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Sigh of Relief

We're now a few weeks out from our first CPEDI3* event of the year. It's truly hard to believe how fast this year is passing and how little time we have left in Florida. We're on track training for the next CPEDI, but this season has definitely been different with Covid. It's been much like the rest of the year for me: stay home, go to the barn and ride, then back home, sleep, and repeat.

The last year has been a rollercoaster of emotions and I don't think I would have handled it as well if it weren't for Taco and my barn family. When you live in a body that overreacts to everything— and I mean everything— where the simple influenza virus puts you in the ICU and isolation and wreaks havoc on your body; where a simple mosquito bite makes your face and eye swell up with a fever and pain; where if you're in a room with someone with a common cold you're most likely going to get it and it will turn into something worse... living in a world where there is a virus with no protection is very scary. This entire year I have not been in any stores. I haven’t been grocery shopping. I haven’t been to see friends. My doctors didn’t even want me coming into the office to see them unless it was absolutely necessary because it was too much of a risk. I felt like there was no end in sight when I might be able to go home and see my family again. Even friends and family were scared to see me as they didn’t want to risk spreading anything to me since they knew what could happen. It’s been a long, tiring, emotional year.

Many people have commented throughout the year that I must be so sad and depressed. Yes, it's been emotional and I've been frustrated at times. But, most don't realize that people with disabilities and chronic conditions are far too often faced with a situation where they have to "quarantine" whether they want to or not for long periods of time, even before Covid. I can't tell you how many times I've been in the hospital for months, or at home not able to go out. We learn how to adapt and persevere.

Throughout this year I have been fortunate to have Taco and be able to ride in a safe way. I truly feel grateful to participate in a sport that I can continue outside away from people. I can’t thank all my barnmates for being aware of my needs and keeping it safe for me, as well as stepping up if I needed any help getting anything from a store so I could stay extra safe. And for everyone who always checks in— the texts, phone calls, and zoom talks.

I didn't expect to be able to get my vaccine for quite a while. Most places say they are prioritizing people with chronic conditions when in reality we are mostly being ignored. I've been checking websites and groups multiple times daily, and it finally paid off! Thursday I breathed a sigh of relief and cried happy tears when the nurse brought out the Moderna vial. I didn't think I would get emotional, but I literally felt a load taken off. I know I’m not completely protected from this first dose and I won’t take my guard down, but I can see a glimmer of light now-- a time in the future where I can spend more time outside the glass windows of the house with friends and family. My next dose is in 1 month.


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