CARPE DIEM: I gave blood for the first time today
THEY say a good journalist will do whatever it takes to get a story.
I’m not here to toot my own horn or anything, but today I can say I did what I had to do to get the job done.
This morning I did something I have wanted to do for an embarrassingly long time: I went down to my closest Lifeblood donation point and gave blood.
I don’t know why I have been putting off this bucketlist task for so long.
As it turns out, the process is surprisingly a lot more straightforward and quicker than I had expected and now I wish I had delved in and roleld up my sleeves a long time ago.
Belated or not, I can now say I am one of roughly 35 South Burnett residents who donated blood at the mobile Red Cross Lifeblood centre behind the Kingaroy RSL today.
Like most things in my life, it was actually by complete chance I found out how and where to give blood today.
I just happend to overhear one of my colleagues was heading out to donate blood and my ears pricked up.
“This is your chance,” I thought – and if I could skive off work for an hour, even better!
Jess Zenovich, bless her cotton socks, is a blood bank veteran having donated blood well and truly over a dozen times over the years.
She told me if I was interested in donating I should get down there to register my name for the next time the mobile donor van was in town because Red Cross Lifeblood only come to Kingaroy every six months and it books out faster than the Whipbird Cafe on Valentine’s Day.
It turned out today was my lucky day because several bookings were a no-show they asked me if I wouldn’t mind popping up stairs this morning for a cheeky little donation. Just like that.
“No worries,” I told myself, trying to calm the butterflies dancing around in my stomach.
There’s no time like the present. Besides if I put it off again I’d probably never come back, you know, carpe diem and all that jazz.
After four pages of personal information and a family lengthy medical questionnaire (while I got to snack on some Jatz and cheese and chug a bottle of water to help make my veins easier to locate) the friendly Red Cross Lifeblood nurses determined I didn’t have coronavirus (kidding … well, maybe only half kidding) or any other conditions or potential reasons why I wouldn’t be eligible to donate today.
You can determine whether you’re eligible to give blood or not by following this link or call Lifeblood on 13 14 95.
Then it was straight upstairs to get my blood pressure taken and answer a couple more questions before it was my turn to get in the big kids chair.
I was half expecting to be there a good half-hour, watching Larrie and Kylie on the Morning Show, drinking tea and eating Monte Carlos with Gloria and Glynis while we had a good whinge about “that awful Stefanovic man after he left his beautiful wife for that much-too-young-and-uppity-shoe-lady” but, alas it was all down to business.
I can now proudly say I have what the nurses call “fast, well draining veins” (Mum will be so proud) and now 500ml of my blood will end up helping save three Australian lives.
According to Red Cross Lifeblood spokeswoman Belinda Smetioukh, your lifesaving blood donation could actually end up anywhere across the country.
“Blood donors will receive a text message after they donate, letting them know what hospital their blood donation is on its way to,” she said.
And although it won’t be another six months until the mobile donation centre is in town again, Belinda reassured me currently, Australia can collect all the blood we need from the existing network of donor centres and mobiles.
“We collect over 1.2 million blood donations every year for Australians in need and although we have many regular donors and are always looking for more,” she said.
If you would like to carpe the heck out of your diem and get around to finally donating some blood like I did today, head here to find out where your closest donor location is.
I don’t know about you, but helping save three lives has probably been my most productive Friday in a very long time – and I even got a half an hour off work and some tasty free snacks so it was a total win-win.