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Fixation on death aside, this is lovely —Soge, accidentally describing my entire life

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Gettin' vaccinated · 5:33am Mar 4th, 2021

Some creative nonfiction because I got my first dose of vaccine today, and it feels… kinda… historic… y’know?

I feel a tad guilty—the pandemic has had mostly positive benefits to my life. My job is now remote—something I’d always wanted. My wife who has issues with being left home alone, has not had to say goodbye to me in the mornings for almost a year now. The vacation time I took on Christmas break was genuinely the greatest two weeks of my life.

But there’s still the dread in the back of my mind. I’m high-risk. My wife’s high-risk. This whole “living and working at home” fantasy I’d been living could get taken away from me by a very real illness that has devastated an unfathomable amount of people. And it’s only through a lot of careful avoiding of people and luck that we’ve made it this far.

I had been counting down the days until March 1st, the day when the scope for who can get the vaccine in my US State widened considerably to include at-risk folks like my wife and I. I had watched many videos on the vaccines, analyzed the side effects, avoided my crazy relatives who are convinced Bill Gates is trying to make us all infertile, and even developed opinions on whether I’d get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (VERDICT: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine still prevents death and major hospital visits 100% of the time—so the answer’s yes, I’d take it if offered. Though I do prefer the mRNA vaccines)

I was ready for it. And somehow not for the final stretch.

My anxiety decided to hit warp speed concerning getting this vaccine. I do have a mild phobia of needles.

I don’t think people understand phobias very well until they meet someone with a strong phobia they didn’t expect. For example, my wife will literally scream in terror when she sees a spider in the house. It will leave her shaken for hours afterwards. I find it baffling as they are such benign and even helpful creatures. But that’s the thing about phobia’s, they’re often irrational. I mean—needles does make a kind of sense. I think humans have a general distaste for getting stabbed. But I don’t see other people wincing and avoiding the TV Screen when footage of a needle going in someone’s arm is broadcasted. I feel like I’m the only one who’s heart skips a beat seeing needles.

Nervousness. That jittery, gnawing sensation that something is going to go wrong. I had taken a melatonin the night before to make sure I would be knocked out cold. My body and anxiety had other plans.

I wanted to sleep so badly. The vaccine is more effective when the immune system is in tip-top shape—the kind of shape that comes from actual frickin’ sleep! And yet I could not fall asleep. What kind of anxiety can conquer the extra-strength melatonin!? The “I’mma be willfully stabbed tomorrow but I really want to be stabbed” kind apparently. And the “I know I need to sleep but apparently my body is really worried I’m not getting to sleep—I should keep worrying that I’m not getting to sleep in this vicious cycle” kind.

I printed out the form to fill out at an Office Depot a half hour before our appointment. I chose the default print settings and ended up paying way too much for what should have been two normal black and white pdfs. The woman at the front desk at the Covid Vaccination center happily remarked on the nice matte cardstock of our forms—so that was probably worth the extra 50 cents right there.

We had our forms, our ID, and the three random word phrase that the system used instead of QR codes.

We shuffled around to an onslaught of different tables, conveniently whooshing through each one as we shared each particular piece of info to get placate them. And hear their words of advice, and scheduling of next appointments, and cautionary tales and recommendations. Oddly, none of these people asked for my health insurance. None asked which of the high-risk categories I was. None of them asked me to pay for anything—Which is incredible as what I’m asking for is something priceless.

We finally made it to the final boss. Two nurses equipped to stab two people at separate ends of a Lifetime™ plastic table that was probably bought a lifetime ago.

I let my nurse know that I was squeamish around needles. (I have nearly fainted giving a sample of blood before). And that I was going to stare off in this far direction the entire time and avoid eye contact.
She said words. I don’t remember what the words were. But she said them, and I felt better. She said what was probably a joke she had said hundreds of times before. I chuckled. I don’t remember what the joke was. Was there even a joke? I don’t remember. This woman was REALLY good at this.

I barely remember her giving me a shot. Like, these vaccines are stored at like negative a bajillion Celsius? So obviously there’s gotta be some coldness or… something? Anything?
No, not really.
It was over before I really had a chance to worry about it.

“I’ll give you a Guardian’s of the Galaxy bandaid, does that sound good?”


I didn’t want to look at my arm, so my wife let me know that I got a Rocket and Groot bandaid. Pic if wanted.

What are the odds? I got branded a furry by the lady who gave me my vaccine.

I mean, if there’s anything I want to do in person this year, it’s go to the yearly furry convention and hug people. I also want to play D&D in person instead of in front of a screen. I want to see family and friends without needing to put on masks and yell across the room. I’d like to go to restaurants in person again.

I got a relative who was part of the vaccine trials, and based on the side effects, he clearly got the vaccine. It feels like he’s been living in the future the last few months.

I’m joining that future. Everything should reach the right effectiveness in about 6 weeks from now. And then I don’t need to worry about frickin’ dying everytime I go somewhere.

That will be nice.

Comments ( 7 )

Just be prepared bud it can hit ya hard.

My personal side effects haven’t been that bad yet. Though I know the second dose is worse. Hopefully I’ll sleep better tonight.

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I find it baffling as they are such benign and even helpful creatures.

This was clearly written by a spider. :|

Congrats! I feel like people usually have one moment they can relate phobias to, so I know how difficult it can be to face that sort of moment.

Yep! I got that scheduled and ready for 4 weeks from now :twilightsmile:

Shhhhhh.... don't let that secret out. It would RUIN my marriage /╲/\( •̀ ω •́ )/\╱\

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