Nobody cares about what I write.  I can’t fight the need to get this all out on paper, though.  Reminds me of one of my favorite Anna Nalick songs, Breathe.  “It’s no longer inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to.”  That is why I write, for myself.  I share some of what I write because of the small hope it comforts another who relates. 

It’s worth the public shame to me at this point because there’s not much I haven’t heard.  Mostly from those who claim to care about me, so who really cares what some random on the internet has to say.  Those close to me have already destroyed me enough with their words and actions.

I have always been an extraordinarily sensitive soul.  I’ve always felt weird.  I’ve always sensed things before they happened.  I’ve always felt energy and emotions coming off of other people.  I’ve always felt like an alien.  I’ve always felt ignored.  I’ve always felt I didn’t belong here.  Nobody cares.

I’ve always been the rare case in every medication I’ve taken.  I got hives when I took Penicillin.  I have gotten every rare side effect from any antibiotics I’ve ever taken.  I’d suffer through doses of Sulfa in college because that was the only antibiotic I didn’t react to right away.  I now can’t take Sulfa because I basically got immune to them, and I really don’t care to ever take them anyway.  Avelox and Cipro tried to kill me.  I have stayed far away from any antibiotic for over 13 years now, I think.  It’s been difficult and I’ve learned every natural remedy to avoid them, I swear.  Nobody cares.

Reglan threw me into a major panic episode only to be followed by a year of depression.  The psychiatrist I had at the time gave me too much Zoloft and I was thrown into my first and only manic episode, getting the diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder.  I needed to take a semester off of college due to this, and also needed sinus surgery during this time.  Nobody cares.

Going on birth control threw me into my first depression at age 15.  When I went off of it at age 22, I got depressed.  Both of those depressions lasted a year or more.  I still managed to graduate college during that second one, all while heavily medicated and feeling more horrible than anyone could ever notice, even if I told them.  Nobody cares.

I’ve talked about how I was on over 45 different medications during a period of 20 years to try and cover up my depression and hurt.  I was on all of those for other people because they certainly did no good for myself.  I still got every illness going around because they killed my immune system.

The reaction I had from Prednisone was by far the most extreme and horrible reaction.  I still deal with lingering effects of that drug, even though I’m remarkably healthier now.  A six-day dose of Prednisone had me in the ER and left me suffering for over eight months straight with heart palpitations, severe GI issues, Tinnitus and Panic Disorder to the max.  I had so many tests during this time, obnoxious medical bills, only to have doctors tell me nothing was wrong with me.  It all was brought on by Prednisone.  Every second of every waking moment of that eight months was pure agony and the Tinnitus alone made me want to kill myself daily.  I wished every night before I went to sleep that I’d either be miraculously cured or die in my sleep.  It was complete torture.  I got a couple of weeks off of work, half pay.  Had to do an obnoxious amount of work just to get a couple weeks off at half pay.  Calling insurance, short term disability, doctors’ offices, Human Resources.  No one really cared.  When I forced myself to return to work I was in absolutely no shape to be there.  I forced myself.  I wanted to be at a certain desk because it was less movement.  Any kind of movement gave me severe heart palpitations.  My manager tried to accommodate but only if my doctor ordered it.  My psychiatrist at the time was awful.  This psychiatrist yelled at me for having a panic attack at work, so I definitely had no help from that doctor.  My manager would not allow me to be at the desk with less movement, even with all my colleagues requesting I be at that desk because they preferred other desks.  Why that minor accommodation that benefitted every one of my co-workers was unacceptable, I’ll never know.  Especially, when after I left that job everyone got an assigned desk with no desk rotations.  Feels kind of personal to me now. 

So back to that time of Prednisone suffering.  At that time, there was a temporary cancer center we had to work at that never had working A/C and involved pushing cancer patients across the campus.  It was stressful and physical work for anyone.  Here I am dying inside, pushing cancer patients, all while being reminded that I too had the BRCA1 gene mutation making me high risk for cancer, and reliving all the trauma of having lost my mother to cancer, all while having heart palpitations and pain.  It was absolute cruelty to work in that department while I was so sick.  Nobody cared.  Nobody cares now.

This was my enough is enough with medication.  I worked so ridiculously and obnoxiously hard to taper off of all the psych meds I was on because they were doing absolutely nothing but kill me.  The reason I took Prednisone to begin with is because I had gotten Labyrinthitis in my left ear from a virus.  I woke up one day and couldn’t hear and had vertigo.  My psych meds suppressed my immune system, especially Lamictal.  I was sick every month for the five years I worked in healthcare.  That is no exaggeration. I needed to get out of that environment. 

After two years of tapering, I got myself off all those drugs and was in a place to learn how to deal with my grief, trauma, and extreme sensitivity.  I’ve been totally free of every medication for over three years now.  I have not taken Tylenol or even an allergy pill.  I have food sensitivities that I have been trying to figure out for years and I finally found that if I drastically reduce coffee, gluten, dairy, and sugar I feel better and my tongue doesn’t swell up.  I have had to suffer greatly to get to this point of what I call good health.  Nobody cares.

As a child, I had horrible allergies.  I did three years of allergy shots.  Improved some allergies a bit, but I was sick all the time with colds and flus.  My immune system has been through a lot.  I still deal with minor seasonal and food allergies.  Food allergies that you can’t even test for, apparently.

The one thing I had during all of this was financial support.  There is no way I would be alive right now if I didn’t.  Which is why I fight so damn hard for healthcare for all and better resources.  It’s a privilege to have money to pay for certain vitamins and supplements to maintain my health.  Not everyone has that luxury.  I also can tell you vitamins and supplements are a whole hell of a lot cheaper than the medications I was on.  If I still were on them now, I’d pay over $500 a month out of pocket.  Vitamins and supplements average maybe $50 a month for me.  So, in my case I’m still paying less and feeling better.  I also know if I wasn’t married, I’d be poor right now.  Not because I don’t work hard, I just never have gotten paid much for the work I do, even if it exhausts me at times.  Social workers, healthcare workers never get paid what we should. 

I own my own practice now, so that brings new challenges and I must stay healthy for more than just myself.  I have clients to support and I can’t do that if I’m not grounded and healthy in myself. 

So now we are living in the age of COVID-19.  I have followed the science on this virus since it became a pandemic last March.  I have followed all the precautions and protocols diligently.  As I mentioned above, I had the privilege of having a husband still able to work, so I stopped in-person sessions to help protect the senior community living where my office is located.  I gave up income willingly because I could.  Most people are struggling just to survive now.  People need to have basic needs met before they can invest in healing.  I get that, I don’t think many other people who do what I do actually get that.  I said no to every gathering.  Masked myself up when I needed to go around others (which was rare) and I did a lot of comforting, learning, donating of my time and energy, and growing.  All from the comforts of my home, on the internet.  It’s a great tool if you use it with good intensions.  Not everyone does that.  We now have malicious conspiracies all over.  It makes me very angry.  Nobody cares I’m angry.  Nobody cares.

Vaccines are being distributed.  I’m happy for all of my friends and family who have gotten it so far. I’ve had reactions to vaccines in the past, too.  Nerve damage in my left arm that I still deal with.  Passed out once and had to be monitored.  I am very concerned I will have a horrible reaction to this vaccine.  I’m VERY concerned I will have my health deteriorate as a result of this vaccine.  My doctor told me to wait to get it because of my history.  I cannot and will not survive another Prednisone type reaction.  I know vaccines are still recommended for everyone.  Nobody cares about the sensitive ones, those allergic to things in the vaccine.  Nobody cares.  Just take more meds to counteract the vaccine and be miserable forever, they tell me.  Nobody cares.  Nobody cares about what you’ve been through, Kara, nobody cares.  Shut up and get the vaccine or else we’ll call you an antivaxxer.  Nobody cares.

I’ve been trying to build myself up as much as I possibly can to prepare for this vaccine, that undoubtably is going to be required to travel or do much of anything.  I get it.  I fully understand it’s an issue of public health.  I’m not mad about that in the least.  It makes total and logical sense to require vaccination if it’s now available.  I do not believe any of the absurd conspiracies going around about any of that.  Public health and science have been doing their jobs.  Travel is still allowed with a negative covid test or medical reason for cases like me.  I just know getting that and having to deal with the constant questioning of when I’ll get the vaccine seems exhausting, too.  I could continue quarantining forever.  I don’t miss anything about the hustle and bustle of most of the population.  I don’t even miss hugs.  I really don’t.  This past year made me really upset about how selfish and blissfully ignorant so many are.  I don’t care to see or interact with most of the people I’ve known in my lifetime.  Especially the ones who said and did horrific things to me in the past.  Things I haven’t even brought myself to write about yet, let alone tell anyone about.  It’s too personal and too hurtful.  Yes, I worry about the fragility of those who have hurt me too.  I can’t bring myself to even write about it because it would destroy some people.  It’s wrong, how they have that power hold on me, yet I have fear of talking about it still.  At least I’m honest in my thoughts and vulnerability.  Nobody cares.

The vaccine scares me (only talking about me) more than getting COVID, at this point.  Many don’t understand this because they haven’t had anywhere near the number of adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals as I have, if they’ve ever had any.  There is a lot of lingering trauma and mistrust in the medical field I carry with me daily.  That doesn’t just go away for the sake of the greater good.  I only want the vaccine for the sake of other people.  COVID-19 is far worse than any flu strain any of us has seen in this lifetime.  There are a lot of unknowns about it yet, too.  I realize this.  I do get concerned about the variants that continue to spread and mutate.  This is a pandemic virus.  It’s very different from any flu virus.  Could COVID cause cancer?  Could the vaccine do something weird to me?  I trust the vaccine is safe for a majority of the population.  However, I have NEVER fit into the majority when it comes to my health and history of devastating reactions.  I couldn’t live with myself if I spread this potentially very deadly virus and someone died or had lingering effects because of me.  It’s a pretty powerful driver in making me get this vaccine.  Nobody cares how I’m feeling.

If I get this vaccine, and react, who will pay for my medical bills?  Who will comfort me through?  If I get another illness as a result of this vaccine, who will believe me or even care?  Nobody.  These are the thoughts I deal with daily.  Some are irrational, and some are within reason and totally valid.  They are all very real fears to me.  This is a lot for me to process for the sake of the greater good.  Nobody cares.

When it all comes down to it, I feel very lonely in my thoughts and feelings around this vaccine.  I understand how vaccines have saved so many lives.  I understand how the disease does more damage than the vaccine ever could.  But have you ever been that rare case?  I have.  More times than I can even count, and I’ll never fully recover from that.  I am hesitant for very good reason.  Especially, since I have not had one cold or flu in three years.  I have had no known cases of COVID this past year, either.  However, I’ve been doing everything to prevent it.  My immune system is working wonderfully, I can’t go back to how I was before.  I just cannot.  Nobody cares.

The CDC website says even if you’ve had reactions to medications, this vaccine is still recommended.  Anaphylaxis from vaccines is the main one to watch out for.  I can’t help but wonder if I’ll be the rare case of a new reaction to this vaccine.  Nobody cares.

Whether I get this vaccine or not, I’ll still continue wearing my mask and distancing.  This pandemic is not over.  I fear what is yet to come.  I also know civilization has not learned a damn thing from any of this.  It’s a lonely world for me, I don’t care if I continue to stay secluded.  I already feel very alone whether I’m by myself or around others.  It’s always been this way.  The only gatherings I truly enjoy are concerts, or places with music.  Those activities would maybe spark my joy and willingness to be around other people.  A trip to Scandinavia would too.  Nobody cares.

So now for a little spiritual woo woo… which is absolutely to thank for me getting up the strength and courage to get this vaccine.  Where my personal spiritual beliefs and intuition help both my anxious and science brain move forward in making this decision to get the COVID vaccine…

I asked my mom for guidance.  My mom passed in 1996.  I cannot get “wait until after the 13th to schedule your vaccine” out of my head.  That is next week, April 13th so I’ll just wait until then to move forward with scheduling the one and done J&J.

On April 13th, J&J paused their vaccine.  I can’t make this shit up.  I couldn’t get that date out of my head.  I shared this message from my mom with a few close family and friends.  They told me it’s my mom watching out for me, which I know.  I was planning on getting the J&J because it was one shot with less reactions.  Similar to the flu shot, which I’ve had many times before and only had one shoulder injury from a flu shot.  It can still be painful, but in comparison to my exhausting history of reactions, that’s definitely low on my list of suffering.

It’s now known that J&J paused because of blood clots.  Ok, I’ve never had those, maybe J&J is still ok for me.  At this point I need to wait for more data and see what the recommendations are for me.

I’m hearing many women are having issues with their periods after getting vaccinated.  Mostly from J&J but a few friends who got Pfizer are talking about it.  Now I’m worried about that.  I’ve worked so hard to get a regular period with minimal pain issues.  History of Endometriosis, Vulvodynia and Vestibulitis, depression, mania, fibromyalgia and all the shit I went through after Prednisone was enough already.  Now the vaccine could potentially throw me back into a perpetual cycle of agony.  Great.  Nobody cares, just get the vaccine and suffer, Kara.  Nobody cares.

I ask my mom for guidance again, this time she tells me to wait until May, May 5th to be exact.  Guess we’ll see what happens then…

I am concerned about the virus getting stronger.  I’m starting to get more of a fear of the virus than the vaccine, at this point.  I still continue to practice all of the guidelines diligently.  No one will be infected by me.  No one.  I’ve been double masking for months when I need to go around others.  I’ve had a few clients after reopening, most of them have been vaccinated.  I have been honest with them that I have not been vaccinated yet.  Now that the vaccine is available for everyone over 16 there is more pressure now.  I understand and it’s absolutely everyone’s right to know who and who has not been vaccinated around them.  My practice is slow again, so I don’t have to be worried about pressure right now. 

I just don’t know what to do.  I really feel like I’m taking a huge risk for the sake of the greater good.  Why can’t they protect me for once?  I’m that one who should be protected from herd immunity.  Obviously, no one cares.  I live in Wisconsin, the land of many who deny science and care about no one but themselves.  Nobody cares.  They really don’t.

I can’t tell you how many times in my 38 years on this planet I wished I was never born.  I would have killed myself countless times by now had I not had the enormous burden of what that would do to others.  So I suffer for the sake of others.  I’ll probably get this vaccine for the sake of others.  I still don’t feel this vaccine is for my personal benefit at all.  Less is more for me.  I’m far too sensitive that even the sensitive don’t understand me at times.  Nobody cares.

I will say that if I have an adverse reaction to this vaccine, I will not go to the hospital.  I refuse to go through the usual game of having healthcare professionals look at me like I’m crazy and refuse to go through the medication cocktail roulette.  I’d do the same if I got severe COVID too.  I would not go to the hospital.  I would suffer in silence.  I’m very used to doing this.  I’m done and over it all with healthcare, it’s let me down and abused me too much in my past.  Absolutely nobody cares.

I don’t normally have fears of vaccines, either.  There is definitely something about these COVID vaccines that has me hesitant.  I do not get the flu shot since leaving healthcare.  Since then, I’ve not had one cold or flu that lasted more than a day.  While working in healthcare I was sick every month, many times with flus and coughs that lingered for months on end.  I used to be sick more than healthy.  I wasn’t planning on getting any vaccines until I was due for my Tetanus booster in 2027. 

I have never spoken much about vaccines because it is such an exhausting conversation.  Most people never have any issues with them, so those who do just fall silent.  I know if I share what I’ve written here, I could get shamed by privileged people who have never been personally traumatized by pharmaceuticals or healthcare.  I’m sure I’ll get called a sheep or “living in fear” if I get the COVID vaccine, by more traumatized individuals who have not done a stitch of self-exploration or have any willingness to understand they’re not the only ones who exist in this world.  So what.  I’ve determined most of humanity is a combination of both ignorance and trauma.  Many who got sucked into wild conspiracies around vaccines had legitimate reactions in the past, I’m sure.  So they started digging and found a whole world of internet conspiracy theories.  I could have easily fallen into that, too.  I’ve been tormented by modern medicine.  How I’ve been treated in the past is not for the highly sensitive.  Nobody cares.

I’ve always been a zebra, or a unicorn.  The saying, ‘it sounds like a horse, but it was really a zebra or unicorn.”  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard, “wow, that’s never happened before to any of our patients” in my life when explaining my sensitivity or reactions.  Every doctor just wrote me off as having a mental illness.  Very few medical doctors believed me, or even cared to try and figure me out.  Some did, but most brushed me off as mentally ill.  It took over a year to get a doctor to make sure Prednisone was a red flag in my chart.  I just can’t even describe how horrible that drug was for me.  To get to the place I am at now required so much self-reflection and emotional honesty.  Suffering.  It was multiple layers of hell.  It is a straight up miracle in many ways that I’m alive and healthy now.  Also, it’s a privilege to not have to worry about very basic needs being met so that I could even attempt to recover and heal from my traumas.  I have more writings tucked away regarding how privileged the holistic healing world is, and how I am trying to break that harmful cycle.  Healing is a privilege, whether people are willing to realize it or not. 

So now it’s May 5th.  I decided I’m going to the walk-in vaccine clinic for my first shot.  I have been building myself up spiritually and energetically for this.  For weeks I’ve had ‘Pfizer on the 5s’ in my head. I have done mental gymnastics to counteract any fears I have of this vaccine.  I have trained myself to believe this is a gift to me.  I truly believe it is for all of humanity.  It will prove to myself that I don’t have to fear every modern medical intervention because of my past.  I actually am excited for technology and biotech when it comes to healthcare.  I put my faith in it.  It still is so damn hard finding the courage to get vaccinated because the PSTD I have from medication alone is so deep and terrifying.  Nobody cares.

A few weeks ago, I read that there is a vaccine in clinical trials for breast and ovarian cancers!  I cried so many tears of hopeful happiness.  After years of fighting that fear, which is a whole other traumatic experience, it seems like I have some hope.  So now this is more motivation to get my body used to what an mRNA vaccine feels like.  It seems like things are lining up for me. 

As I covered above, I started talking to my mom about this vaccine months ago, I REALLY asked her to be with me the day of the vaccine.  I’m nervous, but excited, which can physically feel the same in our bodies sometimes.  I ask her for more signs.  I see today is a 555 portal in astrology.  I stay grounded, but I NEED these signs.  I talk to my deceased mother frequently.  It is a grief support technique as well.  I teach this technique to help my clients, friends, and family when they are in any kind of stressful situation.  I get one final boost of confidence when I see “Room 5” is the room I will get for my first shot.  This is right.

I had no allergic reaction!  So my fear of Prednisone has been removed.  THAT was a MAJOR fear for me in getting this vaccine.  No way do I want THAT or any kind of adrenaline in my very hyper sensitive body.  I would lose my mind, die, or end my own life.  I’m grateful I did not have any immediate reactions.  Now I wait it out.  I drink a ton of water and take my vitamins.  Continue with my grounded lifestyle.

I have had a significant amount of anxiety post vaccination.  Anxiety I have only ever had following medication usage.  I seriously could walk through fire with less anxiety than this.  This is the physical kind.  The chest tightness, can’t get a full breath, tingling sensations all over anxiety.  It’s not the level of panic I had following Prednisone, but it’s very uncomfortable.  I know it’s my PTSD from past reactions flaring.  My body doesn’t forget.  I know this is psychological and not from the vaccine, yet it is debilitating and scaring me.  I am grateful that I own my own practice and I already rescheduled all my clients when I knew I was getting the vaccine on the 5th.  I am privileged to be able to do this, not everyone has this luxury.  I had to work through pain like this before and it was Hell.  I now have so many more tools to work through this, but I think of those who are probably experiencing similar reactions and not having these tools.  They may not even feel safe enough to talk about it because nobody understands, and like I say, nobody seems to care.

No amount of breath work or mantras can clear this kind of anxiety.  I simply try to breathe and give myself Reiki treatments.  This is my best therapy, which is why I started my business, to help others get this same help.  I also know that much of this chest tightness and fire in my chest is anger.  I’m very angry that this is happening to me.  I’m very angry how many don’t consider the psychological component when it comes to this vaccine, and in all health conditions and medication usage in general.  I do think many are getting better at recognizing the psychological component, but I still feel VERY alone in all of this.  Nobody cares.

I’ve been keeping a calendar with my anxiety ratings post vaccination.  I know I am also anticipating the second shot.  THIS is the major appeal the J&J had to me being one and done, but I’m also grateful I didn’t get that before the pause because I know the anxiety would be the same for me.  Waiting to see IF I was that rare case.  One thing that people fail to understand about anxiety, is you need constant reassurance and it is not something you can just turn off because you want it off.  You have to constantly convince yourself you’re okay.  I went years without the physical sensations, this whole experience around the vaccine made it flare.  Look, I’m well aware of the trauma of the pandemic playing into it all, I don’t need anyone to tell me it’s that and not the vaccine.  But what a majority of the population fails to understand, even the scientists, is that it doesn’t matter when the vaccine is the trigger.  I understand my triggers.  Any pharmaceutical is a trigger for me.  It’s a very difficult cycle to break.  Nobody cares.

I have no desire to take medications for anything.  Being a highly sensitive individual, all medications do is make things worse for me.  In this blog I did not even get into all the other traumas I’ve experienced with losing my mother, grief, my cancer worries, bad doctor experiences, gaslighting, and overall shitty life experiences.  I’ve made peace with a lot of that and so my body doesn’t scream at me like it once used to, needing me on meds to function.  I also understand how to listen to myself and needs more, how to stay grounded in reality.  It requires consistent mindfulness, awareness, self accountability, and strong boundaries with energy vampires, but it is better than being drugged out and disconnected all the time.  I actually feel alive and of value now.

I can tell you I’ve suffered greatly in my 38 years, and being misunderstood only made everything more difficult to manage.  I started writing this blog as just a healing outlet for myself.  A way to get my fears out and pump myself up to get this vaccine.  I did not want to share it unless I went through with getting vaccinated.  There is just too much misinformation floating around and not a lot of compassion.  I certainly did not want to deal with people shaming me for my hesitancy, either.  I got the damn vaccine and now I’m paying for it with anxiety and PTSD flare ups.  Nobody cares.

My physical panic symptoms of chest tightness and inability to get a full breath stopped last Thursday, eight days after the first vaccine.  I basically felt the shit out of my rage, sadness, and fears so it cleared up. I’ve felt totally calm, balanced, and healthy since then, my normal state of feeling and being for myself.  The balanced way I feel in my body since going off a ton of immune suppressing medication almost four years ago.  I have the anticipation of the second shot in my mind, but no physical symptoms of anxiety.  I honestly believe the second shot will be easier because the initial adrenaline rush has passed, and my body will recognize it better.  It will not be a new thing.   

I want to emphasize that this vaccine is safe.  There is no denying that.  It is so monitored right now and there is no way it would be given to society and children if there was ANY reason to think it would do harm.  They paused J&J, as they should, for an exceedingly rare blood clotting issue.  This made me trust the vaccine safety and monitoring even more.  There are SO many people monitoring this vaccine. 

People may wonder why the hell I even considered getting this vaccine after what I’ve gone through in my life.  I’ll tell you, I had to get very honest and realistic with myself.  I had to come to the realization that I’m not the same deeply hurt and unwell person I was even four short years ago.  I am in a state of health now and I knew this vaccine was not going to set me back any, it was only going to propel me forward.  Yes, I had some panic pain for a week after the first and don’t know what will happen after the second, however I will never regret this decision.  To reiterate, my husband and I have followed the science and guidelines diligently this entire pandemic.  We’ve done our best to protect our loved ones and community, we know that.  We still will continue to be cautious and wear our masks in every public place, even though the current CDC guidelines say the fully vaccinated are safe to return to “normal pre-pandemic activities.”  Well now, let me talk about that one a bit…

I have absolutely NO desire to go back to how things were before.  I sort of miss concerts and Brewers games, but really one year off of those activities was no devastation to my life.  I felt very connected to everyone virtually.  I expanded my services in so many wonderful ways.  I definitely want virtual education and networking to continue forever.  So much more can be accomplished this way.  I attended two virtual weddings and I LOVED them!  I was able to see friends more virtually than I ever could before!  It’s easier and less stress to call or zoom chat with others and not need to leave your home and drive hours to do so.  I love travel in that I love the time in the destination, yet HATE the transportation time and energy it takes to get there.  Makes it more difficult for me to even enjoy the time spent on the vacation or trips because of the energy it takes me to recoup from the travel.  Another trait of me being a highly sensitive individual.  I know collectively we have not learned a damn thing and I just don’t care to jump back into the old pre-pandemic ways.   I will still continue social distancing even when I’m fully vaccinated in a few weeks.  I’ll still follow the guidelines.

I am nine pages in on this word document, this will be a long read if I share it as a blog post on my website.  I’m not even to the point of my second vaccination yet… 

I feel the need to write about boundaries around COVID, masks, vaccination, and how to honor both your own boundaries as well as others.

This vaccine is a choice.  There is no one forcing anyone to get this.  My decision to get vaccinated is 100% MY choice.  I knew by getting it I was nearly 100% in knowing I will not spread this deadly virus to anyone, which has ALWAYS been my number one concern since March 2020.  I also knew that the way this pandemic strain was mutating was getting pretty scary and it was dangerous for anyone.  No one was exempt no matter how healthy they are.  The virus is getting smarter and more dangerous.  I could not and would not allow this virus any chance of mutating in my body and spreading it to others.  Now that I started opening up in person sessions again, I knew I just could not allow any possible chance of giving this to clients or anyone in the senior complex I practice out of, even though I wear a double mask.  I also had to feel like I wasn’t just sacrificing myself to the greater good.  I had to turn this whole vaccine build up into a spiritual event for myself and an opportunity for growth.  I took it as an opportunity to prove to myself I am healthy enough to get the two dose vaccine.  I also know this is more than just about my personal choices and health.  My decisions during this pandemic affect other people.  It is absolutely other people’s right to know if I’m vaccinated or not because it affects their health.  It’s not solely about me and my health only in this case.  I understand there are so many reasons people choose not to get vaccinated. I don’t question it, mainly because if you haven’t grasped how complex trauma can be from my sharing of personal experiences alone, I guess I can’t help you understand how the psychological component is massive and many will never process through it enough to feel comfortable getting this vaccine.  There are tons of people out there who have been hurt as severely as I have. 

It’s a privilege if you’ve never had reactions to pharmaceuticals or been hurt by the medical world of American healthcare.  It is also a privilege to be in a place to have healed from and made peace with many of your traumas.  I’ve been on both sides of those privileges so I don’t tell anyone what to do in terms of their medical decisions.  That’s for an individual and their medical team to decide.  What I will say is that no matter what your choice is when it comes to this vaccine, you have to respect others’ needs and boundaries.  If you choose to not get vaccinated, also understand if your fully vaccinated friend doesn’t want to be inside their home with you.  People absolutely have a right to know if those they’re inviting into their personal living spaces have been vaccinated or not.  Especially, if there are children and immune compromised individuals involved.  Understand just because you’re vaccinated also doesn’t mean you will be able to just do whatever you want.  People may still want you to wear a mask around them to help keep them or their immune compromised family safe.  People may have parties with only fully vaccinated friends, it is a choice they have to do that.  Countries have required certain vaccinations for decades, nothing new there.  I know right now many are requiring proof of either vaccination or a negative covid test with quarantine to enter.  Makes absolute sense from a public health standpoint.  If you want to see people face to face, you must consider their health, too.  You must respect others’ boundaries and health. 

I think it’s going to be a weird summer.  People already are sharing many of their experiences around all of this and it’s bound to be a shit show summer, for sure.   To add a bit of humor to a very complex and overall extremely sad global environment.

I can speak for myself only, but there are many I just don’t care to spend my time with after seeing how they behaved this past year.  Whether they’re vaccinated or not won’t change the problematic behavior or hatred they showed me and others this past year alone.  So I may have to just come out and tell certain people I don’t care to see them and be prepared for the gaslighting.  Some of it has nothing to do with anyone personally, either.  My own introvert ways just aren’t really to a point of wanting to attend larger gatherings, even if the CDC says I can.  Even if I continue wearing a mask.  I just don’t want to do it yet.  I am looking forward to some larger events, like concerts, weddings, and Brewers games.  Those are months away, though.

I have a very close nit group of friends and family who I trust and want to see, I don’t need to put myself through emotionally and energetically draining social events with people.  There’s nothing I can say or do to make certain individuals understand where I’m coming from, I need to just not be around them much.  Some relationships are not so easy to cut off, and those I try to keep very superficial.  Even that is becoming more and more difficult because certain individuals have lost all contact with reality and won’t even accept the truth as the truth.  I can’t help them in any way or make them understand me, or reality.  I’m at the point where forcing myself to even adapt to their level of delusion even for brief moments is just getting to be far too much for myself.  I’m processing the grief of losing loved ones to conspiracy and it’s ok if I don’t want to be around them as much as before.  It’s tough for me to do because I know many have been manipulated.  All of these said individuals in my life have hurt me or other people before, though.  I can’t deny that, either.  So I distance.

The psychological component needs to be considered when dealing with loved ones hesitant to get this vaccine.  If they believe this vaccine will harm them, there’s not much you or anyone can say or do to convince them otherwise.  Your power is only in how you choose to interact with them.  Set your boundaries.

If you are highly sensitive like me, I see you.  I also know this virus is nothing to mess with.  Unless you know you have a legitimate allergy to something in this vaccine, please consider getting this vaccine sooner than later.  If you choose not to get this vaccine, please continue distancing and masking up.  Understand that even if you are healthy, you can still pass this virus to someone who is not.  All children under 12 are not able to get vaccinated.  Many immune compromised people cannot get vaccinated.  Many others simply cannot get vaccinated even if they want to because of allergies and other illnesses.  Please consider these other people and truly ask yourself if you honestly fit in any of these categories that would make you exempt from getting the COVID vaccine.  Visit the CDC website, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health website, talk with your doctor.  I ended up deciding to get the vaccine even after my Primary Doctor was hesitant about me getting it because data changed.  When I learned allergic reactions to past vaccines were more of a concern than reactions to medications, I honestly knew I’d be ok.  Be honest with yourself.

This brings me to my second dose.  I had one day of a normal immune response where my normal aches and pains hurt a bit more, and I felt like I had the flu.  My dog woke me up twice in the middle of the night and I had horrible sleep which probably made it worse for me than it had to be.  I was very moody and mad at the world that day.  BUT… The second day after the second shot was absolutely amazing!  It was hard for me to even believe.  I honestly felt better than I felt most days of my life!  The science has been showing this vaccine could help long haulers feel better from the effects of COVID.  I’m wondering if it could also repair some damages from past coronaviruses, in general.  Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of those in my past!  Only time and more data will tell.

I’m now almost to the point of full vaccination.  June 9th is the two-week mark after my second shot.  I am excited for this summer.  I feel so much more freedom in not worrying about spreading this virus!  It is highly unlikely for me to even get infected, which means it’s nearly impossible to spread it.  I am incredibly happy I got the Pfizer because the data is looking better and better every day against the variants.  I was able to sign up for a V Check where I receive texts daily asking me how I am feeling.  I wish this was done after EVERY vaccine, medication, or medical intervention!  I am hopeful for how our healthcare learns, adapts, and evolves from this vaccine rollout.  I hope the medical world recognizes its flaws and starts to correct some of its past mistakes that have traumatized so many. 

One thing I’ve learned from my many nightmares and devastating life experiences is how important it is to be open to change.  There was a point where I was completely done and over any kind of medical intervention.  It hurt me far too much.  Now I have hope again.  I know I can handle these mRNA vaccines just fine, so now I’m excited and hopeful for a breast and ovarian cancer preventative vaccine in the very near future. 

Here’s me after the first shot stressed / excited!

It is so important to be able to fully acknowledge your pain.  The worst thing in the world is to be suffering and have no one believe you.  We have to get to a point in this society where people can listen and learn from others’ pains and traumas.  It can’t heal until it is heard.

My decision to share my experiences in a blog is not to convince anyone of anything.  I want people to make informed decisions based on accurate information and data.  I realize there is a portion of the population who are deeply sucked into rabbit holes of dangerous misinformation.  I understand they are afraid, however just making up information because it makes you comfortable is incredibly dangerous to society.  The COVID-19 virus is very real and very dangerous.  If you wander around unmasked thinking you are fine and healthy, you still are willingly risking spreading it to others.  It’s wrong.  If your decision to not get a COVID vaccine is based on inaccurate information, you are hurting others whether you choose to realize it or not.  This blog isn’t for that crowd, though.  I’m sharing my past, my fears, my vulnerabilities, my courage, my strength to help those sensitive like me not feel so alone.  I also hope those with sensitive loved ones may find some more compassion for them.  I wish my loved ones would have listened to my fears and pains instead of brushing them off.  So if you are reading this as someone who has a sensitive loved one, I hope you will listen more than preach to them.  I never wanted advice from anyone other than my medical team, and you can see how they haven’t always helped either.  I only wanted my loved ones to listen and believe me.  That was all.  The ones who failed at this only made my suffering worse.  I’m grateful for those who listen.

As much as the world is falling apart, I do have this undeniable optimism about it all.  I think voices that were silenced for so long finally are being heard.  I mean truly heard.  I think science is getting much better at listening and considering the psychological component and historical reasons behind why half the population isn’t just running out to get this vaccine.  I see so many people coming together to help get accurate information out there, despite the attempts of the misinformation campaigns.  I’m afraid of how so many fell into the cult mentality, for sure.  I do think there are many of us still working against it all, as exhausting as it is.  It’s definitely normal to feel like nobody cares, especially now.  I hope my sharing of my deeply personal experiences helps others not feel so alone.  I am prepared for my words to be twisted, so let me clearly state this:

  • vaccines save lives
  • science is real
  • the COVID-19 virus is real and nothing to take lightly
  • side effects are taken seriously, I reported all of my symptoms post vaccination
  • no two people are the same
  • practice compassion and boundaries

I am no expert on viruses, epidemiology, or any medical illness.  I am an expert on very few things, and I’d put my understanding of myself and sensitivity on that list.  No one knows my life but me, no one knows your life but you.  Our decisions affect others and there is only one reality we all live in together, though.  Be honest with yourself even if you feel nobody cares.

Here I am.  Two weeks past the second dose and I feel great.  I’m excited for what’s to come for me.  I have hopes for a cancer vaccine.  I have said to my husband multiple times how I’m so glad I got vaccinated and I didn’t wait any longer.  We have concert tickets, Van Gogh exhibit tickets, Brewers games in our near future.  Things I never would have planned as an unvaccinated person.  I believe we have to all be honest with ourselves in order to be functioning and compassionate members of society.  We need to consider others’ wellbeing.  If we fail to do this, we will not have a society.  We will have a bunch of entitled idiots running around screaming fake oppression while those who are truly oppressed continue to suffer as a result of the ignorance.  Oh wait, that is already happening! 

If you’re healthy with no history of reactions to vaccines, I feel it’s your duty as a decent human to get this vaccine.  I don’t care about your stupid theories, I just don’t.  I have an awful lot of compassion for those who have been hurt.  I know those close to me who are hesitant to get this vaccine are hesitant for good reason.  I also feel they would get through it just fine.  Fear is a powerful thing.  I do think it is normal for anyone to have some fears around getting this vaccine as it’s a newer way of teaching our immune systems to recognize COVID.  I also think it’s frickin cool.  It’s the future.  It gives me hope.  I hope it gives you hope, too.  Ya know, it’s good to have hope in a world that feels like nobody cares.

Thank you for reading this blog in its entirety.  I started writing this all out back in April.  It’s deeply personal and to emphasize as I always do, this is not medical advice.  You should have a trustworthy doctor for that.  If you are looking for someone to help you better understand your sensitivities, grief, and overall awesomeness, I’m your helper!  I offer Reiki sessions in Mount Pleasant, WI too.  Bounce on over to alwaysBEhealing.com and book a session so we can get you feeling empowered in your awesomeness!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Arlene

    I did read the whole blog, Kara. Hugs. ❤️ You know, our oldest son, Bob, Jr., had a stroke at the age of 54 in 2017, and another in 2018. He is in assisted living now. He has a master’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology.
    He raised his two sons alone for 20 years because when the boys were ages 9 and 7, their mother decided she no longer wanted to be married. His sons not only destroyed his love and trust for them in taking all his funds he was paid during his medical leave from the Illinois Department of Justice, but deserted him when he had nothing left. He had to go on .community care and was nearly on the street. Now he is on Social Security Disability with a Payee Representative. He has difficulty with speech and putting his words and thoughts together as a result of neurological disorder from the strokes. As parents, we are grateful for the amount of recovery he has.

  2. Marcia B

    So beautiful, brilliant and vulnerable, Kara. But you are wrong about one thing: I care and I believe a lot of others do, too. ❤️ Congratulations on overcoming your well-deserved fear about getting the vaccine, and for overcoming all the other struggles you describe. You are an inspiration!

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