A heavy blanket of fatigue wrapped around me as I read into the evening. We’d spent the afternoon running errands, so my weariness did not surprise. But then came the head and body aches. 

At 8 o’clock, Keith asked, “Do you want to watch a movie or something before bedtime?” 

“No, I think I’ll just go to bed,” I said.

One of our errands that afternoon had been to the pharmacy to get vaccinated for flu and shingles. The nurse who administered the shots told us the usual reactions: soreness and “meh” feeling for a day or so. People over sixty-five like us get stronger doses, she said.

Since 911-worthy allergic reactions tend to be similar—swelling of face and throat, difficulty breathing, fast heartbeat, dizziness—I didn’t bother reading the information sheets until the following morning. Then, in addition to fatigue, muscle pain, and headache, I ticked off shivering, fever, and stomach upset that had troubled me overnight. 

This will pass, I thought, as I climbed back into bed. In the meantime, what are my choices? Wallow in self-pity or get on with the day. I got out of bed, let the dogs outside, turned on the coffee, and did one little thing then the next then the next. By evening, other than residual soreness in my arm, I was fine.

#

We’ve all been there. Poet Luanne Castle noted similar reactions to her flu shot, while informing her readers of her most recent publication: https://writersite.org/2020/09/03/poem-up-at-humana-obscura/ Because she wasn’t feeling well, she closed the post to comments. Understandable, though I wanted tell her how lovely the poem was and wish her a speedy recovery—I’m sure others did, too.

These days, posting anything open to comment comes with risk. Posts might inadvertently stir up virulent comments, even though the writer has stated mere common sense, or incite pile-on likes, retweets, and sharing with more venom.

But not all negative comments are virulent, and not all reactions are negative.

#

For two months, I pitched ideas to a faith publication. It’s been a Three-Bears experience, if the bear family had four members. My first pitch was too big, the editor said; the second pitch not quite right; the third pitch too small; my fourth submission just right: “…beautifully written, very poignant and insightful.” Then a request for more. I basked in that encouragement for a moment… well, maybe a little longer. 

Without the editor’s comments—her feedback—I would have continued along my merry way, producing work that wasn’t a good fit for the publication. So, like the vaccinations, risking negative reaction was worth the two days or two months of “meh.” Every day, I got out of bed, let the dogs outside, turned on the coffee, and wrote one thing then the next then the next. 

And the work found a home.

Speaking of home, today dawned cool and clear—as you can see. So, I plan to do one thing then the next then the next—outside. A Happy Labor Day!  

24 Comments

  1. joynealkidney

    Dealing with long-term fibromyalgia I’m leary of the flu, and the flu shot! hmmm

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      I’m so sorry to hear of your illness, Joy. My father also suffered from the condition. What does your doctor recommend about flu shots?

      Reply
  2. Matcha

    It’s interesting that I read this now. For the longest time I was unable to have comments on my blog. Then recently, after hours of looking for a way to fix it I finally find it. Considering comments can go both ways, was it a blessing or a curse to not have comments for so long?

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      What an interesting comment about comments. I’d say a blessing that we have a way to interact with our readers. And just in case, we can filter comments on our sites. Thank you for yours! -C.D.

      Reply
    • Amber

      How did you fix this? I think I have a similar problem on my site…

      Reply
      • Carole Duff

        Good question, Amber. To allow comments and filter them, go to your site’s Dashboard (WP Admin) then on the left menu go down to Settings and hover to bring up submenu and click on Discussion Settings. Voila!

        Reply
        • Amber

          Thank you!

          Reply
      • Matcha

        Depends on who you host with, but if you use Bluehost, there are multiple screens for settings. On one of the screens will be an option that says “Allow comments for wordpress, facebook.com and …” That is the option you want.

        Reply
        • Amber

          Thank you! I will check that out, as I do have Bluehost 😁

          Reply
    • Carole Duff

      Thank you so much, Marianna!

      Reply
  3. ekurie

    So glad your recovery was quick. Shingles vax is a bear.

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      Thanks, Edith. Shingles shot round two in a couple of months. Hoping for protection from the real thing!

      Reply
  4. bigskybuckeye

    Carole, I am pleased your reaction to the shots was short-lived. While I have had the shingles shot, I am due for the much-improved and stronger version in a few months.

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      I don’t remember reacting to the shingles shot I received years ago. Last week’s was the first of the two-shot series. Hoping vaccinations will protect us from the real things! Peace of the LORD.

      Reply
  5. Laurie

    Congratulations on getting published in the faith magazine, Carole! I am so happy for you.

    I am a little bit nervous about getting a flu shot (I usually don’t) for exactly the reason you describe here.

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, Laurie! As for the shot reaction, I’m not sure if it was flu or shingles or the combination. Hopefully, the day of “meh” will protect me from the real threats. In any case, in two months, I’ll pony up for the second shingles shot.

      Reply
  6. seekingdivineperspective

    Earlier this year I woke up feeling terrible – flu-ish – but then remembered I had had a shingles shot the day before, so figured I wasn’t really “SICK-sick.” I kept the commitments I had that day, but it was really hard to function. I was pretty miserable. When it was time for the second shingled shot in the series, I deliberately got it when I had absolutely nothing planned the next day. Sure enough, I had another day of my body mimicking the flu, but this time I could just recline in the La-Z-Boy, drifting in and out of sleep all day. Next day I was fine. Anyway, I’m glad that’s over.

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Ann. I’ve never reacted to a flu shot and don’t remember having any problem with the shingles shot from a few years ago. So, I think the new super-shingles shot is the culprit. Still “meh” is better than the real thing, so I’ll pony up for the second shot in a couple of months.

      Reply
  7. Luanne

    Oh my, I hope you are feeling better now. Isn’t it crazy to get so sick from a dead virus? When this happened to me about six years ago, “everyone” (except my doctor) said, “It’s just a coincidence that you got sick at the same time you got your shot.” But my doctor knew better. He put me down as a flu shot allergy although it’s side effects not a true allergy. But with Covid he had to take that off my chart because he said to get the shot anyway. So I did, as you know. Are you better now? My arm still hurts, but really the illness itself only lasted for me about 24 hours.

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      Yes, only a day of discomfort from flu or shingles shots or a combination. Since the reaction is far easier than the real illnesses, I’ll pony up for the second shingles shot in a couple of months. Taking good care, and you too!
      -C.D.

      Reply
  8. santaadevi

    This is my first time to read your Blog… Very nice and interesting..
    Santanu Mondal
    India

    Reply

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