challenges

The Shot Saga

I’m finally getting a chance to write about my Covid vaccines. This post is delayed on purpose as to not disclose the date of my shots due to so much controversy over the subject. I can say I’m fully vaccinated until my time is called for a booster. 

I don’t get the flu shot and I generally hate medicine In general. Nonetheless I received the Moderna vaccine 1 and 2 respectively. Both had different impacts for me. Shot 1 upon entry hurt with the feeling a burn and pinch. My arm was sore to lift for a day or two and I had a headache. Business as usual for the most part after 12-24 hours.

Shot 2 was bit different. It didn’t hurt at all going in but when I got to the car it hit me. Something was in my body and I felt it. Very hard to explain other than saying I was cloudy. I felt an aura of sorts.
I immediately got something to eat to make sure I had a full tummy. Surprisingly I didn’t eat much. I went home to catch up on some emails before I would think the shot would impact me cognitively. Oops I was wrong.

Boy was I wrong. I sent emails from the wrong account. I transposed numbers. Even when I realized my error I did it again. And again. At that point I turned of technology for a couple of days. Pumped the Tylenol for the headache and binged watched Netflix.

Completely out of character for me to sit idle for so long but it was just what my body and mind needed to clear the fog. I had a panic attack one morning over damn spiders. That wasn’t fun at all and it was a first as well. I left my dogs In the yard a moment too long and they had a dance party in a mud puddle. That was fun too.

All in all I did nothing for a few days but everything I did touched seemed to be one hot mess after another. Not sure what other people’s reactions have been because I just don’t ask people but I figured I’d journal my tidbits for others who may be curious.

Meanwhile I am still going to be cautious for a day or two because of the cognitive blur I seemed to have been in for the past 48 hours or so. Hopefully I’m out of the symptoms stage so I can move on with life.
I almost forgot. I had a fever peak in and out in the first 24 hours. Tylenol and herbal tea for the win to combat those symptoms. I had insomnia as well. That just made my days longer and harder.
Off to think about something other than my shot.

perspective

A Shot in the Arm

To vaccine or not to vaccine? That was the question.

This won’t be a political post. I’m not here to convince you either way. I won’t judge you whether you get it or not. I’m just sharing my experience here as part of our coronavirus time capsule.

I was scheduled for 2:30 pm on a Friday. My spot in line was ensured by my work in a public school. By the time my turn rolled around, many co-workers had already had shot #1 and remarked on how organized and efficient it was.

The scene: an old Sears in an abandoned mall. Actually, it’s the mall featured in the show Stranger Things which kind of made me both giggle and pause. It was also the mall where I happened to be shopping when the first tower fell on 9/11. A setting with a history.

I parked and walked up to the well-signed venue. Workers with vests and clipboards awaited. Mask on, I had my two copies of paperwork and ID. Had I been diagnosed recently? Feverish? Quarantined? All these questions are routine now. No. No. No. Then position my face in the outline on the tablet screen for my infrared temp check. New version of another daily routine.

Line after line after windy, mazy line. Socially distanced. No photos allowed. Moving through the queue. It was a Friday and many had come from their respective schools, so it was a parade of school spirit shirts. Others were older, some returning for their second dose.

I made it to a table with a worker and two piles of papers. One said Pfizer, the other Moderna. Which would I be given? Does it matter? Will one be more effective than the other? Side effects worse or better? Most I know had received Pfizer. I answered all the questions as she handed me all my info and my Moderna paper. Off to another line.

Sitting down, asked “why are you here today?” I guess they have to ensure that I know why I’m here. No one is coercing me. Which arm, right or left? Are you allergic to anything? Finally, the needle comes out. Imagine you are on a beach, the nurse said. The more relaxed you are the easier it will be. Practice poor posture, she said. Sigh and ok. Hardly felt a thing then it was done and up again.

Socially distanced chairs in another waiting area. 15 minutes just to be sure you’re ok. I wait, scanning social media. Workers circulate. My time is up, 3:13 pm. Another worker, are you feeling ok? Everyone careful to look you in the eye. And another set of questions at the table. Are you nauseous? Rashy? Itchy? More no. And off I go.

On the way out, a sign that said to go ahead and tweet, insta, facebook, and snap my vaccine. I paused for a pic then just went to the car. A goose was circling, hissing. He had been there on the way in, too. Honestly, that was the scariest part of the day, that stupid goose. Must be a nest nearby, I think. Life does go on.

I’ll return for dose 2 in 28 days. We’ve already gotten the lecture at work…be prepared to feel yucky for a couple of days. That could make for a crappy weekend. But, life will go on and I’ll hopefully have less reason to worry about some of the long term effects of this illness. I hope getting this vaccine will somehow help protect the many in society who can’t.

Thank you, health care workers. Thank you, scientists. A profound and reflective moment.

author moments

Big Bang Theories

At the beginning of a race, you might expect to hear a gunshot or even two.

At the shooting range, or on a hunting trip, out in a field in the country, sure. Gunshot makes sense.

But in a Mexican restaurant on a rainy Sunday afternoon in Salem, Virginia? Where we just happened to stop in the middle of a marathon whiplash road trip?

Well, maybe I am naive (ok, definitely), but it wasn’t the first place my mind went when I heard the huge bang with a slight echo. It *was* unusually loud, and I shared glances with a few other guests, but my mind told me it was a huge tray being dropped, which I then told the rest of the table. We kept eating.

One of my daughter’s friends saw the police pull up out the front window a few minutes later. Several officers casually walked back to the restroom area, where a man was seated. They put on gloves.

Many of us started to murmur, to wonder. What was all this about? All the while, we keep eating. More baskets of chips and salsa arrived with the same fanfare as the police walked in. Nothing to see here, or so it seemed.

Next, the ambulance. And then, the firetruck, all with lights flashing.

Again, the EMTs casually rolled the stretcher in. They loaded the man on. His jeans were cut open and he held a towel over his thigh. They rolled him out to the ambulance. He had really shot himself! In the bathroom! In the leg! On accident!

!!!!!

The waiter brought our check. We paid, uncomfortable and astonished. I did an 18-point turn to get out of the parking lot, weaving through the emergency vehicles. We continued on our way.

For the next hour or two as we headed down the road, every once in a while I or one of the others in the car would blurt out a “What if…” comment. What if the gun had been pointing another direction? What if I had gone to the bathroom at that time? What if his injuries had been more serious? What if there had been an argument and he had shot someone else? What if there were more guns in the restaurant?

Even years later now, I am shocked reading this. And today, in early 2021, I spoke with someone who showed me a picture of an acquaintance who had shot himself in the leg just days ago. An experienced and knowledgeable gun owner, he was planning to shoot into the ground but instead he will live with a bullet in his bone.  It could have been much worse.

Be careful out there. You never know who’s packing.