Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One and a Half Pints

This is a very trivial story, but it's a cute one so I wanted to share it.

Every eight weeks or so, our company holds a blood drive with the American Red Cross. I  have been an avid blood donor for as long as I could give blood and I have tried on numerous occasions to try to get Alex to donate blood with me.

So, when a blood drive was scheduled for June 19th, I pulled the "It's our anniversary babe... you can donate blood as my anniversary gift" card. It did not work at first, but I was persistent and called him the day before the blood drive to sign him up.
 "What time do you want to give blood tomorrow?"..
"..Uhh... what?..."
"You heard me... they have these open slots for 10:20, noon, one, etc.. Ooh, how about 10:20 then you can go on your break and eat afterward."

So the day of, we're getting ready for work... make sure that we have a good breakfast... even send Alex on his way with some coffee. I don't generally go into work until 11am, so I stayed home and finished up and he went on his way. There were a couple of times while I was getting ready when I was thinking to myself, I hope he's ok.. I hope he doesn't get sick or anything. Now, this may have been some sort of psychic connection or it could just be a memory of the last time Alex gave blood and nearly fainted... hard to say which one it is, but I digress.

I stroll into work about 11am and am getting ready to begin working when Alex IMs me on our GoogleChat. He says, "Did you talk to Amy? I don't know which dept she's in but she said she was going to talk to you."
"No, I don't know who you're talking about. Why? What's wrong?"
"Well, she walked me back from the blood drive because I fainted."
"OMG I KNEW IT! I knew something was going on!"
"How did you know?"

I eventually did talk to this Amy person... turns out it's the Amy that works in my dept. Turns out she was giving blood at the same time as him and was sooo freaked out when he fainted, she nearly jumped up to help him until she realized she also had a needle in her arm. Alex was able to get about half a pint out of him before this incident when they took the needle out without sterile procedure and his blood became contaminated. Half a pint of contaminated blood. He ate a bagel and went on his way. He was fine, by the way, just a little freaked out.

My appointment was at 12:20pm and the only thing I was really worried about was whether or not my iron was going to be low that day. After the initial process, I'm sitting on the cot where they draw your blood and I ask the nurse if she remembers the guy who fainted earlier and told her that he is my boy... she recounted his story from her perspective and then we went on our way.
Right arm is my best arm, but she has a difficult time finding my vein. It begins to hurt like no other time I've given blood... I am making a lot of noise and she is digging around in my arm with a needle... at least that's what it feels like! She gives me the option of trying the other arm which I take because, heck, I'm already there, why not? 
She finds the vein after putting an inflated cuff on me and having me pump. I tell her I will not move one centimeter and I don't during the whole sterilization process. Turns out that it was all in vain ... haha, that's a pun... because the stupid thing rolls and she can't find it. Of course, she only realizes this after the needle is in me. Eventually, she strikes gold and I begin pumping. It's going soooooo slow that the scale is beeping pretty much non-stop to let her know that it is going at a snail's pace. After I hit my 10 min mark, and had pumped only half a bag, she comes over to look at the needle and lifts it ever so slightly... this really does the trick because I start gushing. 
We both think that I am gonna make the 20 min deadline. Suddenly, it slows down when I have 10-20 grams to go and the nurses start talking about what to do.... "Well, the rules say approximately 20 minutes...." So they start moving the needle around again to try to get those last couple of grams so I, we all, can be finished with this process. It doesn't hurt... I just sit there with my head turned to the side so I don't have to see the needle in my arm. Then it's over. They don't really tell me what has happened, just that I'm done. Turns out, while moving that needle about, it caught some air which contaminated the line that led to my bag of blood. Contaminated. 
The nurse says to me, in jest, "You and your hubby are a bunch of troublemakers!"

We each spent an hour (prep, donating, recovering) of our time trying to give blood to a good cause and all we gave was a hard time to the nurses and one and a half pints of contaminated blood. Happy Anniversary baby. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Tomorrow marks the fifth year of the relationship that exists between Alex and me. Two years before marriage... Two years after...nearly a year separated.. and nearly a year divorced. Needless to say, it has been an interesting experience in which we have both learned and grown a lot.

I can honestly say that we are the best we have ever been. I personally feel more comfortable with our relationship; how I am in our relationship. We still have a lot of things to work on, either to find resolve or compromise... mostly involving the differences in how we handle situations or view things. Luckily, though they are sometimes difficult to talk about, these things aren't deal breakers. We have the understanding, which has been the understanding the entire time, that we love each other and we want to be together. It's just that now we realize we actually have to work, and work together, to make it work. I think we knew that before.. that it takes work to make things work... we just didn't know if it would work with us, how things were.

I believe that the break we had from each other in 2011 was a good one. I mean, it was really trying... we both cried a lot... we yelled a lot. We did things to piss each other off. We did things to manipulate each other. We slept alone, in separate houses, and we called each other when we were lonely. And we made peace with not being with each other. Then, after filing for divorce, we decided that we wanted to be together. Not that we were wrong for separating or having this time apart, but that we were ready to commit to each other again. We really needed that time, that space away from each other, physically and emotionally, to say these things, to do these things, to test each other outside of the trust of the marriage, to rebuild what we wanted "us" to be.

So, here we are five years deep and just really beginning our lives as adults. Things have really begun to look up for us as a couple and as individuals. I still believe that everything happens for a reason, and we are where we're at in life for a reason... to teach us something that will prepare us for something bigger in the future.

Congrats to us for doing what was best for us at every stage in our relationship, even though it might not have been the easiest or the most popular decisions, and coming out of it better people and partners. And here's to the future of trailblazing our own way through this journey.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

we need to be kind to ourselves

Just because two people decide to not continue a relationship, or decide to alter its boundaries, does not mean that the relationship failed. I have to remind myself of this. We have to be kind to ourselves regarding really difficult situations.

Alex and I had a lapse in our boundaries recently. A series of events lead us to a nostalgic frame of mind where we gave into our positive thoughts and feelings without regarding the negative/realistic side of things. Anniversary. Holiday. And then throw some hormones in there and we've got a recipe for thoughts of a possible reconciliation.

After a month of talks, things have returned back to normal. We reminded each other that it was just nostalgia, that there are reasons why we are divorcing, and that this doesn't mean we won't be able to be apart of each other's lives. That's our main fear: losing each other entirely. And we have both reassured each other that won't happen.

Our dissolution papers are turned in and all we've got to do is go to the courthouse to pay our fees and three weeks or so later we will be divorced. It's just a label, you know. Married. Divorced. It means something different for everyone. And in our case, it doesn't mean "Failed Marriage". Divorce means we love each other enough to allow the other one the freedom to grow and become who we were meant to be. We're still kids and we need to grow up without each other being involved in every aspect of the other's life. We have found that it's not possible for us to do that while we're married.

I do believe that there will be more Desaree and Alex adventures. Desaree and Alex are over. Desaree and Alex are just friends now. There is no reason to have unkind thoughts about that; it's a happy thing.