasons…
You get to be cheeky to nurses without actually visiting a hospital!
I don’t know about you but there is something about nurses, male or female, which makes me want to start to crack (usually very bad) cheeky jokes.
Maybe it’s that they are in a position of authority.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’d do anything to avoid the implication that seeing a nurse usually means I’m sick. Maybe I’ve just seen one too many carry on films…I dunno.
So I admit it. I do enjoy a bit of nurse / patient banter whenever I’m the patient but not enough to visit hospitals on a regular basis (that would just be a bit weird!)
So, giving blood provides an opportunity for you to indulge in a bit of medical related cheekiness without actually being sick…that my friends is a win / win for sure!
Now we’ve established the most important reason lets talk about the 2nd most important reason for giving blood…
There’s free biscuits!
Now I get we can all buy a pack of biscuits from the shop.
However as we all know the best things in life are free and this principal especially applies when we’re talking about biscuits (and, erm, possibly banana milkshake)
Also, you wouldn’t go into the shop and buy an individual shortbread then an individual digestive and then an individual Jacobs club but if you go to give blood you’ve got a literal smorgasbord of biscuit choices from the humble hobnob through to the all so familiar custard cream.
Although there is never any Jaffa cakes…probably because it’s not really a biscuit.
Now in reality we all know that these biscuits aren’t free. It’s like a good old fashioned bartering system where you swap some of your blood for some biscuits.
But here’s the genius bit…and the third reason I give blood…
The body just makes you more blood very quickly
One of the amazing things about the human body is it’s amazing ability to replace the blood you’ve given. It only takes a day to replace the plasma and a few weeks to make replace your red blood cells although the fact your body produces 2 million red blood cells a second it doesn’t take too long to get you back to standard levels.
They do recommend that men wait for 12 weeks before donating again which means that buying biscuits from the shop might be a better move for that daily digestive craving but the fact that your body can cope comfortably without the blood you donate and then it’s quickly replaced means donating blood is a bit of a no brainer.
However there is another reason I give blood…
It allows me to directly give to the NHS
One of the institutions that makes me proud to call myself British is the NHS.
It’s not perfect, it can be bureaucratic and it had it’s challenges but often I think we take the NHS for granted. This becomes even clearer when you consider how healthcare is provided (or often like many not provided!) across the pond in the good ‘ole USA
The NHS helped bring my two daughters into this world and have continuously looked after Sophie, Charlotte, Cassie and I whenever we’ve had concerns from health scares to premature births to eye scratches.
However whilst a bit of the tax I pay undoubtedly goes to the NHS to fund it’s services giving blood allows me to support a service I believe in directly.
Which is why giving blood is so important to me. However there is also another reason…
Giving Blood saves lives.
So here’s my bottom line….let me repeat it.
Giving blood saves lives.
It’s simple isn’t it.
Giving blood costs you nothing.
Giving blood means you get Biscuits.
Giving blood saves lives.
To be frank I’m a bit surprised more people don’t do it…
If you’ve been thinking about it but never taken the jump take a look at www.blood.co.uk which is packed with resource.
Oh, and if you do decide to give blood…keep your hands off the Hobnobs. They’re mine.