Saturday, 18 February 2017

An important update - please read

4.30pm (UK time) Saturday 18th February 2017

I have just received a text message - a very important text message.

Ten days ago I posted the blog entry below.  Did you read it ?  If not please check it out now. If you did can I ask you to read it again.

The text message was from the UK Blood Service telling me my donated blood has been used for a patient in The Royal Cornwall Hospital.  I have no idea who the patient is, of course, but I am thinking of that man, woman, boy or girl right now and wishing who ever it is the very, very best for a speedy recovery.

Are you a blood donor ?  When you read the blog below you will read how ashamed I am that I did not become a donor until late in life.

Please do not make the mistake I did - do not wait - become a donor now.

Here's my laptop. This is where I operate my websites and write my stories. Each day I rattle the keys to chat with my BLOGGER friends, supporters and readers.

Today this is a very important blog, the most important blog I have so far posted. Please take a moment to read what I am about to type.

I am always banging on about PATRIOTISM, a love for your country. I am, after all, The Patriotic Pensioner.

It is NOT a government that makes a country great, it is the people within that country who make it great.

If you strip away government, strip away the buildings and so on what are you left with ?

The land and the people.

Let's look at the PEOPLE.

A person who cares about his fellow countrymen is a PATRIOT. A person who goes about his daily life making the lives of others better is worth a parliament full of politicians.

Little things like smiling, thanking the supermarket checkout operator for their service, stopping your car to let someone cross the road.  LITTLE THINGS.

Allow me to share a sentence from my schoolboy autobiography THINGS WERE DIFFERENT IN MY DAY - As I was closing the kitchen door I head someone say, "What a lovely polite little boy that was, such good manners."  That happened when I was 9 years old, 58 years ago !  I have never forgotten it and I have far from repeated such politeness as I have lived my life.  If I had then perhaps the lives of those with whom I interacted would have been better.

Fast forward my life to when I was an undergraduate....... the college matron, I remember, was a blood donor who received her gold donor badge for giving FIFTY pints.

In a conversation with her she encouraged me to become a blood donor but I was far too big a coward for that. I was not going to have a needle stuck in me and a pint of blood drained from my body ! What a self-centred despicable coward I was. I am ashamed of myself. Thoroughly ashamed. 

That was 43 years ago. A blood donor gives a pint of blood three times a year. Do the maths, if I had not been such a coward I would by now have given 129 pints of blood to help others. How many lives would I have helped to save ? But OH NO other people can do that - I AM NOT. What an appalling attitude I had.

Eventually, decades later - several decades later, I did become a blood donor. I overcame my terror and put others in front of myself.

Yesterday was blood donor day for me. This was the 17th pint I have donated. The staff at the donor session congratulated me on the number of times I had donated. Two words describe how I felt - SHAME and EMBARRASSMENT.  Seventeen pints - BIG DEAL - yesterday should have seen me reach ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINE pints.

I bang on about being patriotic, loving your country and those who share it with you. Minus one hundred and twelve - ALL missing pints of blood shame, me and I want to share that shame with all who read this blog entry today.

My college matron donated 50 pints of her blood. Since I became a donor myself it has been my ambition to also donate 50 pints. A donor is allowed to give blood three times a year, I need to give another 33 pints taking 11 years. I will be 78 years old then. I hope I make it, I hope I can follow the proud example of my college matron.

I am never going to lose my shame by not becoming a blood donor until late in my life. I want to extend my embarrassment by telling this story to all who will listen.

It does not hurt, it is not some vampire experience. Can you see the tiny little mark on my arm where the needle  went  in ?  Today I am going to be clearing some rubbish in my garden and nail up a broken fence. I will scratch myself tearing down brambles and hit my thumb with a hammer that will hurt more than that little needle going into my arm. What a coward I was all those years.

I actually find the donor session relaxing, laying back on the bed and entering a 
short time where everything else is cut out. Laying and looking upwards to contemplate the ceiling of the donor hall.

In a couple of days time I will receive a text from the blood donor system, not telling me who received my blood but telling me where my blood was used - the hospital.  That will be a proud moment.

Are you a blood donor ? Please do not be like me when I was younger. Use your computer to search for the blood donor system in the country where you live then give them a call.

Thank You

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