Monday, September 13, 2021

Breakthrough

It started with a headache. Following the hottest day of the year (which claimed someone else's life), we assumed Teddy had heat exhaustion as he complained of a headache and only wanted to sleep. A fever of 100 degrees F made us wonder, scheduling an appointment for COVID testing to be on the safe side. 

The phone call 2 days later that summer camp was closed due to a COVID case peaked our fears. Both kids testing positive made me angry. But it was my positive test, having been fully vaccinated, that left us all in shock. A breakthrough infection wasn't something anyone had planned for.

Over the past few months, I've watched a nation go from celebrating the end of a pandemic to return to lockdown. All the while I've been insanely frustrated as I've been well aware of a huge population that is unable to vaccinate, making them a breeding ground of virus and rapid evolution. Despite this reality, so many have been blind to this risk. And now, we are living with the consequences that many who have chosen to ignore the risks are living as they fill the hospitals.

I wish I could tell you I've been shocked by the developments.

Instead, I've been doing what many in my profession do and have been looking at the data. For anyone who has an interest in COVID, I strongly suggest stalking Trevor Bedford. Especially because of this paper. Cause yeah people, this virus is evolving at a scary rate. Meaning the window for eradication is gone. Meaning we have to figure out a way to live with it.

In light of this new breakthrough realization following a breakthrough diagnosis, the past few months have been about healing and thinking critically about infections and how they impact the body. It took experiencing  Mono-levels of fatigue that I remembered I had been diagnosed with Mononucleosis about a year prior to my infertility diagnosis. That connection alone most would discount, but then there was the HELLP syndrome and me finally landing pregnant on my final round of IVF only after we suppressed my immune system. Never mind the diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease from my copper IUD (and narrow avoidance of surgery with removal of that IUD). And now being a breakthrough case for COVID.

If that wasn't enough, there's recent data about the link between the increased chance of stillbirths with COVID diagnosis. All the while knowing that infertility isn't something anyone is looking into (so much for the disinformation that vaccination causes infertility).

All of this has been crystalizing into a new breakthrough. The realization that not only are we all going to be spending the rest of our lives (and frankly generations to come) with this virus but also that witnessing what happens when others become fed-up with hoping others will take action to resolve a pandemic solely on the assumption it's the moral thing to do. 

Change is hard. Watching others being forced to change, with their lives and freedoms restricted, no matter how right that is, is brutal. It reminds me of hearing the stories of the women whose reproductive plans were completely destroyed, of failed treatments and the losses. Of the complete loss of control over something that many have no control over despite what they desperately want to believe.

It's taken me two months to get back to a point where I feel normal. And I firmly believe that the only reason I'm doing as well as I am is because I was vaccinated. In the aftermath of being a breakthrough case, I see a world that is recovering, though there will be a lot of trauma in that recovery process. Just as there's recovery in the aftermath in any pivoting experience that forces us all to change who we are. 

2 comments:

  1. Remember when "breakthrough" meant something good?

    I'm so sorry for your unexpected case, and also for your children's. Ugh! I'm so sad/mad we missed the window for eradication.

    Wishing you continued healing. xo

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  2. I am SO glad you're starting to feel normal again -- but it sucks that you had to go through this, and that it took such a long time to recover!

    Our province breaks down the daily reports of new case numbers into fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated and unvaccinated. I was actually kind of surprised by the numbers of fully vaccinated people who are getting sick -- it does happen! -- but -- the unvaxxed outnumber them by far, and also make up the vast majority of cases in the hospitals and ICUs. The vaccines work, people!

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