But that is how i felt today when the friendly Bloodvan came along to Uni and parked quite squarely into my usual parking space.
well, It’s pretty much; a van.
A van that takes blood from willing volunteers.
Now, before you run off telling all your friends that vampires are real and they’re making a comeback with six wheels, lets not get carried away.
The Bloodvan, lets just call him Bloody, comes along maybe every 5 months or so and he stays for around a week before it’s off to get more blood from somewhere else, kinda like a massive mechanical mosquito.
without the malaria.
Or the wings for that matter.
Or any weird high-pitched screechy noises that wake you up in the middle of the night and make you hyper anxious and flap your blankets wildly in the air at any attempts to thwart the little bastard. And you’re just like….
where was I.
Bloody is roughly a trapezoid shape with some windows, about 10metres long and completely red. It’s got a massive Blood droplet on its side with some very happy people on the side with a speech bubble saying
‘ I survived x because of you, thanks!’
and on the other side;
‘save a life today!’
Bloody couldn’t have been more propagandistic if he tried.
I remember the first time i donated blood…. It was only a year ago. it was with my best friend, and we were well, young 18 year olds with a newfound sense of independence and daring.
No idea what to expect….
So we rolled up our sleeves, we drank at least 4L of water before and patiently sat outside, waiting for the unknown. I swear we ran to the toilet 10 times within a space of 2 hours that day.
The process was relatively simple, you sign up, or call. Tell them what day and what time you can come in, and then wait….
When you walk into the van it takes a little while to adjust to the area. When i was young, I attended musicals and theatres where the dancers disappear behind the curtain after their part is done, I found that entering the Blood van is a lot like that.
From the outside looking in, it looks really mysterious, your mind drifts away with imagination. What are behind those doors? are there blood bags lying around everywhere? are the nurses who run the program actually mad scientists who strap you down and poke you with things like they do in those horror movies? Are there blood drained bodies and vampires lurking around?
Let me just say…. it is nothing like that.
It’s also very interesting. As you walk inside you find it hard to believe that in such a confined space there is SO much room! As one of my favourite TV characters says ‘
‘It’s bigger on the inside!’
See what i did there David Tennant…..
There’s no straps or blood bags lying around, there’s no mad scientists and certainly no vampires.
In fact the whole procedure is over in around 5-10 minutes, they’re VERY accommodating and make you feel very comfortable. If at any time you feel uncomfortable they let you go
And I know a lot of people will never give blood, because the mere thought of needles is enough to freak them out…. but!
Watching the venous blood drain away from my arm, it was fascinating.
Not in the freaky, psychopathic kind of way, but in the way that this blood, MY blood was leaving me and going to someone else.
Someone who could be a few hundred metres away ( the local hospital is attached to my University). And it was my life force, my precious scarlet fluid.
Thousands of litres of it circulated around my body every year, tonnes of it in a lifetime, a tsunami worth of blood; held captive in us all.
And what do we do?
keep it all for ourselves.
When they only take around 400ml of it, that’s less than a water bottle worth. Once every year, if everyone did that we would NEVER run out of blood. Hospitals wouldn’t need to plea with the public to donate a portion of your blood.
Everyone wants to be a Hero.
And saving a life?
Well, I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty heroic to me.
TIPS AND TRICKS
– don’t go if you’re tired, afraid of needles or dehydrated
-don’t go if you’re anaemic
– drink HEAPS of water, like you’re literally going to explode amounts
– you need to be ATLEAST 50kg and a healthy weight.
– you get your blood results and blood type!
– you get FREE FOOD!!!!
– your blood ( that’s free in your body) IS SAVING A LIFE!
– needles ARE pointy.
– no exercising that night.
– you feel a little tired afterwards.
Remember! the number is 13 14 95