Today I went along to a blood donor session to give my long-awaited armful to the cause. I was heartened to see crowds of people there as I sat with my health questionnaire and glass of water (they give you a pint to drink before you donate which means I guess you turn water into blood). The minutes ticked by and the water made its way through my system: informing the desk staff that I would be in the loo if needed, I got rid of some and came back. Finally I was called into a screened area with a nurse who took a sample of blood to check for iron deficiency and then went through my questionnaire with me.
‘I see you’ve had a blood transfusion,’ she said.
‘Yes, but it was 21 years ago.’
‘I’m afraid the guidelines state that if you’ve had a transfusion since 1980 you can’t donate: there’s a risk of passing on CJD.’
Pausing only to try to recall what CJD means (I know it’s not Mad Cow Disease) I expressed my disappointment. I mean, giving blood is not my favourite experience but I’d been putting it off for a while and having geared myself up to doing it I was quite looking forward to being a Thoroughly Useful Citizen. She sympathised.
‘Well, you tried – and that’s all we can ask of you.’
So that’s me done, until such time as they devise a test for CJD I get to keep my armful.
Here’s the sketch, just for fun: