Yesterday I was sent to UCLA to be poked and prodded and peered at.
I’m a modern marvel to be studied.
I came home feeling emotionally spent, tired of my life revolving around treatment plans and drugs. But also thankful I had come far enough to be able to take myself to the appointment and to be so far removed from the threat of ‘scary’ illness no one ‘had’ to come with me to just hold my hand.
But maybe they should have, just to keep my hands off of other things. Because despite my antibacterial lotion and my constant hand washing, I picked up a stomach bug and spent the night enjoying the company of the nearby toilet.
After a few hours sleep I woke up feeling much better, but not well enough to head to my treatment. I needed some rest, some tea, and maybe a little toast. I also got some much-needed perspective.
I got a stomach bug and it didn’t land me in the hospital.
I got a stomach bug and it didn’t land me nearly comatose and in need of my husband’s help.
I got a stomach bug and it only lasted through the night, not extra hours or days which usually happens to me when I get an ordinary virus.
I got a stomach bug and like a nearly normal person I could function during and after.
With my immune system there wasn’t much I could have done to avoid getting sick. But when there is something I can do, or you can do, it’s a no brainer. In fact, in some cases I count on you to help me remain healthy. Because this time I was lucky. It was a stomach bug that my body handled. But it won’t always be so easy.
The last time the family was hit with the flu everyone had it for about 24 hours. I had it for a good 72 hours and was watched over by my brother. He held vigil by my bedside as I moaned and sweated the evil illness out of me. Even when I do my best to protect my fragile immune system, bugs get through. I then ended up admitted to the hospital as doctors managed my pain and dehydration, my labwork showing influenza A in my system.
That’s where you come in. That’s where herd immunity comes in. That’s where vaccinations matter. Every type- from a simple flu shot to chicken pox to whopping cough and measles, mumps and rubella.
Liz over at Mom101 has a great reminder as to why we need immunizations and why, here in the states, we take them for granted. You can also contact your Congressperson to ask them to make global vaccinations a priority. No, they wouldn’t have stopped me from getting that stomach bug yesterday, but they do save the lives of millions worldwide who contract many different diseases that can be easily contained if only everyone participated or could be immunized.
As someone with a suppressed immune system I am begging you to take vaccines seriously and to join the effort. Do not take modern science for granted. Remember why we need them and why people like me need you to get them.