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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wine Writer involved in ritualistic blood letting

For a number of years, I have been periodically donating my vital fluids for the betterment of humankind. 

No but seriously, I had long nursed the delusion that I had a rare blood type like my father (O Rh-ve), and thought that I really should have some on hand in case I became exsanguinated for some reason in the future. Or some similar rarefied type needed a top-up.  So I went along and ran thru the procedure only to find I was good old common O+. I have the bog standard O+ blood type - the Regular 91 of the blood world - which is compatible with all the others.  Somehow I felt let down.  It's a tad like finding out that you're not really related to an ex-All Black, having dined out on it for years.  

Anyway, they call up about thrice a year and off I go the Blood Centre. It's all very low key.  You fill out a form certifying that you haven't slept with Keith Richards or used needles recreationally and stuff like that.  You go through to a little room where they stab you in the finger with a little clicky stabby thing.  Today I had a charming but almost incomprehensible Thai nurse who was so enthused that she stabbed herself with the clicky stabby thing. 'Ow. It slip!' 

Yennyhoo - I was OK, my iron levels are good and I was allowed thru to the open plan room with lots of couches and machines that go ping.  It was rush of blood hour - just after lunch and all beds were taken, largely with donors like me or occasionally people on dialysis.  We hearty donors exchange the odd nod of benevolent conspiracy - Yes, me too.  Doing my bit.  And I never realy thought much more about it until today - I spied a heartfelt thank you letter from a young mother.  She had haemorrhaged massively after childbirth, losing more than 4 litres of blood in short order.  Had it not been for a good supply of  O+ she would not have lived to bring up her brand new baby boy.   Makes you think.  Hey - that could have been MY blood.  I could have saved a life. 

I felt humbled and surprisingly emotional.

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