I’m pretty sure I’m not on a placebo. This was the week for shot number two. Thursday went just like the last time, except they were busier and what took an hour in August took three in September. I was OK with that. Cassie, my nurse is awesome. She told me her kids love “Mystery Bug”. I brought copies of the Collection for both her and Dr. Jeff… and one for the waiting room. A colleague asked if I could do a reading for her daughter’s class, via Zoom. The health care folks love the book. Now I just need a tiny PR push to get some broader attention.
The drill was the same; vitals, Covid test swab up the nose a quick check of my lymph glands and the blood draw. Then the same questions Cade asks on the phone. Only it’s more fun with Cassie because we’re talking about kids and family in between. Turns out that the team only knows what they are supposed to do. Moderna does the interpreting. They aren’t sure what I’ll be told, if anything. At some point, I think I will learn whether or not I got the real juice or just the salt water.
I think I already know.
Dave gave me the shot this time. I could tell he’s newer at the game than the other dude. But he got it done and I looked away as directed so I couldn’t see what was going into my right shoulder muscle. Then it was off to the “is he gonna keel over room”. It was shorter this time. Dr. Jeff came in after about ten minutes and said I was good to go.
Friday, I got the first sign that maybe I’m on the real stuff. I’ve had flu shots for most of my adult life. Y’all know how those go. You feel a little like you have it and then your body does it’s thing to kill it. I was head down in a job I had to finish for a Saturday presentation when I felt it. My temp spiked and my head started to hurt. I took some Tylenol. It didn’t do the job. By 1pm I bagged the afternoon and crashed.
It is kinda neat to feel your body working. It turns up the heat when releasing the soldiers to do battle. You can sense your system figuring things out. I was grateful not to have any of the other issues they ask about on the app; no chills, fatigue, nausea or joint pain. My only frustration was that the daily report on my app went in before the temp spike, so the data said no-symptoms.
I got up at 6, had some supper and dove back into my project. Colleen and I both saw the RBG news at the same moment. We were surprised at how hard that hit us. It was like losing a loved one. I was still feeling the shot and kept pushing through, but Colleen abandoned work for MSNBC. I came out of my cave to see the incredible crowd at the Supreme Court Building.
When you enter the late afternoon of your life, you wonder if your contributions have made any difference. The river of history is wide. In time, it consumes every memory. Significant events are reduced to a sentence. Actions that impacted millions of lives are distilled into a paragraph school children only remember long enough to click the right answer on a test. We haven’t learned much from the past. As a people we can still be entitled, intolerant and unkind. We bend the rules to fit our selfish paradigms. We avoid inconvenience and suffering, even if it causes these things for others.
But the raindrops create rivers and can guide their path. Torrents always begin with a single droplet. I hope that my insignificant beneficence can lead to a torrent of awareness and action to gently press the direction of the river of life toward a more compassionate path.
You never know when something you say or do may touch someone else at just the right time. And every great advance began with a single dedicated heart. I’ll try to model that behavior as long as I’m still a raindrop.