An unexpected interruption, the question of shot or no shot and finally, the wisdom of Mary Poppins

“Everything is possible,
even the impossible”

Mary Poppins

(Emily Blunt and the always enchanting Angela Lansbury in the new Mary Poppins
movie as seen on our son’s TV)

Ok, so where was I…??

Ok, so maybe the question should be… where in the heck have I been?

When we were last together, I think I made mention that we were off to see the Mayor…
bringing her home with us for a few days…

Well…we did…sort of…….

A week ago Monday evening, late, we got a call from our son.
Or someone who was supposed to be our son who was sounding very puny, croaky and cloggy.

A pained voice informed us “I’ve just gotten back from Urgent Care and I have the flu
so you’ve got to come get the baby NOW!!!
The doctor told me not to be around her.”

“Ok” I’m thinking.
Your wife is 8 months pregnant, your 13th-month-old has been right there—
you’ve all been together in very close proximity up until now—
so if anyone is getting the flu…
well, that ship sailed days ago when you first started feeling bad.

That’s how viral things work—they make the rounds before you even realize
they’re at work making the rounds.

“We’ve planned on coming tomorrow …
I don’t think the night is going to alter the course of viral destiny”

I calmly respond to a panicked first-time dad.

“We’ve had the flu shot.
We’ve all had the flu shot…
even Autumn had the flu shot…”

He practically wails apologetically with deep lamentations.

“Oh well” I quip a bit caustically.

For you see, at this very moment, I too was oddly not feeling well.
I felt chilled and suddenly zapped of all energy as well as slightly nauseated with a headache.

“Buck up,” I hear an inner voice commanding from someplace deep inside my head.

The satellite Woobooville office was all set-up and good to go—
awaiting our return back home with the Mayor.

‘We are to be on a rescue mission’
I defiantly proclaimed while trying to dismiss what my body was now feeling.

“I don’t feel well” I heard myself tell my husband…
“I’m going on to bed”

“But it’s just 9 o’clock”

“I can’t help it, I’m freezing”

About an hour later I was running a frighteningly odd yet very low-grade fever,
all the while I was violently shaking.

I asked for some Motrin.

And it was just about this very moment in time when my husband began complaining
about having the same symptoms.

This made for a very long, sleepless night of misery.

And yet we were still having to drive over to Atlanta bright and early to rescue the Mayor,
I was more than fretful.

That’s when I noticed how badly my left arm was hurting.


For you see… I’ve failed to share with you that is was on that Monday
(last Monday as you read this today), that both my husband and myself went to get a shot.

A preventative vaccine mind you.

Similar to the preventative flu vaccine our son had gotten.

It was the Shingles shot.

When we went to our pharmacy on Monday Morning, in order to get the shots,
I explained to the pharmacist that we were planning on getting our
13-month-old granddaughter the following day…
so would she be ok with our getting the shot?

“Of course no problem.”


By Tuesday morning my arm was in full-blown shingles mode.

A burn/bruise-like area the size of a large eggplant covered my arm—
but not at the injection site.
It hurt terribly on a deep level yet was itchy on an up top level.

Eyes now rolling in my head.

My husband had no rash but redness at the injection site along with a
horrific headache, fever and chills.

We struggled to get ourselves up and dressed…
Yet we loaded up the car and headed off to the Mayor’s.

Our son was to be out of town the coming weekend and desperately was trying to
make that still happen—
he stayed home the day we arrived but went on into work the following days
as not to miss any more work.

In the meanwhile, the Mayor came home with us.

They had fretted how she might be feeling.

The Mayor, however, was having none of this as she felt great.
In fact, she was feeling so great, she was actually a live wire—
albeit a live wire with a
very runny and snotty nose.

The next day, I noticed I now had a sore throat and a very cloggy snotty nose
and a headache…
still with my eggplant looking “faux” shingle rash.

The Mayor’s aides were more than puny.
And keeping up with a live wire when feeling puny makes for a tough go.

I called the doctor telling the nurse what was going on.

She calls back the following day.

“Yeah, we’ve heard this shot has had those sorts of reactions…
but as it’s a two-part shot, you’ll need to follow up with the booster
in a couple of months.”

“And get the very viral infection I was trying to avoid in the first place
for a second time??!!”
I incredulously announce rather than ask.
“Thanks but no thanks,” I reply before curtly hanging up.

A week before we picked up the Mayor for her visit, our daughter-n-law informed
her OBGYN that her baby daughter, aka the Mayor,
had gotten what was thought to be Fifth’s Disease.

Such a name comes from the all-knowing medical folks who simply ran out of things
to say when telling everyone
“oh, it’s just a viral infection– you’ll simply have to wait it out”

They decided to give the latest “wait it out” illness a name.
Fifths Disease.

Now if you count Sunday day one in the week…then this disease was named on
Thursday…the fifth day of the week.
But if you’re like most working folks, you count Monday as the first day of the week,
which in turn makes Friday the actual day Fifth’s Disease was named—-
and Lord knows we couldn’t
name a random disease after everyone’s favorite day of the week…
hence the name–Fifth’s Disease.

After having blood drawn then processed, the nurse calls to inform our
daughter-n-law that she is actually immune from Fifth’s Disease.

Who knew one to be immune from a virus?!

Kind of what I was hoping to be from the Shingles.

Go figure!

Should the Mayor come down with the Chicken Pox,
knowing I’d eventually be a helping nurse,
I didn’t want to, in turn, get the shingles—
since I had the chicken pox at age 5.

So it turns out that all I had to do was to get the preventative vaccination
and I’d in turn, get the virus.
Kind of like our son and the flu.

Is this beginning to smell of something fishy—
like a little pharmaceutical racket???

Ahh, but I digress.

And so a very rotten puny me headed back to Atlanta Friday,
following the torrential downpours,
in order to take the Mayor home and to spend the weekend with our daughter-n-law while
our not so well son went on out of town as planned.

That had been the plan.

The plan before all the shots made everyone sick.

Our daughter-n-law’s faculty friends were giving her a baby shower for the new baby
(aka the new sheriff in town) on Saturday—
I was to go along with her and the Mayor.

We eventually did—and it was a lovely gathering…
A great bunch of Catholic Parochial school teachers.

Yet all the while… I had a Shingle’s arm and flu-like symptoms from
what our son must have passed along via the Mayor.

Did I mention that we, as in my daughter-n-law, the Mayor and myself
were having to dog sit?
As in a friend of our son’s was leaving his boy dog in their care.
As in an unfixed boy dog that is actually a herding dog…
as in a herding sheep sort of dog?
A herding sheep sort of dog that is oddly being made to be an indoor
pet named Alf.

All the makings of a worst case scenario.

He is a nice enough dog that is wound up like a nervous ninny–
hence the suppressed need to be herding…

And so it fell upon the Mayor to be the chosen item for herding—

despite the Mayor’s wailful protests.

(The Mayor and her watchdog Alf / Julie Cook / 2019)

Think indoor chaos.
Indoor chaos for a sick chief aide and an 8-month pregnant overworked teacher and an impatient
13-month old Mayor.

Note, the Mayor’s actual dog Alice is on a long term vacation due to the arrival of
the herding indoor non-fixed sheepdog.

I was actually supposed to stay until tomorrow, until when our son got home—
however, I was slowly dying and desperately needed to head home as soon as possible
so I could simply crash and burn in the comfort of my own home…

But before I do so… crash and burn that is—
allow me to briefly share with you about our having watched the new Mary Poppins movie
with the Mayor Saturday evening.

Now back in 1964 when the original Mary Poppins movie debuted, I was 5.
My dad, a big kid himself, made certain to take me to see the movie in the theater.

Granted I’ve rewatched the movie throughout the years ever since that year of 1964…
yet I have oddly never been a huge fan.
I liked it well enough as a child but found it to be somewhat odd and boring.

Maybe I just wasn’t a musical loving child at the time.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke…but the movie
didn’t do much for me when I was a little girl.

However, while I was there helping, or more like dying–
whichever way you’d like to look at it,
my daughter-n-law suggested we watch the movie.
She told me she thought I’d love this latest new version.

They had just gotten a new television and I must confess, not being a huge TV
nut like our son or even like my dad had been, I have to admit,
the picture quality was indeed amazing.

And yes I really did enjoy this new version versus that classic version
of my childhood—
Which is really quite something given the fact that I am never a huge fan of the re-makes.

Maybe it was because I was feeling poorly…very poorly.
Maybe it was because Dad will have been gone now 2 years tomorrow.
Maybe it was because there we were in what had been his house, dad’s house, and my house
and now their house…
all the while watching a movie whose story merely picked up 25 years past the original story…
picking up where the original movie’s children were now grown up with their own lives of bluster,
loss, and need—much like my own life.

But Mary Poppins, this enigmatic figure, who mysteriously yet magically appears in the most
timely of times, arriving out of a burst of stormy winds,
all at the singular moment when one is at their most dire times of need—
albeit one who has no idea of the depth of that need…
A time when one is in great need of her eclectic whimsy and almost militaristic regime
of peculiar order…

She arrives for the person who needs to be reminded that nothing is ever truly lost.
She reminds her charges that those things, which at first glance appear to be impossible,
are never really that way at all but are actually possible all along…
for it’s all just a matter of one’s perspective.

And so I found my thoughts dancing over to the idea of our relationship with our loving Father,
the Great I AM…

He who comes not in the earthquake or the fire, or the storm…
but the One who rather comes to us in the stillness of a whisper…
always reminding us that with Him, nothing is ever lost nor is it ever impossible.

So thank you Mary Poppins…maybe it was the fever talking, but thank you for reminding me
that with God, nothing, in particularly me, is ever lost… and no matter what I do,
with God’s help, all things are indeed possible…

Oh, and when “they” tell you to get the shot…run like hell the other way.

But Jesus looked at them and said,
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

35 comments on “An unexpected interruption, the question of shot or no shot and finally, the wisdom of Mary Poppins

  1. says:

    Oh, my dear friend, no wonder you were in hiding for a while. You have my deepest sympathy. I’ve had shingles. I’ve had the shot. I’ve had the flu shot, but not this year and I’ve been unusually healthy. Go figure. Take a long nap. God is in control.

  2. Jeff Rab says:

    So no more vaccine shots for you? (I agree that the shots are not nearly as effective and have heard of numerous reactions to virtually every one.)

  3. Salvageable says:

    I’m sorry you’ve been ailing. I had shingles when I was thirty-four years old… and three weeks later, on Christmas Eve, all of my children broke out with chicken pox. I’ve wondered if I should bother to get the shot, or if having endured one case of shingles I’m now immune. From what you describe, I think I will avoid the shot. J.

    • I had shingles once when I was still teaching but I figured dormant is dormant til it rears it’s ugly head again, so why not be preventative?!
      Nope— no more shots!!!

      • Salvageable says:

        By the way, the name “Fifth Disease” comes from the fact that four common childhood diseases were known to causes rashes. The fifth one, milder than the other four, was only noticed once vaccinations began reducing cases of the other four. J.

      • I know but I felt so badly writing that post and was mad at our medical folks as my faux shingles were raging so a bit of sarcasm was soothing to my raw nerves 😬

  4. I am so sorry! Feel better soon!

    I have pretty much just developed a deep distrust of shots and medicine. Seems like every time I try to do something preventative for my “wellness,” I just get sick. Arggg…..

    I went to see Mary Poppins too! I have mixed feeling about it. It’s a bit funny, what troubles me today? Mary Poppins. There is a great blessing in that, a first world problem extraordinaire.

  5. Prior... says:

    Love the way you wrote about Mary poplins character and then connected to how God is likenthat – and more – and ahhhh
    He knows the number of hairs on our head and knows our days!

    And for the flu shot -I am
    Completely against it because of the mercury and any mercury in the human body is dangerous / my little son passed out when he got the flu shot (years ago) and I prayed immediately and feel like god interceded –
    We only got it once (and I had it in the 90s once) and NRVeR again!
    The best immunity against many of these these viruses and germs is a strong immune system – which means stopping the high sugar and processed carb diet that suppresses immunity – but our cuiture is in denial about sugar and how bad it is for the human body and the connection to viral overload and cancer

    • Absolutely and amen !! I’m telling this to my daughter-n-law!

      • Prior... says:

        Yes – and seriously think about supplements for health.
        I am hoping to blog more about the ones that rescued my health
        But recently I found the power of NAC (take up to five caps a day during flu season) and then glandulars can change people’s lives in huge ways!
        And I actually had heavy metals way too high – including mercury and it was from old dental work – and possible the flu shot and seafood and who knows what-
        But I see EDTA (one bottle from source naturals and then did it again with southwest naturals) and my healing took a huge leap !
        I also continue to do niacin flushing to get the metals out – not as much as I should – but have come to love love love the niacin flush.
        Check out dr hoffer’s studies from the 1950s where he used niacin tin help heal schizophrenia! Dr Saul is carrying his torch now – and guess what – hoffer’s patients also got off the “yummies” (refined sugar) to heal their brain!
        And check out the work of Kelly Brogan and Mark Hymen

      • I’ll look them up shortly—I have a friend who had breast cancer and went through all the therapies—and is now very anti-sugar, etc…
        it all makes so much sense but try telling the food industry…

      • Prior... says:

        Well you are right and people are so brainwashed to think bits of sugar is just fine and even some fruits can terrorize the pancreas (per marks daily apple and others)
        And I was one of those brainwashed and am so glad god gave me a boot in the head to “see”
        When I got off sugar in 2014 it took 60 days of doing two candida cleanses (Kroeger herbs – 2 of their 30 day cleanses) I ate tons of eggs and it was amazing – I have sugar sometimes but because my body is off of it I don’t feel well if I eat a piece of cake and pain makes it easy to say no –

        And glad to hear she got off sugar post cancer – I have soo often seen oncology patients never told about immune health and sugar connections and there is fruit and cookies put out at the treatment centers –
        So good for her

  6. Prior... says:

    And condolences about your dad – two years ago

  7. Elihu says:

    Aww, Julie! I’m so sorry you got sick! I hope you feel better soon!

    I am a shot-avoider myself. I nearly died from the MMR shot when I was a year old. My pediatrician advised my mother not to allow me any more boosters of the stuff. Sixteen years later, my college threatened me with expulsion because I didn’t have the booster of the MMR. They left me alone after I explained that side effects (for me) include death. I suppose they didn’t want a nasty lawsuit… Anywho, I grow more and more distrustful of all these vaccines because of all the side effects (short-term & long-term).

    Like you I am thankful for a God who is there when the storm is raging and when the waters are still. May we always be aware of His abiding presence. 🙂

    • Thank you my friend.
      Before our little mayor was born, her pediatrian told us we needed to get the whooping cough vaccine. So we did. All was well and Heaven forbid that we would do something, or not do something, which could or would cause our precious-to-be grandchild harm…
      hence the theory of the shingles vaccine— protecting us should the Chicken pox come across our family’s path with the mayor and her little brother to be…made sense—or so I thought.
      So no, no more shots!!

  8. Mother Hen says:

    Oh Julie..You certainly have had a very rough go of it.. Thank God for the mayor. She most likely is a dose of sweetness to make everyone feel better. No shots for me.. May God comfort you as your recover..Take care!

  9. hatrack4 says:

    I got the shingles shot 5-6 years ago with no reaction at all. I am just now getting over the flu after having had the shot. One of my wife’s nurses said that she guessed I would not waste my time with the flu shot in the future. I said, “No way, I will continue taking the flu shot. If it is only 90% effective, one time with the flu in 10 years is better than getting it every year.” Being young (21), she could not comprehend my response, and she’s an RN.

  10. Karen says:

    So sorry for all your family has been going through…I hope you are all feeling better now. My husband and I get the flu shot every year and have had the shingles shot and so far so good.

  11. lynnabbott says:

    Oh, poor Julie! What a rotten time you’ve had!! How awful about the shot…and everyone sick!! I do hope you are all well now. By the way, that kilim footstool in your photo of the mayor? I have its twin at my house!!!! Talk about great minds and kindred spirits! Love and prayers for complete healing for you and yours! ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.