I donated blood for the first time today. I'm always moved by the grace and patience of the NHS—I don't believe I've ever had a bad experience in a GP or a hospital or the gymnasium of a community centre, where I was today.
It was so easy: double check your iron levels, sit in this swivelling chair, clench and unclench your fist while the bag fills up. Try and tense your leg muscles at intervals to keep your blood pressure steady. The cannula was higher-gauge than I'd expected but didn't feel like anything once it was in. The little pouch of my blood on a swing, to keep it all mixed up, dangling next to me. The nurse plopped it into my hand when I was done. Less warm than I thought it would be!