#15 Giving Blood

Giving blood is one of those things I have said I would do, but never actually got round to it. A friend from work was recently asked to do some promotional work for the blood team and she was telling me how once you have received a blood transfusion you are no longer able to donate your own blood. This got me thinking – would I accept blood for myself or my children? Hell yeah, hook us up and save our lives no questions asked. Well in that case isn’t it only fair that I bank a couple of pints now in case we ever need any? Seen as though once you have used the kind donations of others you are unable to repay the favour. So it made the list, and I’m pleased to say that I completed it within two months of starting this.

First thing I needed to do was google “how to give blood?.” www.giveblood.co.uk is a very comprehensive site explains EVERYTHING and I really mean everything. I registered and picked my location, then my time and received email confirmation for my appointment the following day. The nerves were kicking in and despite many of my friends saying they would complete this list with me I had no takers for this appointment (their holding off for the girlie holiday I think). Luckily my mum came to my rescue and booked herself in for her first time too.

The following day I met my mum at the community centre and I walked over to the blood van – except you couldn’t get on. Now in hindsight I realise how utterly daft my idea of giving blood was but I genuinely thought you bored the van, sat in a chair, gave a little blood and jumped back off! Apparently not. Instead I was told to go into the community centre where I was greeted by a sea of faces. I spotted my mum and made a bee line for her. I couldn’t believe what I sore next. It was like a scene from a make shift hospital after a disaster, or at least what I imagine that would look like. There was hospital style beds all in a circle in the middle of the room, a couple of make shift desks at various points, some cubicles to one side and a mini café area at the back. And to think I thought all this could happen on a truck!

After filling in our forms and drinking the mandatory orange squash we sat in the waiting area, well, waiting I guess. At this point I noticed there were some seasoned blood donors, those that knew the drill and had brought a book with them. My mum was called first and then I followed. I was taken to a cubicle by a lovely man called Mat who explained all about the procedure, went over the safety questions with me and tested the iron in my blood. I must admit there was a small part of me that was hoping my blood would be rejected, especially as I was now starring head on at a room full of people with tubes and bags of blood everywhere – surely they didn’t need mine as well.

But no my iron levels were fine and the vampire like staff were eager to take my blood, so now it was time for a little more waiting. Again mum was up first so I watched as they hooked her up and drained her dry (well one pint dry at least). Mum seemed to be coping fine so I felt a bit better when my name was called. I hoped onto the bed whilst a lovely lady explained the procedure to me and tried her best to put my mind at rest. She did everything with precision and speed and before I knew it I was watching the tube turn red. After a few minutes my machine beeped and another lovely lady came over and explained the blood flow was slowing down – see even my blood didn’t want to do this, but she held it in place and in no time at all I was done. By this point mum had joined me and was making sure I was ok – which I was. I was then showed to the café area and given some juice and biscuits, the best bit! I felt a little shaky in my legs but this was probably down to my nerves more than the loss of blood, and I felt really proud that maybe, just maybe, my blood could be used to help someone else. Although nerve wracking and a bit daunting the whole experience was a good one. I will definitely be donating again in 16 weeks (if they will have me) and hopefully next time I will take a few more friends along too.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my mum for helping me complete number 15 on my list.

I also want to say a huge thankyou to the blood donor team that were working at Frodsham on 19th November 2014, evening session. Every single member of staff was professional, informative, friendly and reassuring. Our blood is so valuable and can be used to save lives – please think about donating yours. For more information please go to

http://www.blood.co.uk/index.aspx

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#27 Volunteering

On Saturday 15th November 2014 I volunteered in Asda as a bag packer, helping to raise funds for Wrexham carers service. Here’s how it went:

I had arranged to be at ASDA for 10am, the husband was working so my mother in law kindly said she would have my boys for me. Everything was set and I was ready to go until I got a call saying she was lost and would be another 20 minutes. Now I wouldn’t normally mind – after all I wasn’t getting paid, but I had ALL the collection buckets and passes in the boot of my car, no one would be able to start until I arrived. Once again it felt like this mission was doomed, lets face it I have already had to postpone climb a mountain and give blood! Anyway my mother in law arrived at 9:20, smoking, flapping and apologising and I literally threw the children in her direction, barked a couple of instructions about the location of nappies and spare keys and hit the motorway at a silly speed.

I arrived late! Luckily no one noticed (or at least didn’t comment) and I managed to get everything inside with a little help from fellow volunteers. Once we arrived we were given the rules and regulations of bag packing. I seriously underestimated how intense this was going to be and was trying my best to remember all the rules-

don’t leave the bucket unattended at any times

if a customer declines the offer of bag packing step away from the till (preferably without bumping straight into the trolley of another customer).

and several more.

We picked our tills and off we went, all giggling nervously as we approached complete strangers and asked if we could fondle their perishables! I must admit it wasn’t going that well at first, everyone wanted to do their own packing – I think I must have a clumsy face that screams “I will drop your eggs and squash your bread”. Then the checkout lady started to talk to me, I wasn’t sure if this was allowed and was getting a little nervous as I tried to recall the rules, but she was absolutely lovely and totally understood the cause we were raising money for. Then everything changed, the checkout lady was asking the customers on my behalf, telling them all about what we were doing and how lovely and good at packing I was (ha). She was like the best warm up act ever. Once it got to me asking them they were more than happy to let me balance their beans on top of their eggs AND make a donation for my efforts. I think this is the point I must of got a bit too confident with my packing abilities as I got a little telling off from one lady who said I had packed far too many bottles of beer in one carry a bag – whoops. After this it went a little quiet again and I was able to nip off to take some pictures of the happy bag packers.

At 12 the second lot of volunteers turned up allowing us to leave them to it (after giving them the rules of course). I had a fabulous time meeting new people and helping (or hindering) with peoples packing, it was also fun seeing what people were buying lol, and I would definitely do it again.

The aim of the bag packing was of course to raise funds for Wrexham carers service, however what was more important on the day was our ability to raise awareness of what help is available in Wrexham for carers, and being able to speak directly to some carers who had never heard of us. Hopefully some of those people will now be able to access the help they need.

I’m not sure how much money we raised for Wrexham carers service but once I have a figure I will update you all. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers that helped with the bag packing and all the customers who donated money, and of course to the ASDA staff for allowing us to take over their till area.

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#21 More positivity

This week I was nominated by my husband to complete the 5 photos that make you smile challenge on facebook. Basically, you pick 5 of your favourite photographs and share them with everyone. I had loads of fun and giggles looking back over my photo and needles to say it was impossible to pick just 5. I felt it was a real positive experience and should be included in this blog, so here are my pictures.

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This is one of my favourite pictures of my two boys at chester zoo.

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My brother walking me down the isle, a very emotional but amazing day.

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My husband holding our second son minutes after he was born.

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Me and my gorgeous mum at my nannas birthday meal.

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My gorgeous son at a local farm.

If you haven’t already completed the photo challenge then I nominate YOU

Being Positive :)

Last Week I was discussing my blog with a friend who pointed out the irony of number 21 – Be more positive. They explained that in their opinion the whole idea of my list was depressing and yet here I was trying to be more positive. I explained the list was a challenge, something to look forward to and encourage me to experience new things over the coming 12 months. However they were not in agreement (at all) they insisted that the list was only going to make me miserable about the things I haven’t achieved or experienced and that having a “bucket list” regardless of how I dress it up was morbid and negative. It got me thinking and although I don’t agree I guess it would be positive to look back on all the things I have experienced in my 28 years and be thankful, positive and happy to have achieved and experienced so much. So here   are the highlights

fallen in love

Got Married

Had two beautiful children

started my own business – wwww.tbtraining.co.uk

Swam with dolphins

fed elephants and giraffes

rode a camel

completed an indoor sky dive

go ape x2

visited new York at Christmas/skated at central park/top of the empire state building

watched a show on Broadway

concerts – Riana, pink, west life, take that and lady gaga

sat in the audience of a TV show

Visited gran Canaria/Turkey/Tunisia/Fuerteventura/Paris/Dominican Republic/

Swam the Great north swim in Windermere

I am sure there are loads of other things I have done to but I will add to the list when things pop back into my mind. Having written this list I do actually feel more positive – maybe my friend had a point after all.

Terri

XXX