Advocates Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia Event For This I Am Grateful Good Grief Living well with Dementia Silver Linings Stress

Unexpected Gift

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I woke up this morning still feeling somewhat overwhelmed, and Im not even sure overwhelmed is the right word. Maybe in a bit of shock, somehow wondering is this real, is this really happening. I’m still processing how out of something that has been so devastating to and for so many, and for the rest of us has created havoc and uncertainty, has created a miracle, a blessing beyond anything I could have imagined or hoped for.

2020 was challenging for me not only because of covid 19 but complications with my health as 2021 started my complications with my health just seemed to ramp up to a point that around the Christmas holidays I was thinking that if things continued I would have to look at supportive housing, but trying to figure out how to help myself so I could try to get one more year being independent. My body was doing its own thing, the amount of inflammation in my system was creating all kinds of issues. I’m not going to go into all of them again I have written about them in the past.

Instead and admittedly not being able to fully understand all that transpired in this last week, something seemingly so simple, turned into a greater gift than I could imagine, the words from my specialist yesterday ringing out, playing over and over in my head … “Get out there go live, do all the things you want to do.”

Those words came after he called and wanted me to meet him at the hospital yesterday, knowing that my last ultrasounds were a mess, an MRI had been ordered, blocks were scheduled to be done to deal with pain. So I was expecting almost anything I had also had a conversation with my GP earlier in the week over strange changes since my third booster shot in which I received a higher dose of Moderna, because of my immune system, 24 hours later I was noticing the fatigue disappearing, then over the coming days, inflammation disappearing, body functions working better, kidneys, bowels, brain fog lifting, energy increased, appetite returning. Every day over a week marked unexplainable improvement, the only thing that was different was the vaccine I received.
There was a part of me that was thinking is this up period before the end, knowing that most people have a big up swing before they die. I couldn’t understand what was happening, wanting to be happy about it, yet holding my breath fearful that if it crashed I would end up worse.

When my specialist called me in I was trying to be prepared for anything and everything. But I couldn’t have prepared for what transpired. Lung capacity is improved, with the decrease in inflammation blood flow improved which results in less pain in the rib area ( thoracic), then, the explanation of whats happened. They know now that there are (rare cases ), and I am one of those cases, that the Moderna vaccine is helping some people with various health issues, he explained how it changes how my immune system is working, he said when we have an area that is in trouble our immune system focuses there, the vaccine allows the immune system to shift its focus and for your immune system to start working fully, on all areas. He said they have the data know to show that for some and one person in particular, who they gave 22 does of the vaccine his crippling arthritis is resolved. So he was pretty excited to see how and what it’s doing for me. He told me it’s a gift and now I need to get out there and live, go do all the things I have wanted to do, just go, don’t wait just go do them, go live. He recommends that I get the fourth dose as soon as its available. I was expressing my concerns about it reaching a peak and then crashing and that I would end up worse than before the shot. He has assured me that that should not happen that my system should continue on this new path. Again saying get out there and get living. It is going to take time for me to process all of this.

This will not change my dementia, but what it does do is allow me to do all the things to help myself, the decrease in inflammation in my body allows all things to function better, I can hopefully by doing all the exercise, nutrition, sleep, keep the dementia component, and symptoms at bay for longer period of time.

I have to admit I sat looking at him, likely in the most dumbfounded way, he dictated an update to Dr. Cunningham while I was sitting there stupefied, I listened to his words, and his rattling off the new information coming in, it was like his words were echoing through my head, in his closing he said this is the kind of news we all like to hear and see, a miracle for Christine, for sure.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

A rethink for myself for sure, its a good thing dementia helps us be adaptable because this is causing a great need for adaptation for the coming period of time. I am nervous of it all, I am excited, I am beyond grateful. I feel the need to go sit in nature and let it all sink in. I need to breathe. its so overwhelming that its almost more than I can manage, but in a good way. I left the hospital drove home with tears streaming down my face, the sheer magnitude hitting me, the immense stress of the last year, fighting so hard through so many health issues melting away in the tears. I’m still overcome with emotions today, tears flowing.

Life is and has been strange in the last couple years, but this was something I never thought could be an outcome. A tremendous start to 2022, is an understatement. Silver linings, miracles, blessings, call it what you will but I feel like this one thing, this vaccine has provided me with all those and more.

By WWW.Chrissy's

I am an advocate for people with dementia in Canada and globally, having been diagnosed with younger onset dementia myself a few years ago.

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