I finally plucked up the courage to go and give blood the other day. I’m quite squeamish and wasn’t looking forward to it but didn’t think that was enough reason not to go. My brother’s a nurse and I told him I was scared and worried about them finding a nice, juicy vein (in the past, there’s been a lot of um-ing and ah-ing and prodding when I’ve had blood tests).
“Hm, they’re not that prominent,” he said, poking my arm. ” I’ve given blood myself and wouldn’t rush to go back.” Oh.
Anyway, I went. It was at the local town hall. I was there for about half an hour, chatting over my medical history with three different people and trying not to look at the poor lad who’d feinted and was now lying on the floor with his knees up.
I’m finally summoned. “Any arm preference?” asks the lady.
“Not really, whichever’s easier.”
She tries the left arm. Nothing.
“I’ll try the right,” she says and pokes about a bit. In vain (ho ho).
“I’ll have another go with the left, then have a word with the nurse.”
You’re not a qualified nurse, I think?
She stands waiting in all the bustle, trying to find a spare nurse.
The nurse repeats the process. “There’s a vein here,” she says, “but it’s too close to the artery. We don’t want to risk you losing your arm.”
I feel terrible. I’ve wasted everyone’s time and have spent an hour with nothing to show for, no one’s life potentially saved.
“It’s quite common,” she reassures me.
So, um, I don’t know what the lesson is? Feel the fear and do it anyway cos you might get let off but that might make you depressed, not relieved?
The nurse said I could try again. But not for another five years. I wonder what diet I could try to give myself more prominent veins…