Vaccinating against invisibility

I haven’t been running at all lately. It’s because my superpower failed.
I have the power of invisibility. It said so in a quiz I took about super heroes several years ago. If a quiz says something about you, you know it must be true.
I can talk, whine and beg for my kids to clean their room, but they never do. I can avoid most office conflicts and often go unnoticed until something horrible happens. I’ve avoided (knock on wood) injury most of my athletic life, except the occasional blister.
My power is better than anything you’d find in Harry Potter’s world. I can even make my car invisible — try that with a cloak. For example, while driving down to southern Appalachia to visit some mountain grandkin, several cars almost hit my vehicle because they couldn’t see it (and they were driving too fast).
But there are times where being invisible is a burden. When you yell for the hundredth time “Don’t jump on the furniture” and tragedy befalls lil’ Timmy’s head, you feel responsible.
Now, as I listen to the labored breathing of my sick kids and myself, I have to remind myself to subdue my powers and say this: Update your vaccination; get your kids’ vaccinations current; and if you’re sick, deal with it quickly if you can. My family has been through a lot this week. And it could have been worse if not for timely medical care.
You see, a few weeks ago, a bug made its rounds in the local schools and workplaces. My kids’ school was hit; my workplace was hit. Everywhere there were stories of who had what, which kid threw up in a pail that day, etc.
For some reason, I thought my invisibility bubble could protect my family, everywhere, all at the same time.
Then Friday rolled around. The two oldest kids started the day coughing, but it didn’t matter. It was a snow day, so everyone stayed home anyway.
Well, the illness grew in our little homely germ factory. The three kids are in various stages of dealing with a cold. I have the flu and pneumonia.
It’s funny, as soon as I described how I was feeling, my husband knew I had pneumonia, an illness in which fluid gets into your lungs.
And deep down, I knew I had it too and where I had let my super germ-fighting invisibility-guard down at: Work. The incubation time fit in with the time line there: Person gets sick, toughs it out for a few weeks, makes everyone else is sick, then sees the doctor. I must admit that sometimes, I’ve been the sick one too worried about my job to call off sometimes. After this one-two punch, I’m not doing it again if I can help it.
I didn’t know I had the flu too until I went to the local urgent care facility. Usually when my family goes there, we get the “We’ve seen this a million times, take this and get out” treatment. We end up going to a real doctor afterward, because they were wrong.
This time, they were actually concerned about my well being. “If you don’t improve in five days, come back here immediately.” I had a fever for five days and fluid in my left lung.
As we left, I was relieved that I knew what I had. I had a chest X-ray (my first ever) to prove it.
With my psychodelic-colored antibiotics in hand, I’m recovering. My kids are also on the mend — though my youngest child remains iffy. Right now, he’s curled up in my arms after falling asleep at 6 p.m. His coughs make his 28-pound body shake and my heart break. He’s not old enough for over-the-counter stuff we give his siblings, besides he hates all medicine — even getting on the doctor’s scale — except gummy vitamins.
As soon as I’m well, I’m getting my flu vaccine. I can’t further risk giving my kids this illness. If I can’t move from room to room without taking a 10 minute rest afterward, I can’t imagine what they’d feel like if they had it.
I know the arguments against vaccines. They aren’t for everyone. But they are safe for the general public: People who care for children, kids more than six months old, seniors, etc. Many vaccines are mercury-free, which for those who link autism to vaccines, makes them more of an option.
If you don’t see a vaccine in your future, but can afford or have access to health care, if you’re sick, seek help. I could be writing this from a hospital bed if I wasn’t checked out sooner. The expense wouldn’t be worth the time I wasted waiting for my health to improve.
It’s vitally important that as a parent, you take care of yourself first. If you aren’t well, the house goes to the dogs. Need proof? Come to my house. You can see the aftermath and help me clean up a week’s worth of dirty dishes, laundry, dog destruction, etc.
Once I finish cleaning, I’ll see you on the trail. When you notice that strong breeze going by, that’s me, regaining use of my powers of invisibility.

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