Day One, the day of the Second Pfizer Vaccine. Massachusetts General Hospital was as amazingly efficient and fast as with the first vaccine. Again, the nurses were a beautiful, cheerful and attentive crew, so it was actually a very pleasant experience! Or it could be that after a year of seclusion anything happening outside my house feels like stepping out to dance with Fred Astaire...
The cordial nurse assigned to me asked,"do I have your permission to give you the shot?" I was tempted to say, "No. I came because it's free and to get away from my family," but I said, "of course." She told me that in a few hours, in addition to the sore site of the shot, I might have muscle aches, and/or a headache and feel tired, but won't have fever. Maybe because of my age? She asked if I can take Tylenol or Ibuprofen. I said I can, but I won't.
I left feeling elated. From what I've read, this will be a win-win situation. If I feel terrible it'll mean my immune system is strong. If I feel fine, well, I'll feel fine. Back at home, I celebrated with some hot chocolate and sourdough, whole wheat toast with avocado. Yes, sometimes life is a sunny beach. Soon the spot of the vaccine got sore, the same as with the first shot, or a regular flu shot.
Day Two. I woke up with a slight headache, tired, grumpy, with belly discomfort and chills. For breakfast I could only take a cup of tea. I felt tired, had occasional, short bouts of a mild headache and chills with goose pimples. Normally a hypochondriac, I regularly took my temperature: no fever. I ate a bland diet and slacked off on most duties. I don't take naps, but by the afternoon I was so sleepy I had to go to bed. I slept two hours. The rest of the day was the same.
Day Three. Felt less tired, had occasional bouts of discomfort, mostly chills, even when the temperature was 84 F under a sunny glass ceiling. By evening I was feeling better.
Day four. My energy is back, feel well, and thrilled and thankful, almost to tears, to be vaccinated. As for my immune system, I did get a reaction, but was not terribly ill, as it evidently happen to some young people. No doubt we'll know more about the subject in the next few weeks and months.
As for my post-vaccine, immediate future, I'll feel comfortable visiting with others two weeks after their second shot. Otherwise, I'll keep the same precautions. A dear friend died of Covid-19, and six people in my family got infected. I won't risk infecting someone else, or encourage some variant that might elude the vaccine protection. I'll end my seclusion and forgo masks and social distancing when Dr Fauci and other experts I trust say it's OK. One of the many advantages of old age, is that we have learned how to be self-sufficient about amusing ourselves and staying cheerful. If most people cooperate, this will be over very soon. Otherwise, good luck to us all.