My Shout: Fears from a first time blood donor

We have just one question. Will this hurt?

For reasons that aren’t yet clear, this correspondent has been cajoled into giving blood. This will be a first. It’s no great secret that we don’t like giving anything away. It goes against our natural grain. As mentioned in this space last week we do give mangoes away, but that’s because we have no great use for them. And while on the subject, we can only thank all those who contacted us with suggestions on how to keep marauding flying foxes away. At the time of going to press, as we say in this game, we had received a total of zero, none, naught replies, which is right in line to the usual response to such requests.

However, that’s not the point of today’s exercise. At 5.15 tomorrow afternoon we’ll be heading to the Blood Bank, wherever that is, to have blood drained from our system. This sounds positively ghoulish and potentially painful.

And for those who don’t know such things, which included this correspondent until recently, there’s a lengthy list of things to do before we even give blood.

We’ve been told we have to remain hydrated. Our first thought was that keeping up a solid fluid intake tomorrow wouldn’t even be a slight problem, for donating blood is not the sort of thing we’d usually do sober. So we envisaged a day of serious stubby imbibing to build up our Dutch courage. However, further investigation shows that drinking  alcohol is verboten in the lead-up. This is possibly why we’ve never previously considered donating blood. We have to drink water and lots of it. Water? Generally speaking we never touch the stuff and for good reason, given what fish do in water (to use an old joke).

Drink too much water and you drown. That’s always been our philosophy. However, for the greater good we shall do what we’re told and drink water by the bucket load tomorrow. We’ll just pretend it’s beer with a lot of water in it, just like it was at Foggs Hotel back in the old days.

The lass at the Red Cross Blood Bank Centre (or something like that) was also very agreeable when we phoned the other day to give our details.

“There should be more people like you in the community,’’ she said and we could only but agree. 

“I suppose you’ve been named Australia Day citizen of the year several times,’’ our friend added.

"Never even been nominated,’’ we sniffed.

“What an outrage,’’ she steamed.

However, the days since have been tense as we get closer to D Day – the D is for Donation, of course.

Naturally we have made sure all our affairs are in order for you never know what might happen with this sort of thing.

So if there’s no column next week, the regular reader will know the reason.