When Aaron was about two years old, we gave him a Fisher-Price medical kit for Christmas. It had a little stethoscope, and some fake Band-Aids, and a fake thermometer and some other items, but the most fascinating to Aaron, and the most used by the mad physician, was a little plastic hypodermic needle with a plunger and a little round plastic end where thankfully it replaced an actual needle.
It was apparent, as Aaron would ply his medical craft, that at two years old, he had not been to any kind of medical training. When he would examine us, it always came down to each of us having to endure a shot from his “needle.” Now, he knew the basic mechanics of putting it in the arm and plunging the plunger to infuse the medicine into our system, but the problem was, Aaron seemed to believe that the only way for that to happen was to grind the plastic end of the needle deep into our arms. You’d be surprised at the pounds-per-square-inch force a two year old can inflict with a little plastic hypo! He basically would push on it until we would scream, and then he would be satisfied. Strangely enough, but also strangely appropriate, he didn’t call it a needle – he called it a “shotter.” I have had significant other shots in my day that paled in comparison to the pain level of Aaron’s inoculations. The biggest problem came, of course, when after he finished with Cheri and me, the only other patient was Adam, who at that time was about three months old. If the hospital authorities were not vigilant, Aaron would make his way over to the blanket on the floor where the unsuspecting patient would lay, and without concern for the comfort of the soon-to-be-victim, Aaron would commence grinding the end of the needle into a sweet little soft arm of a little brother. With his commitment to the medical arts, it didn’t matter how often we told him he couldn’t do that to Adam, I somehow think Aaron’s motives were a bit more sinister than simply making sure Adam was safe from childhood diseases…
We, like you, have had lots of shots over the years: preschool vaccinations, with the seemingly cruel practice of putting one in each arm of a little kid; the tetanus shot I got the evening I ended up in the emergency room after jumping over a couch to get away from Aaron and his plastic sword, and I ended up gashing the top of my head open on the low-hanging beam. That was fun. Most all the shots that have come have been to preserve somebody’s body from an icky or dangerous intruder. A pinch and a little bit of a sore arm, and it’s over.
I’ve mentioned that Cheri works in women’s health at a clinic here in town, and every year, the workers are required to get a flu shot, or else, they would be required to wear a face mask all day. Cheri has said that was enough of a deterrent for her to make sure she got the shot, but with the events since last March, she has had to wear a mask all day anyway, so she felt a bit ripped off as the con game…
I received a text from my beloved yesterday while she was at work. We had talked a bit about it, so it wasn’t a total surprise, although I expected it would be closer to a few weeks before it would arise. Her text said that she was eligible as a front line healthcare worker to receive the CoVid shot, and she wondered if she should get it.
Have you ever had a moment when your mind comes to one resolution, and then immediately the opposite plan makes complete sense as well? I wrote that yes, she should get it as soon as possible! Then, I recalled that the vaccine was barely a month old, maybe less, and no one really knew what it might do either short term or long term on the human body, especially one as petite and cute as Cheri’s. She also has a tendency to nearly overdose on the normal dosage of medicine she has taken for whatever reason. She responds to medicine like a 12 year old, who is sensitive to meds. It’s a bit crazy that she should take a dose of any med that is the same dose I would take. So, I ask – could she get a child’s dose? Of course not – it was all or nothing.
It may be a blessing, but by the time we went back and forth – and she was also a bit hesitant – the slots for yesterday were all filled, and the next available would be Saturday late afternoon.
Please understand: we are not in any way anti-vaccinators. We both believe in the incredible value of today’s medical abilities. It’s just that this nasty, fiendish disease is so new. You may get an entire shopping list of terrible symptoms, including even amputation of limbs, and death – or you may get absolutely nothing. That’s a pretty huge spread of possible bad things that could arise if you were to contract the virus. So, it makes all sense that you would take or receive anything that might boost your immunity.
The trouble is, and you know it – as knew and novel as this virus is, the vaccine is even newer. Yes, it has had tons of tests, mostly, and it has seemed successful, mostly. I just don’t want to be the part of our historical time that reports, “The vaccine seemed to be a near wonder drug at first, but…”
But nothing. My greatest fear over these months was not that I would get the virus. I spend 90% of my time at home, and the other 10% are with a mask, and going as quickly as I can to accomplish my tasks, and then back home. I am a poster child for quarantine. No, my fear has been from the outset, that my dear partner for life, in committing herself to a profession that allows her to help people at a fundamental level, would ever be exposed, and somehow be caught up by this horrible disease. So, if there is anything, even something new and not totally tested, that could somehow help her to avoid the consequences of that happening to her, then she needs to do whatever it takes – even getting a shotter.
I’ve said before that we all live in a pretty accidental world. Stuff happens all the time that we never plan for, or expect. Therefore, the only sensible course is to become as intentional as we can. To live, just kind of hoping it won’t happen to me, but if it does, it does, so I’ll just roll the dice and hope I don’t lose it all – well, that’s just, I’m sorry, kind of really stupid. We have the ability to make good decisions, so why would we ever decide to just let the world make the decisions for us?
So, Saturday afternoon, Cheri will “get the shot,” and while that is happening, and before that time, and after, I will offer to God my fear, and my hope that she will be protected and in turn, be able to be part of protecting the rest of our world. Believe me, this is one person we can’t afford to lose…
Word for the Day: manuduction. Pronounced man-yuh-DUCK-shun, it is a beautifully simple, although outdated Latin based word. Coming again from two important Latin words, manu, like manual, means “hand,” and ductio, meaning “leading.” Manuduction is literally, “leading by the hand.” It means a method of careful guidance, of walking someone through an operation or task. Earlier this month, I served as a “manuductor” (not “conductor,” which means one who leads with), to my son Aaron, and I “led him by the hand,” through the intricacies and important steps in making the world’s finest peanut brittle. The word is probably the best and purest way of teaching.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.