Monday, March 09, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

It never ceases to amaze me... the kindness of strangers.

Since receiving my diagnosis of systemic mastocytosis, I have, of course, sought out every source of information I could find. Unfortunately, there aren't many of them. I have found two groups on facebook with absolutely lovely people who have been more than willing to not only answer my questions... but answer them honestly. I have also signed up for two listservs and while I don't participate greatly with them, I read the compassion they have for each other and it warms my heart. Especially after having such negative feelings towards the "Big List" as the Guatemalan adoption listserv is/was known.

Today was my first day back to the gym. I feel the need to be kind to myself and this is one of the ways I like to show myself kindness. By giving my body the exercise it so desperately needs. I haven't worked out in a few months for fear of causing a reaction.

Now, being in the fitness business, I know the owner of my gym. However, I still think he would react the same to any member. I explained my situation and told him I'd be bringing my epi pen with me... just in case.

First, he was so very happy to see me back. A number of people mentioned they had missed me which felt so good! I gave him the bag w/my epi kit and told him I had an emergency card in the kit w/my allergies, condition, etc.

He took it upon himself to go online, pull up a video on how to administer an epi pen and had his staff watch the video. He was very discrete and let his staff know to keep an eye on me. I genuinely felt safe while I was working out. It was great and I did a half an hour on the eliptical which is pretty good considering I hadn't worked out in several months. I also pre-medicated which appears to have helped with the hives so a good experience across the board!

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