Leftover Behaviors

TG and I gave blood a month or more ago. A few weeks after someone from the Red Cross called me one night saying that I was the perfect candidate to donate platelets. I had a vague notion that giving platelets required a 3 hour commitment. So I said this to the lady on the phone and it was true. But she said that platelets were very important to cancer patients. It gives them a boost they need to get through their treatments. And she said you can bring a movie to watch while you are donating. So I said can’t you just take the platelets out of my blood donation and give them those. She said they would need 12 units of my blood. Oh. She said that they didn’t like to combine platelets from different donors to give to patients that they had to all come from the same person. So I agreed. I would try it.

So two weeks ago the day of my appointment arrived. I went in and failed the hemoglobin test. I was sent home with a list of foods that were known to help with iron production which is why they figured I failed the hemoglobin. I began substituting raisins for blueberries on my oatmeal every morning for breakfast. I missed my blueberries and the raisins gave me gas but I plowed ahead.

Then I’m ready to reschedule my appointment and try again and I ask TG would he like to try it? Sure he says. So he makes an appointment and to go at the same time as me. He said we could call it a date. I giggle.

This weekend was the big day. We both loaded up on calcium as instructed by the Red Cross people. It would help manage any reaction to giving the platelets. Sunday we go in and they give us coupons for $3 off lunch at a local restaurant. TG says Let’s use these when we get done here. I’m ever the accomodating one and I say you are the one with the hour and half drive I’m up for it if you are. He says yes.

I pass the hemoglobin test. Yay! I’m brought out to the chair and as my technician is readying the area for me she gets a phone call with bad news. Her boyfriend whom we had been chatting about for the past five minutes was in the ER with chest pains. She apologizes and runs out leaving me in the hands of her co-workers. They bring out TG and he’s setup in his chair with his DVD and headphones and they tell him he will be hooked up for 80 minutes. I’m still waiting to be hooked up because now they are down a person. Finally I’m hooked up and told that they need to set my timer for 110 minutes.

When you give platelets you have a needle in one arm that pulls the blood out of your body. In that hand you hold a ball that you have to squeeze the entire time. The blood goes from there to a machine that separates out the platelets and then the blood flows via another tube and needle back into your other arm. The receiving arm gets cold because the blood is cooled and anticoagulant added to it. You are not allowed to move either arm during the entire procedure. Its not a very pleasant procedure.

So I’m sitting there watching my video turning my head to glance at him once in a while. He’s just watching his video. I turn and look at my monitor with my timer running and my ml counts. My earphones move to my cheeks from turning my head and I can no longer hear the sound for my movie and I’m not allowed to move either arm. I don’t feel like calling for help so there I sit. I watch the movie and kind of follow it. I glance at TG and my monitor watching the minutes tick by and my ml count go up slowly. Soon he’s done. I’m still sitting there with 40 minutes on my clock. He motions that he’s going to the waiting room. I nod with my headphones on my cheeks.

As I sit there watching the time tick by I get increasingly antsy. I think ‘He’s been waiting for me an awful long time.’ I keep expecting him to come over and see what’s taking so long. I expect him to tell me that he’s leaving and going home. I get twitchy. I see him over there reading a book. Then he’s no longer in the waiting room. I wonder where he is.

Finally I’m done. They take their time unhooking me and my arms are so sore from holding them in the one position for two hours. They tell me I can go and I stand up and start walking to the snack area. I feel light headed. I think I should stop walking but I keep going. I’m nervous about an impending fight and I don’t want to keep him waiting any longer. I get to the snack area and there’s TG. He says are you feeling ok? I say yes. He says it must take longer because you are smaller than me. I shrug. The snack lady gets me a beverage and I ask TG are you ready to go. He says, Don’t you want to sit down and relax a minute? I look at this man and I don’t know what to say. I still feel like he must be secretly angry. I think about this. Its illogical. He’s never been that person. He’s never been impatient. He’s never been thoughtless. If anything he’s been selfless. I’ve actually said to him before – be a little selfish for once in your life. I say no even though I want to sit down for a bit, still feeling a bit off. But I can’t manage to make him wait any longer even though he doesn’t seem to care. So we leave.

So why did I sit there and make up this drama? Do I need it in my life? I don’t enjoy it. Why do I assign these behaviors to this person when he’s never once acted this way? Just because he is a man? Is that the reason? I don’t know but I would like to get past this.

I keep thinking I need more time with this man to acclimate myself. Get used to this kind of treatment and behavior from a man. Learn to expect kindness, patience, honesty and integrity. Learn to expect someone to keep their word and spend their time with me. Get used to a man who is flexible, open to try new things and respectful.

Change is hard and slow. Some days I think I’m over my past then something like this happens that makes me realize I could easily slip back to allowing someone to treat me poorly. I don’t want to be that person anymore.

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4 Responses to Leftover Behaviors

  1. S. says:

    You have a wonderful way of telling your story. This one sincerely touched me. I too know what it is like constantly waiting for your partner to get angry, or secretly annoyed or to suddenly blow up over half imagined harboured resentments.
    You aren’t that person anymore. The very fact that you could stop and think show you are no longer the same person. You may bear the scars but the wounds are healing. And I am so happy you have a patient and kind partner. You deserve nice and supportive.
    I hope 2013 is your best year yet!
    xo – S.

  2. Mari says:

    I so understand how you feel. I especially identify with your closing sentence ” Some days I think I’m over my past then something like this happens that makes me realize I could easily slip back to allowing someone to treat me poorly”. It happens to me sometimes, too. I’ve never been in a physically abusive relationship but I have been in very toxic relationships that have made me realize there are things I need to change within myself if I don’t want to end up in the same type of situation. I’ve come a long way but at times, I do catch myself slipping. Enjoy this new change in your life, Jamie, and don’t look back!!

    Happy new year, by the way!! ((:

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