I’ve been waiting for months to be eligible for the Covid vaccine. I don’t remember the last time I was too young and too healthy for anything, but that was my situation. I watched older friends and relatives as they each got their shots, and I breathed a sigh of relief when they only experienced minor issues. Younger friends and family with conditions I was unaware of also received their doses and breezed through the process. I am thrilled the virus now poses less of a risk to them. And I waited.
Delaying my shot coincided with assuaging my anxiety. I have a long history of pronounced reactions to injections. My mother laughs when she tells the story of me fainting as a child with each required immunization. Those needle jabs always left bruises and welts at the injection site, and it was not uncommon for me to feel ill for a day or two afterward. The doctors all said I would outgrow it. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The reactions followed me into adulthood, and I feel like an idiot when I warn my nurses. I love the nurse who takes me seriously and takes necessary precautions. I have paid a hefty price in concussions, a gashed head, and in one case of carpet burns on my forehead when they scoff at my warnings.
Finally, my state said I could get my vaccine. With mixed emotions, I scheduled my appointment and arranged for my backup person to go with me. As the moment approached, I steeled myself for the encounter and began repeating my mantra. “I will remain conscious. I will remain conscious.”
The nurse was wonderful. She asked detailed questions about what to expect and assured me that we could stay as long as I needed. An hour after she administered the shot, I was still dizzy, but leaning on my friend, we made it to the car. I don’t remember the drive home. Then the fun began. My entire left arm, from my shoulder to my fingertips, went numb. The lightest touch of my shirt sleeve created unbearable agony, my head hurt, I felt nauseous, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I took a dose of a pain reliever, and I slept.
They warn you that you might experience side effects for several days. Four. Four days elapsed before I began to feel human again and just in time to return to my 9 to 5, where my desk disappeared under the backlog of work. Monday evening, I shut my computer and went to bed. On Tuesday, I stayed awake long enough to eat my dinner. And my writing? I haven’t written a word until now.
Did you write yesterday?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer