Stap me vitals!

Stap em?  Sure!  Go right ahead!  Stab em?  Maybe not so much.  I kinda need them.  And maybe, someday, you might need them too…

Yes, after years of wanting to do it, I’ve finally pulled my finger out and registered to be an Organ Donor.  I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to get this sorted; life’s gotten in the way probably.  But it’s now official :).

T’was all done online in a flash (Organ Donor Registration), although you don’t get a donor card for registering these days.  What?  No Card?!  I’m particularly disappointed about this.  I have very early memories of that red and blue card, sitting on the huge oak reception desk of my childhood doctor’s surgery.  I’m not sure I really understood what it was trying to tell me at the time.  I think I was just drawn in by the vivid colours (not much has changed there then!).  But I knew I wanted one.  In fact, I’m pretty certain I used to pick up the leaflets every time we took a trip to see Dr B, much to the annoyance of my mother I’m sure.  So when I registered last week I kinda assumed that I would get one, to pop into my wallet, where it would live amongst my bank cards, store points cards and oh-so-many cardboard loyalty cards from eateries far and wide.  Sadly, though, this was not to be.  Sigh.

Ok, enough dwelling on me being card-less (sniff sniff).  The important thing is that I’m now on the list :).  And as I’ve consented to be a living donor, my organs could be coming to a body cavity near you soon!  Ok, that didn’t quite come out as I meant it, but you get what I mean.  I’m not a smoker.  I don’t really drink.  I don’t do drugs.  I don’t eat a lot of meat.  I’m quite fit.  So I reckon me vitals are in pretty good nick. They’ve worked well for me for 30 years anyways… :).

I’m thinking about becoming a Bone Marrow Donor too.  A friend at work registered to be a donor a while back, and then promptly forgot about it, till he got a call to say he was a match to someone who desperately needed a bone marrow transplant.  My friend hadn’t told anyone beforehand that he was a donor, or that he’d been called up to donate.  He just mysteriously disappeared for a week, and then returned to work, a little out of sorts, but not so much you’d notice.  Being the nosey bunch we are, we all grilled him about his disappearance and, when he told us where he’d been, we were all a little shocked.  But in total awe.  After my own Organ Donor registration, I cornered him in the tea room and asked him more about the experience – I wanted the details; how he went about doing it, the pain, the gore, all that stuff.  He was honest, and some of it had me squirming around uncomfortably I can tell you!  But then he told me about an email he got a couple of months back: the guy he donated his bone marrow to (and who by all counts had run out of options at the time of the call up) is now fit and well, two years on.  Wow.  Totally incredible.

I am seriously considering pursuing this.  There is one problem though.  To register as a Bone Marrow Donor they have to do tests.  Lots of them.  On your blood.  Which means giving blood.  A LOT of it!  Eek!!!!!  It’s not so much needles I have a problem with (although I’m definitely not a fan).  But I faint giving the teeniest tiniest blood sample.  It’s pathetic.  It’s actually so bad that I have to inform whatever healthcare professional is unlucky enough to be taking blood from my scrawny little arm that I’m “a fainter”, to ensure they take me to the special room with the couch.  “Oh, we’ve got a fainter. Carol, is the couch room free…?”.  How utterly embarrassing!  I think I’ll need to look into this some more before I take the plunge.  Or at least have someone who’s not a big squeamish girl go with me, to hold my stupid fainty hand.  “Nurse, the screens…”

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