I have been very quiet about “the vaccine” in social media, except of course for when I went on the news and shared how easy it was to get Tom’s appointment using pre-registration through the state. During the interview, I stayed focused on the positive; vaccinations and continued public health safety measures will lead us out of this pandemic. I didn’t share the angst I was experiencing about whether or not I would get the vaccine at the time saying boldly at the end of the interview that I would schedule my appointment after Tom had his second dose. The on-air interview was very brief but we shared with Ana what we were looking forward to once we were both vaccinated. I felt a clutch in my stomach because of my intense ambivalence about taking the vaccine. Tom, on the other hand, felt strongly about getting the vaccine. We had many rather heated discussions about it but I yielded to his wisdom and feeling an urgent need to get it. He does most of the chores outside of the house and was not sure when he might be called to go back into the office.
There was a question of whether or not I contracted paralytic polio from the vaccine in 1959. While there is absolute assurance that you cannot get the virus from the vaccine, I had so many intense feelings swirling around inside of me as I am such a proponent of the mind/body connection and creating my own reality.
As friends were getting fully vaccinated and Tom had his first dose of the vaccine, I had feelings resurface from lugging around a leg brace of being left out and being left behind. What a dilemma filled with suffering that I was aware was of my own creation.
I prayed and meditated. I made a firm decision that Ruth
Anne and I would NOT get the vaccine. My Facebook news feed flooded with joyful fully
vaccinated people. It was a profound juxtaposition to feeling left out and wondering how we were going to be able to return to the activities we loved without getting vaccinated.
During Friday's meditation, I felt a deep stirring in my soul. I knew we all needed to be vaccinated. Our son’s girlfriend Michelle was being vaccinated through her work and she made an appointment for our son Autumn on 4/22. It was on the news that I would get my appointment after Tom had his 2nd dose even though at the time I was harboring the view that there was no way I would get the vaccine.
I knew it was going to be super easy to get an appointment through MGH Brigham where I had once received primary care. Both Ruth Anne and I received emails from their system through Patient Gateway about eligibility. Tom’s primary care is through MGH Brigham and he received his vaccine through their site at Assembly Row. After meditation ended, I asked Ruth Anne if we could reevaluate our thoughts and feelings about the vaccine. We had spent many hours discerning whether or not to get the vaccine that included recalling what “they,” the medical establishment said with great authority about each of our diagnoses and prognoses.
Ruth Anne will be volunteering this summer at ReVision Urban Farm and staff at the Farm have already received their vaccines. We went into her Patient Gateway account and updated her status to give her a higher priority as an agriculture worker. I went into my Patient Gateway and scheduled an appointment for April 14th, the day after Tom receives his second dose.
Anne and I each know the power of the mind/body connection as we have
gone through our journeys to health and wellness. I know how my attitude
about the vaccine and how I visualize the experience will effect a
positive outcome. I have dissolved bone spurs, a breast tumor, a lesion
on my nose, grown a new gastroc muscle in my left leg and the list goes
on and on harnessing the power of the mind/body connection.
I know that the only way forward and out of the pandemic is for as many people as possible to receive the vaccine which I now call the "shot of wellness." I experience the anticipatory joy of being with friends, hugs, no longer be concerned about whether someone in my circle tests "positive", traveling, going out to dinner and feeling a sense of freedom when someone asks if I am fully vaccinated.
I choose faith over fear.
From "Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic":
Fear or Faith
Invisible to eye yet a powerful force
one comes from our mind the other from Source.
Counting blessings and feel gratitude deep in heart
although from our loved ones we must keep apart.
Riding waves of emotion we've never known before
the rhythm of our lives shaken to the core.
What do we believe how to feel hope and grace
in the midst of the darkness much adversity to face.
When we get out of head let peace settle in soul
faith lights the way the path to feeling whole.
Guardian angels feel gift of presence surround
treasures in these moments can always be found.
Friendships rekindled tapestry of love woven tight
trusting and knowing we all are all right.
Believing in something the eye cannot see
choosing faith from our fear now sets us free.
From my heart to yours
In health and wellness
For more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.
"Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" along with all of my books to inspire and uplift you is available on Amazon.