Recently, I needed blood. I didn’t realise that I needed it so badly. I was foolishly thinking that I might feel better after a steak, or some broccoli, or one of my famous Erbazzone spinach pies. But I was feeling worse. Only a few hours after a previously scheduled blood test I found myself very quickly hooked up to a tube and a bag of blood. Two bags of blood, to be precise, and the following day, another bag as well. Not yet back to normal, but acceptable to the surgeon for the procedure scheduled later in the week.
I’ve donated blood, but not for a long time. I was refused as a donor many years ago because I was anaemic. Then we travelled to and lived in Thailand, and on our return I continued visiting Southeast Asian countries on a regular basis, which excluded me as a donor. I am listed as an organ donor on my driver’s licence, and I like the thought that someone could live, or dramatically improve their lifestyle, as a result of an organ donation in the event of my death.
Today though, I have a new appreciation for those who donate blood regularly too. It may not have such a major impact as a new heart or kidney or cornea. But blood is important to the individual who receives it, for whatever reason. I wasn’t quite on death’s door, and I wasn’t bleeding out. I didn’t have a dramatic accident. I was, even though I didn’t really realise it at the time, very unwell. And most importantly, without the surgery I was able to have on Thursday as a result of the blood transfusion, my blood count would have continued to fall. And that wasn’t sustainable. And for that, I’m grateful. Once I recover fully and get back on my feet, my quality of life will be much improved. I’ll have a new lease on life. And I am looking forward to it.