The Unexpected Present

Three Years, One Day, A Lifetime Away

violin in case

Three years, one day. On March 8, 2021, we took the first Pfizer shot—three years ago – that turned into a vaccine injury for Yuri, which upended our lives. We haven’t recovered. I had ceased caring about events and the people involved. I forgot many birthdays, missed special occasions, old and new friends, happy and sad news, reunions, and showing love and respect at funerals. I forgot to make calls on holidays or write a note to someone in their pain and sadness. My sincerest apologies.

The impact was immediate, yet we had no idea what was happening. Over time, I learned that a wild variant was unleashed into his body, sending his immune system into overdrive and attacking his vital organs. Big Pharma, scientists, and the media dismissed our concerns, giving no information other than that the vaccine was safe and effective. However, the “new” mRNA technology, while having been around for nearly thirty years, was considered by concerned researchers to be unpredictable. So, that’s what we got: an inferior product that wasn’t tested properly. For a substantial group of people, it is unsafe and ineffective. It is very damaging to people who experience severe adverse effects the way Yuri had.

There were long waits in the ER, long weeks in the ICU, misdiagnoses, medical missteps, and age-related discrimination that contributed to his inability to recover from the events brought on by vaccine-induced vasculitis. Atrial fibrillation became commonplace to such an extent that Pfizer/Bristol Myers put on radio ads advising people with Afib to see their doctor. The doctor would prescribe a Pfizer blood thinning medication, Eliquis. “The benefits outweigh the risks!” They sang out loud. It’s their mantra and a boon for Big Pharma’s bottom line.

We had no idea the agrochemical industrial complex on Maryland’s Eastern Shore would have such a dire strain on Yuri’s physicality recovering from the previous two years of trauma. Cornfields have become killing fields. Countless studies on air quality and environmental pesticide dangers provide the state and counties with information on the health risks to agricultural employees, immunocompromised persons, birds, bees, and the Chesapeake Bay. Apparently, the state agricultural department’s benefits (commodity profits) outweigh the risks (mold and harvest anaphylaxis) that detrimentally affect their constituents and the environment.

Since then, we have experienced a push-button, one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare and medical attention. As traditional practices become absorbed by private equity firms, the parameters change, and they keep moving the goalposts. The gatekeepers hold the appointment bookings, we have less time with doctors, and very few attempts are made to find the root of the problem. They don’t know or want to know the cause or how to heal. Instead, diseases are pronounced, and drugs are prescribed.

The cracks in the healthcare system continued to show as we followed the path from hospital care to rehabilitation facilities, where they stereotypically lump everyone into one group as “frail and elderly” residents. Generally, they are parked and taken care of according to their schedules. Ageism can be harmful to older patients as most geriatric medical training only consists of two weeks in a four-year curriculum. I would cringe every time a doctor or nurse would speak loudly at Yuri as if he were deaf.

It makes me more apprehensive as I cannot rely on the medical profession regarding Yuri’s eventual recovery. I remain vigilant in keeping him positive about his return home to a new community. His brain fog has cleared, and his neurotransmitters have healed, making the connection between his brain and fingertips come alive again. I massage his arms, wrists, and fingers to get them ready for practice. Yesterday, I brought his violin for the first time. His eyes lit up as he picked at the strings. “Out of tune,” he stated matter of factly. It won’t be long before I hear his plucking and strumming.

The past months have been challenging. Medical practices have dropped us. We have been reprimanded for not accepting their treatments of the new normal. But this is not normal. And I fight every day to stay the course and keep the faith. It’s hard. Nevertheless, I am optimistic for a better future for the two of us. Time to explore a new chapter. It’s a changing world. And I’m ready to take it on.

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