Super vulnerable post here…please scroll on if you aren’t in the mood for my honesty. I’ll still love you.
I hesitated to post the picture of me after I got the first covid vaccine this evening. Why do you ask? Because I was very afraid of judgement or people wondering why I got it now. I am not in health care. I am young(ish), healthy, energetic and not on the phase one list from what people who don’t know me can tell.
If you have been a close part of my life; you know that one of my biggest challenges is admitting that my health history differs from anyone else. I KNOW my life is a miracle, I believe all of our lives are miracles…I’ve just gotten many little miracles that are in my face along the journey. I’m a little prideful (and a lot grateful). Sometimes that pride wins. Never will I willingly place myself in a position to be seen as weak or less than. If that means faking my way through something that scares the shit out of me, I can go there quicker than you can blink your eyes. But on the inside, I am so afraid. That stance is exhausting.
I lived 47 years ago through a major surgery for a congenital heart defect. The odds were 50/50. I am here. I have people I love with all of my heart who lost their babies who had the same defect or even a lesser defect in recent years. Why? I have no answers. Guilt and shame…I do carry those well.
That big ole stroke in 2009 that I fought forever to get through my head that it wasn’t my fault. It really wasn’t my fault. There was a hole in my heart and it let a clot through and the result was that I got to learn to walk again. The biggest gift is the takeaway lessons I got. Life isn’t about staying busy and important; love wins and I can do things I never imagined I would ever have to do. So much more…not in the place to discuss all of that here. I remember the doctor well who indicated I was lucky to have ‘made it’. More guilt. More shame. How many people don’t make it?
I went to the dr yesterday for a little procedure. I had just experienced two of the most painful injections…one in each plush butt cheek. I was feeling weepy and helpless. If you have been subject to lots of ‘being the patient’, you understand the vulnerability of that moment. She chose that time…when I was laying on the table with no way to escape (super smart lady)…to discuss with me the reasons I was ‘high risk’ even though I was a ‘poster child’ for tetrology of fallot and she wanted me to be on the list for the high risk vaccinations. So, to the list I went.
I do not identify myself as a person with a significant health history; I fought long and hard not to do that. I do not want to be known as high risk anything.. I identify as me…a brave, joyful, loved by God, whimsical woman who is whole, surrendered and basking in the warmth of God’s sunshine. That is me. But sometimes I forget and it becomes more important to me to make sure that ‘you’ don’t think me less and I try too hard to explain.
In gracious answer to anyone who rightly wonders how and why I got that vaccination early….there you go. I’m sorry. I know there are a billion of me walking around and I want everyone to get a vaccine sooner than later.
Also, I take no moment for granted; good or bad. Treasure your moments. For real. Before covid, after covid…everything in between…this is your one beautiful life.
I am going to have one little bitty more glass of wine, go to bed and give thanks and prayers for it ALL.