Without it, there is no life. Too much of it is not good either. A single drop of it can reveal secrets which turn lives upside down, as anyone affected by blood cancer knows only too well. Blood tests for them are codes for survival and life lines for treatment. I faint each time I see blood. Just the sight of it scares me like little else. Only the most giant of spiders frightens me more. And math exams, but luckily these are a rarity in my life these days… Many of you will laugh at my silly reaction to blood, and rightly so. For those of you who suffer from blood cancer, blood is a companion from which there is no escape. For me, a simple blood test means sleepless nights, cold panic and bemused doctors. My Dad used to be like that. Until he got diagnosed. The instant he was told that something was wrong, his fear of blood vanished. Having blood taken no longer bothers him. It’s the lack of alternative, he says, anyone can do it. I still find it heroic, and pass out on his behalf.
So, when he found out that we were planning long distance bike rides to raise money for LLR (and knowing full well how scared I am of blood tests!), he made us promise to do a full medical and sports check-up. ‘You can’t go about preaching the importance of health check-ups, and not do one yourself.’ Right he was, and done it is.
I am please to report that, despite trying to find all sorts of excuses, I made it to my appointment at the Olympic Medical Sports Center here in Munich (Bernie is doing his in two weeks time). I had my blood taken, predictably fainted, got back up, breathed wildly into some weird apparatus, listened to the strange noises of my heart and pedalled like a lunatic on a bike ergometer until I almost fell off. All well. As healthy as a horse. Dad is happy, and so am I.