What felt like pinpricks for my husband, felt like plastic injection molding into my arms. He went first – announced “Doesn’t hurt!” and easily slipped his shirt back on. I am the other hand, had to hold firmly to the chair with other arm to avoid violently reacting to the cheery nurse stabbing my arms with her life saving medicine.
But I have this strange feeling of being protected – like getting a power up on a video game – a little glowing shield all around me. Ha ha! Hepatitis A! Watch me walk right through you! I can engaged in risky behaviors – like eating food from a street cart in Costa Rica without repercussion!! (Though I’ll admit the traveller’s diarrhea could get me – I couldn’t stomach the $85 for a 67% reduction in chance)
From time to time I reflect on the great gift that we have been given in Canada and North America. Few families have to watch their children die from what seemed a cold or fever at first. Rubella, Whopping Cough, Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Influenza – we don’t need to worry about our children (or ourselves) catching these diseases.
Or do we? For some reason – despite the risk to society – some parents choose not to vaccinate their children. And while this may on the surface appear to be a decision that affects only that child – it doesn’t. It increases disease prevalence, and creates a situation where other children – who may be only 97% protected due to their vaccination – could catch something that could maim or kill them. Suddenly – historical sounding diseases are showing up again because selfishly some families want to impugn the rights of others to impose the minority opinion on the rest of us.
Yeah, I know – I’m opinionated on this topic. And I don’t even get a flu shot. So you could say the same about me risking others with my flu-y self. But seriously! Come on!
February 5th, 2014 Extra-Ordinary: I secretly like my smallpox vaccination scar.
She looked forlorn sitting quietly amongst the busy area. An old woman unnoticed by others moving through urgent and mundane tasks of the day. She was shrunken and grey and unfocused. Uncertain and worrying.
I was the opposite in my new glorious and flowered pumps and vivid pink shirt – but I wonder if it was youth (in comparison) and confidence in my body, limbs, and mind?
We visited and talked and considered the future together. She was expecting release soon based blood test and x-rays. Besides her knees – swollen from a lupus flare up – she was doing okay.
April 8th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Where will I be at 93?
I went to a new massage therapist.
I often feel like I have something to prove with RMTs because I never want to complain about the pain. I feel like I should just take it – the pain is good, it is releasing something bad right? So, I usually suck it up during the rough patches, because I don’t want to be wussy. (my mother would say “Get some self-esteem, Susan”)
But this new RMT started using elbows on my gluts? Oh, my god that hurt. And strong fingers along my scapula? Wow. How did theose thin little fingers exert so much pressure? It felt bizarrely terrible and good at the same time. I didn’t cry out, I just told her later than that was “sure something”.
January 24th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: It’s funny what we’ll take if it is presented in the right framework.
I don’t often get sick, which is a good thing. I don’t deal with sickness well. I whine and complain and don’t get enough sleep, have endless showers and moan about how I am probably dying. However, I will share with you my wisdom:
1. The cold is always the worst first thing in the morning. It will get better as the day progresses. You can honestly say, it can’t get worse from here
2. It’s okay to lay down in the shower and let its curing hot water loosen up the phlegm and mucus that is lying around in there.
3. If you can’t stop coughing, have a spoonful of brown sugar. It feels so good.
4. Don’t use anything but plain Vaseline on your angry red nose. No stinging, just pure relief. (and a greasy face, but it’s totally worth it)
5. Stuffing Kleenex up your nose is totally normal and it feels really good. And it gives you a break from blowing.
6. Sinuses must be really really big because I can’t understand where all of this . . . stuff is being stored.
7. Take drugs at night, but avoid drugs during the day – even if they say non-drowsy, they make you feel loogy.
8. When you are starting to get better, your voice will probably sound the worst. You can milk this if you need to.
January 5th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: On the mend.