I Know Why the Babies Cry
After my stem cell transplant, one of the recommendations was to stay away from babies. Since I don’t know any babies, this was not a burden. My treatment for leukemia wiped out my immunity so all my antibodies that fight off diseases like polio, whooping cough, and diphtheria were no longer protecting me. Eventually I would need to be re-vaccinated. So, why stay away from babies? Babies who have recently had “live attenuated vaccines” could infect someone who is immunocompromised. Who knew babies could be so dangerous?
I used to think that the shots couldn’t hurt that bad. Sure, babies would scream and wail like banshees but they’re babies, that’s what they do. Could it even be a bit performative? Babies can be dramatic.
But then, last week, I got my first round of vaccinations. Three shots in one arm, two in the other. And it hurt. I wanted to cry like a baby, but I didn’t. I did yell “ouch” after each one though. I told the nurse not to apologize but she did anyway.
So, to crying babies everywhere: I will never mock you again for taking a needle in the arm with tears flowing down your faces. Babies, I get you.
Next, I’ll go back to summer '21 in the storyline and tell you all about my chemo summer. Boredom, sadness, The Golden Girls, hair loss but also the medical miracle of remission and hope were my summer themes.
Beth Kitchin PhD RDN