If you've been following along, you know that yesterday I was deep in the throes of a reaction to my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
A few things to know:
1. According to science, there is nothing you can do to prevent a reaction to the vaccine. They have not yet developed a predictive model of the biological persona that is more likely to experience a reaction. You cannot drink water or rest up or perform any magic to stop reactions.
2. That being said, you should always drink a lot of water! And sleep is important. Also, magic can be fun (although sometimes super nerdy and creepy, so practice magic in moderation).
3. Also, there is evidence from the clinic trials that younger people are more likely to have reactions and women are more likely than men. But this is just early evidence. However, I like being considered younger, so I am going with it.
4. My husband gets dose 2 on Friday. I assume he won't have a reaction and this will make me happy (and also irritate me irrationally. Why do I have to go through all the weird stuff!?).
5. My Mom goes on Saturday! Since she does not use the internet, she has no idea I had a reaction. I am sure someone will tell her. But, it won't be me. I don't want to get in her head or worry her, needlessly, because after all, she is my mom and I think she worries about me.
6. Go get vaccinated. I've told you all before on Yoke, in text messages, on the phone, on video calls and in person (from a distance! and while masked!), that you don't need an engraved invitation. Take the time to find an appointment. If you need help, I'll look for you, too!
7. If you can't get vaccinated, for a medical reason or if you are really nervous or have another reason, well, that's okay too. We are all here for each other. This is a choice and I respect yours!
Anyway, all that out of the way: Today is like I was resurrected! I mean I am not entirely sure what resurrection feels like--but I do feel like a totally changed, healthy, vital person.
Around 11pm last night, after 24 hours of shivering and sweating and fever spiking, I began wandering around the house sobbing and screaming like a madwoman. My family thought I was joking because of the high drama level.
They really should know that I will never go quietly!
Anyway, when I finally passed out around 1:30am, I slept until 8:30am and woke up a little tired, but FINE!
I even washed my hair. And put on jeans, like a 2019 person!
Is it possible vaccination can turn us back in time to 2019?
Probably not, but I sure feel grateful today to have survived my reaction and to know that in a couple weeks I should be pretty much immune to COVID-19. And while I will still mask and still socially distance, I am glad that I can function without that voice in the back of my head always wondering if I will be exposed and somehow bring home COVID-19 to my family.
My mother lives with us and we've been vigilant to protect her. (She's has not been vigilant. The stories of pandemic violations I could tell you!)
And my kids--yeah I know that the recovery rates are high and the severity rates are low--but I can't risk their health. Lily has been through too much to add COVID to her list. I know they are not 100-percent protected; but we've taken the risk of us exposing them off the table.
And we can go see my Aunt Barbara Ann soon. It's been over a year without this sweet, adorable lady in front of me. I miss her so much! She lives in an assisted living facility. And Mike can work travel without anxiety of bringing COVID back with him. And maybe we'll hop on a plane soon. Or maybe we won't. I've discovered I sort of like being home.
The emotion of all of this brings me to tears of joy. I think I have greater empathy for the fear our ancestors must have felt during plague and pandemic--even my own paternal grandmother who was a young woman during the Spanish Flu. There is so much out of control in this world--and that uncertainty can just pull you apart.
For now, friends, I am happy for this day after and for a little tiny glimmer of certainty in a world that is always fundamentally and uncontrollably uncertain.