The ever-downcast and put-upon Tony Hancock, in trying to benefit the country as a whole, was either going join the Young Conservatives or Give Blood. His legendary riposte to being asked to donate more than just a smear to test, “A pint? . . . why that’s very nearly an armful!”
Giving blood has never been easier, and is vital at replenishing the stocks of our hospitals to ensure that when we need transfusions, there is plenty left to ensure we stay alive. No blood, no life, no us. Fairly simple.
On Saturday I was very pleased and proud to escort my girlfriend (willingly, I might add – and by willingly I mean her, not me) to the Red Cross in Melbourne to hand over the better part of her handbag carrying limb. Naturally as ever I get questioned as to whether I’m also giving blood which, unfortunately, I cannot. At least, not in Australia. This probably tells of Australia’s ultra-conservative views in all things medical, but since I lived in the UK during the late 80’s and early 90’s I may have contracted Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, otherwise known as CJD, or more famously known as Mad Cow Disease. Therefore, my blood, plasma and platelets are spurned in the land down under. I did request from the nurse was there any way to detect if I had CJD, and she said yes, through autopsy. Next time, I might feign ignorance as to what an autopsy is and insist I get one immediately. Surely it's in the Constitution!?
As the good nurse said, much to the chagrin of her mother, she has plenty of mad cows in her family but none that have lived in the UK. There is a great tv advert in Australia about the best biscuit in the world being the one provided after you give blood. Am not sure what it says about not giving blood directly but dragging your spouse along instead, I imagine much less worthy. The advert may run more along the lines of ‘help yourself to a sheepish biscuit you mad bastard’.
It takes about 8 weeks for your body to completely replenish itself, not much really given it’s saving a life. What did you do this weekend?