The Body Positive Movement, which advocates for all people to feel beautiful in their bodies, suggests that an important step in reaching that goal is to recognize the amazingly wonderful things their unique bodies do. For instance, most women can say that their bodies have done this incredible thing of growing and delivering a human being. Another example is being able to recognize that a set of “muscular” gams means your body is strong enough to hike and climb mountains. I am still trying to identify the unique wonders of my body. I do not think being the last person to survive a famine is what they mean- especially with my pancreas. I would probably fall into a diabetic coma long before I starved to death.
Recently, I did realize one amazing story my body tells. I have a highly talented immune system, well-honed at producing kick-ass antibodies. I believe I have mentioned that my COVID19 vaccine experience has been a little extreme. Things were not too bad after the first shot, but the second and third dose ran roughshod over me like the English army ran over Scotland in Braveheart. The good news is that the reaction lasted only 24-48 hours rather than centuries.
Last week, I went to get my annual booster. Based on past experience, I figured I was in for a day or so of body aches, fever, headache, lethargy, and all around yuckiness. When the shot went in my arm, I barely felt it. As the day progressed, I felt pretty good. I ran some errands and began to think my body had finally learned not to call in the biological Green Berets in response to a little simulated COVID RNA. No such luck. By the time I went to bed, my arm was more sore than it had been after any of the other doses and the rest of my body was echoing the aches. I could barely move. The next day, I understood that the COVID vaccine continues to be really, really pissed off by anything even remotely resembling the coronavirus. Yay, me! It took me being out of bed about fifteen minutes before I was certain I would be going back to bed and spending the remainder of the day there.
Not only did I hurt in every molecule of my body, I had zero energy. My degree of lethargy was so stifling, I could not even abide the thought of eating. Digestion just seemed like too much work. The time I did not spend asleep, I spent largely staring into space.
On Sunday, I had a full complement of activities planned. In fact, I had a few extra items on the agenda. When the alarm went off, I thought I was good. In keeping with prior experience, I expected to wake up like a new woman after a day and a half of feeling crappy. I did not feel too bad, so I got dressed and began my marathon day. About halfway through Sunday school (the second of my six activities planned for the day), I realized that I was not good. My back was starting to feel like knives were sticking into it again and the energy I regained while asleep seeped out of me in buckets. I felt like an old cell phone battery. The little battery icon is all green when you pull it off the power source, but the battery is too old to actually hold a charge for longer than a minute and a half. My battery looked green when I set out to church, but within a half hour it was clear that the only thing that was green was my face.
I ended up going home, immediately flopping down on the couch, and falling asleep for two hours. Then, I got up and went into my bedroom. There, I slept for another hour or so and spent the rest of the afternoon staring into space.
A little later in the evening, I began to feel more perky and actually did a little walking. This morning, except for the large red, swollen, overheated lump on my arm, I feel like me again. Me with more antibodies, apparently.
Good job, Body!
What does your body do especially well? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a (body)positive day!