Thoughts With Sarah

I’ve been trying to figure out how to best express my thoughts and opinions about the COVID-19 pandemic and everything surrounding it without causing offence. I knew that I wanted to put my views into the world. I wanted people to know what was going on in my head… BUT I didn’t want to cause any arguments or issues because I know everyone has their own beliefs, thoughts, and opinions.

I also know that my beliefs, thoughts, and opinions are valid and I wanted to share them in a way that is safe for me. After some thinking, I realized that that’s part of the reason I have this blog. So, here I am and here are my thoughts…

I was born with a sick heart and because of how sick I was, my body was dying. After lots of surgeries and medical intervention, I was blessed to receive an angel heart seven years ago. This heart is a foreign being in my own body, since the antibodies and stuff don’t match me. When our bodies don’t recognize and match other things, it attacks it. Since my heart doesn’t match me, my body is constantly trying to attack it.

To help prevent this, I am on several different medications called immunosuppressants. These meds lower my immune system. One of the side effects on being suppressed is I get sick way easier than other people who aren’t on these meds.

As an immunosuppressed person, I am in the category of “high risk” people. That means that if I somehow catch this horrible illness, I am sent straight to the hospital…and maybe live. No, I’m not being dramatic. That’s my life.

When all of this started back at the beginning of March, Ricky and I were so blessed to have already had moved in and living with my parents until things became more normal. It was a huge relief to have had their love, support, and company during the shutdown/quarantine. During this time, we all kicked our already obsessive sanitizing habits into high gear – constantly wiping down door knobs and light switches, washing our hands continuously, and Dad even reinstalled a sanitizer station by the front door. All of us joked that “this is what our previous training was preparing us for!” Since we were already in the habit, it wasn’t weird to be doing this.

While everyone was hiding in their homes, bathing in sanitizer, I was reminded how normal this was for me, my family…and other immunosuppresed people. I saw several “now you know what MY life is like” or “welcome to my world” posts all over social media by people who have issues with their immune system. Yes, the “high risk population” are in a constant state of anxious cleaning and paranoia that we could get sick.

After my transplant, for quite a while, I work a mask. It helped protect me from breathing in germs. I wore it to church, work, the doctor, shopping, to my friends’ houses, outside…everywhere. Anytime I was around other people, I wore that mask. To me, my mask was my shield.

Several officials, including health professionals and scientists, have recommended that we continue to wear masks when we are in public places and around people, along with correct social distancing. There have been studies that show how effective this is as a preventative method, both to ourselves and for those around us.

The world is scary and we want to be “normal” again. But how can we do that if we are all so divided in our thoughts and actions? Getting back to “normal” isn’t going to work unless we are strong and work together in one common cause – doing everything we can to keep each other and ourselves safe. In trying to figure out how I wanted to write this post, I came up with a really cool metaphor. Are ya ready?

When you bake a cake and follow the directions exactly, you have a delicious cake at the end. When you choose to not include one of the ingredients, or don’t put all of it in, the cake doesn’t turn out…and you’re not going to want to eat it. Well, it’s the same thing as what’s going on right now! When we do what we’ve been asked, we will get the result we want – we will all be kept safe and healthy – but if we are divided and don’t do things all the way, it’s not going to work and turn out the way we’re expecting.

There is a song that I learned growing up that pops into my head almost every morning. I’d like to share the words with you:

“I want to be kind to everyone, for that is right you see. So I say to myself, remember this: ‘kindness begins with me!'”

(Words and music by Clara W. McMaster)

There are so many different ways we get our information and everything is so confusing… I totally understand why we’re divided. I think the very best way to get through the rest of whatever this is is to just be kind and respect one another. We all have our own experiences and opinions that we base all of our actions on. I don’t know why some people choose not to wear their mask because I don’t know what they’ve been through, but please don’t be mean because I wore mine.