I Got Vaccinated Because I’m Selfish
Five minutes of vomiting followed by another seven minutes of groaning in agony. Twelve minutes in total, sitting on my mom’s couch, as she got ready for the day ahead.
When she finally exited the bathroom, it was clear that I startled her.
“Oh, Jay! I didn’t know that you were here.”
She feigned a smile and made her way across the apartment to greet me. Her steps were slow and labored. No doubt her knees, both of which needed to be replaced, were aching. No doubt the fibromyalgia joined in on the fun and made every movement a dreaded task. No doubt this was not, as she termed it, “one of the good days.”
That’s what happens when you live with debilitating health issues. The days of the week are no longer relevant. Rather you classify days as either “good” or “bad.” That was a bad day, yet she smiled.
“You okay? You want something to eat?” My mom’s questions always come in multiples, as if trying to fit as much as she can into every sentence.
“I’m okay. How are you?” I said while moving towards her outstretched arms.
“I’ve been better. Okay, let’s hurry — we’ll get something to eat on the way.”
“We don’t have to go if you’re not feeling well. It’s okay.”
She could barely contain the grimace on her face. Nor did she need to. I signed us up for the lupus walk for the first time since receiving her diagnosis, just three years prior. We talked about it every year but never made a plan. This year was different.
“No, I want to go. There’s no cure, so I just have to live with the pain. It could always be worse.”
She walked towards her bedroom to finish getting ready. We were going. There was no convincing her otherwise.
The aforementioned lupus walk took place in 2019; we planned to go again the following year. Little did we know that the world would be drastically different. With city lockdowns, mask mandates, and a general fear of going outside or getting too close to people, 2020 was a lot, to say the least.
For someone with an immunocompromising disease, it was worse. We never fed into the…