I’m about ready to don gear — hats, t-shirts, bracelets, whatever — that says, “Make PHI, PHI again!” I truly don’t have any desire to hear anyone’s vaccination status. I feel like it’s just weird — as if you’d tell me your STD history.
But despite my frequent feelings of “oh golly TMI,”I’m about to give you way, way too much information. But maybe it will help someone—that certainly is my hope. I’ve had three health epiphanies in the last year. In December 2020, I had shingles. Let me be perfectly clear: you want to avoid shingles. The vaccine evidently may cause arm soreness, but the pain of shingles is no joke. You are eligible for a vaccine at 50. Get it, that’s my recommendation. Of course, that doesn’t mean I need to hear about it. Again, let’s make protected health information, personal again.
For you ladies not wanting more children and suffering from anemia, when a hysterectomy is medically indicated don’t procrastinate. I had mine in February 2021. It has been life-changing. I feel so much better that it’s a little devastating that I didn’t do this right after Sam was born. My obsession with ice dissipated. I have ten times the energy. I can work out hard without feeling weak and downright ill the rest of the day. My hair is falling out less. It felt like such a big decision because I’d never before had surgery of any kind, and I honestly did not know the many ill effects of chronic anemia.
A corollary of having shingles along my neck and down my left arm, then having surgery where they tell you not to lift anything for six weeks, is that if you don’t use something it will atrophy. It’ll atrophy like you can’t believe. In March, I discovered that my left shoulder was frozen. My range of motion was less than 50% of what it should be. I tried swimming laps. I could not. I couldn’t swim ten yards with both arms if my life depended on it. My shoulder required a cortisone shot and lots of PT. This week I’ve swam 400 meters in a long course pool for time, on three different days. My times were atrocious but a few months ago I couldn’t swim at all.
You have muscles all over your body. If you don’t use them, you will lose them. Your spirituality is like is a muscle. Do you exercise it daily? How’s your prayer life? Are you reading God’s Word every day? In what other ways are you reminding yourself daily of ultimate truth? In what ways are you intentionally inviting Jesus into your day? He’s there anyway, even when we ignore Him. But we can turn our eyes to Him and “the things of earth will grow strangely dim.” Are you doing that? To be honest, summer is a particular challenge for me spiritually because I am rarely alone. I need to do much better.
“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:30-33 ESV
So three things: (1) Many of you will soon be eligible for the shingles vaccine, if you aren’t already. (2) Don’t put off your health or procrastinate about whatever might be medically indicated. (3) We lose what we don’t use. May we never lose our thirst for God’s Kingdom. There’s nothing more important and more freeing.