An Ode to My Boyfriend, Frank the Tank

When I finally broke things off with my ex Pablo, I soon met Frank the tank. Although Frank has been great throughout my process of waiting for a double lung transplant, I think I'm ready to take a step back and breathe on my own.

Feb. 14, 2017 | 3 min read
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Rima Manomaitis
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I just got out of a very serious relationship. My ex and I were pretty co-dependent; wherever one would go, the other would follow. Although we lived in Colorado together and went on many adventures, there were several cons to Pablo.

For one, he was a loud-mouthed schnook. I remember the first time we went to the movies together, and boy was he loud. For living in a state where you are a mile closer to the sun, he also really disliked sitting in the full sun for very long, which seriously cut down on my sunbathing time. And lastly, he was clingy … clingy like cling wrap.

I don't know how I stayed with him so long. He always had to be next to me for just about everything, and it started to drive me a bit bananas. As time went on, I unfortunately came to realize that even though Pablo treated me pretty well, I needed more substance and less cling wrap.

Oh, did I mention that Pablo is a portable oxygen concentrator?

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When I moved out to Minneapolis this fall, I was soon introduced to my current boyfriend, Frank the tank. He was like a breath of fresh air. He's taller than Pablo and, as an added bonus, is a bit of a silver fox.

I am currently waiting to get a lung transplant at the University of Minnesota, and Frank has been very understanding during the whole process. I've been in the hospital for about 11 weeks now and he has been here every day, rain or shine … or negative-degree weather. On the days I don't want to go on walks or go to physical therapy, he is very good about encouraging me to get up anyway and stretch my legs.

He is also pretty adventurous and will follow me down creepy dark hallways late at night or when my sister isn't here. Even though Frank is more of an introvert, I feel like he surprises me every day. Generally, Frank is an optimist who sees life as the tank half full.

Recently, however, I've been feeling that my relationship with Frank is becoming more of a friendship. After my double lung transplant, I have a gut feeling that Frank may no longer be in my life. I think it may be time to spread my wings and focus on myself.

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Although I've learned a lot about myself from these past two relationships, I think I'm done with co-dependent partnerships. Don't get me wrong -- I'm thankful for Frank the tank and all of his support, but I am ready to breathe on my own with my new lungs.

In case you were wondering about Pablo, he's dead at the bottom of my closet. You know how it is … if you don't keep up the charge on portable oxygen concentrators, they lose their juice.

Maybe next Valentine's Day, I'll be sharing chocolates with my two air bags instead.

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Rima was diagnosed with CF at 4 months old. She went to school for environmental science but now works part time for the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation as their development coordinator. She also volunteers her time on the CF Foundation Rocky Mountain Chapter Advisory Board as well as volunteers for Make-A-Wish Colorado. She spends her time hiking the mountains of Colorado and snowboards during the winter season. Follow her adventures on Instagram, YouTube, or on her blog.

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