I realised yesterday fternoon that I had booked an appointment, before christmas, to toddle along and give blood yesterday.
I wasn't feeling overly enthusiastic about it: after several days of mild, but very wet weather the cold has returned, and heading out again after achieving the sanctuary of home was not appealing. But hey, I said I'd go, so I went.
Even when you book an appointment, thwere is always a good deal of waiting around, while they double check that you know who you are, and that you haven't been doing anything risky, like stabbing yourself with rusty nails, or sleeping with the wrong people (which always bugs me, as while I understand the rationale, I'm not convinced that the evidence still supports a view that gay/bi people present a greater risk, justifing refusing their blood. But boycotting the Natonal Blood Service would result in their being even less blood availbale for those who need it, so I don't)
Anyway, I passed the "not being anaemic" test, and got as far as the needle being stuck in (which isn't easy. My veins are tricksy and always awkward to find, but they usually manage.) and got to the point of some of my blood coming out, then the nurse decided that I was starting to bruise, so she stopped it.
Here's the odd part: although they had only got about a teaspoonfull at this point, it appears that (i) because they actually got the needle intto the vein, they aren't allowed to try again in the other arm, and (ii) becasue they got a little bit of blood, they have to treat it as a donation which means I'm not allowed to donate again for 4 months, just as if they'd got a whole pint.
So, a rather frustrating evening all round. (and she was right. I do have a bruise. although I do bruise awfully easily)
Oh, and despite my annoying evening, if you're eligible, and you don't already give blood, do consider doing so. You can register here