In breaking news, I went for a swim.
And I didn’t die of anaphylaxis!
That’s freaking huge, and a huge big gift to myself!
Sorry, I’m ahead of myself.
3 years ago, if you remember, I was diagnosed with cold urticaria. The whole shebang – epipens, anaphylaxis etc. In one doctors appointment, my whole world view changed. Many things that I had taken for granted were now threats to be managed. My immunologist stated, amongst many other warnings: immersion in water is dangerous, avoid at all costs. Never ever go in the ocean, but if you find a pool of water that is like a warm bath, then with certain risks being managed, you may be able to go for a dip. MAY, and not without risks. This was us, living on the North Coast of NSW and water skiing, going to the beach, being all round water babes. Being told that rain water was a threat, but maybe you can find a pool of water to swim in without drowning, was like being told that you can eat a lolly, but it may be the one that has the poison in it.
I’ve spent the last 3 years readjusting every aspect to cold aversion or management. Including mourning the simple pleasure of immersing my body. We had tried to find a way to allow me to swim, but each time we did, it was with a level of failure. So we gave up.
I say we, because my boys and my hubby are in this with me, as it impacts heavily on them.
Over Xmas, we went to Fraser Island. It was glorious. If I’m ever asked to write a sponsored post about the place, I can wax lyrical about the place. We found a freshwater lake and it was warm and had no currents. Hubby got in and after a while suggested to me that I could maybe swim in this water, and did i feel brave enough to have a go.
After lots of freaking out, preparation and not just a little apprehension, I went in.
The first time in Master 5s living memory that I have swum with him.
No big deal. The look of joy on his face when he splashed me with water, and I splashed him back was amazing. In his life, I have always been an object of frailty when they are wet, or playing with water, or carrying something wet. And here I was, up to my waist in water, splashing him back!
Until this moment, I had considered finding a heated pool, but always thought – Nah, it is unlikely to work.
Now, I have found a heated pool, that is indoors and successfully done laps as well! Just for the hell of it.
All of the risks remain. Every situation will be managed on an individual basis, but goddammit, I can swim again, and I feel like this:
Like I have regained what I had lost. What a joy and privelege.