Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Loving Lab Help (duplicate post)

I married a saint. Don’t get me wrong, nobody’s perfect, but this woman brings light into the hell that was last week. She stuck with me through the worst I could drag her down into and she helped to get me back up out of it. For that I am grateful. Who knew that pipetting could stir such emotions in my cold, automated heart?

My grad research project officially started the beginning of August. It feels like I’ve been waiting for this forever, but now that It’s here I just can’t wait until it’s over. The way the past three weeks have flown by, I imagine this project will be a blur in my life so I’m going to need to find things like Pelotonia to brighten and accent this high speed pursuit of a couple of letters after my last name. Since I’m doing most of the work by myself without any employees to help me, I would be remiss to not mention those who have volunteered to help me out of a few pickles so far: Lucien, Dare, Dan, Frank and Mike.

Lab work has never been my specialty and I seem to have forgotten that when I wrote the protocol for this experiment. I’ve suddenly been submersed into the dark world of basement labs, working in four different labs and gaining access to BSL2 over at the vet school for culturing of pathogens. The amount I’ve learned in the past week has rivaled all of last year’s classwork, making me question why I ever took classes in the first place because I’m such a hands-on learner. But last week was an extreme baptism into the hellfires of bloodwork.

When Amanda called, I told her to go to her exercise class because I wouldn’t be home for a long time that night. Everything I’d tried to do that day kept dragging out. I’d been at work since 7 am and it was already 6 pm. I still had to do all the hematocrit, plasma and serum spinning and storage, and didn’t even know how long it would take me since I hadn’t done 200 blood samples at once before in my life. I’d memorized protocol and gathered supplies, just starting when the phone rang. Amanda immediately asked if I wanted her help. Her company was more what I wanted, but her help was great too. But I didn’t want to ruin her evening, insisting that she didn’t come down.

She came down anyways, bringing pizza and a hug for the hapless, absent-minded genius who had forgotten to lock down some hematocrit tubes before spinning and was cleaning up broken glass glitter. It’d been over an hour and I’d gone nowhere. We ate and she learned how I wanted samples labeled and pipette and she got straight to work. And we worked, and we worked. This was a bloodwork marathon I don’t intend to duplicate any time soon. Thursday is looming up on me already. Last week we didn’t leave the lab until midnight but it was long before that when I realized I married a saint. Such self-sacrifice doesn’t come easy or often and I really appreciated it. I love you, Amanda.

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