On Boosters, Lying, Paradoxical Reactions, and Superpowers

A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, I tried with tireless effort to find someone to take pity on me and give me a COVID-19 booster shot. Somebody. Anybody? The wild adventure took me for a bumpy ride.

One spectacular day went like this:

While I approached a long line at a pharmacy, I asked myself, “Are you sure you want to get the Moderna booster?”

I didn’t react to the two prior Pfizer vaccinations. Barely had a sore arm. What if I can’t move for two days, or I’m the anomaly — like always — and it takes a week to recover? What if I never recover? What if data released years from now shows that patients should have stuck to their original vaccines? Should I mix or match?

And worse, what if the pharmacist asks me to provide information to prove I’m eligible? Oh, God. Can I look the pharmacist in the eye and lie? I don’t have any medical issues or a job that puts me at risk.

At that point, I had quietly told myself to shut the hell up. Just lie! You need to be healthy for Thanksgiving when your entire family arrives. Are you afraid the CDC will look up your form and throw you in jail? The voice in my head can be relentless.

Customers shuffled toward the prescription drop-off window. Waiting for each person to fill out forms seemed like an eternity. Their cheerful banter slowed the process. I shifted my weight and compulsively checked updates on social media to distract me, even though I checked so frequently, hardly anything changed.

When the customer ahead of me finished, the pharmacist locked eyes with me.

I cleared my throat. “Do you have the Moderna booster?”

“Yes,” she said and took my driver’s license and COVID card. She studied it. Then she studied me with resting grumpy scowl. “You’re not old enough.”

It had been a long time since I’d heard those words.

“Are you immunocompromised, or do you work with a lot of people?”

This was when my entire body went rigid. I broke out in flop sweat. Could I do it? I swallowed hard as a million responses raced through my head.

And out of ONE MILLION, I could only utter this:

“My husband works in real estate, so I’m at risk for infection.” By now, my core temperature was at Death Valley level.

In a very loud, clear, and aggravated voice, she said, “You’re not eligible!” Yes, I included the exclamation point since she could be heard in the back of the store in the meat department. I swear to you — she shouted these words.

While walking away, I was almost in tears. Why couldn’t I lie like everybody else?

I felt like Jim Carrey in Liar Liar. But if that were true, I would have called her on her rudeness:

I would have said, “I realize you get people like me all day long, but there are better ways to handle us,” or, “In your profession, it shouldn’t be hard to be nice to people. Smile. It won’t kill you. I promise.” Or the in-your-face approach, which I have never tried in my entire life, “You don’t have to be such a bitch about it.” I have never called anyone a bitch to their face yet.  

Why didn’t I tell her I had cancer? I did have cancer — eight years ago. She probably would have asked if I was currently going through chemo or radiation. I avoided both by having double boobectomies. She seemed like the type who would have asked for proof.

After trying two more pharmacies with similar results, I gave up.

Low and behold, the day before my mom, my son, Kelly, and his fiancé, Leksy, flew in (so many commas), I woke up with post-nasal drip and swollen glands.

Something steamrolled me.

One time I didn’t wear a mask in public, but that had happened twenty-four hours before — too soon for symptoms. Maybe I was psychosomatic. In any case, I took so many Cold-Eze, I could barely taste anything. Oh, no. That’s one of the symptoms of COVID.

Visions of lying under a thick comforter with a thermometer sticking out of the side of my mouth appeared. You get the picture —

Weird thoughts from the sick bed

I thought about that nasty pharmacist and how I would march in there and say, “See what you did to me?” Like that would never happen.

I drove to Walgreens and bought a COVID rapid-test called BinaxNow. My ADHD brain scampered around as I read through the directions. After sticking the swab up each nostril to my brain, I slipped it between the cardboard and added the testing solution. It reminded me of a pregnancy test.

Two lines would mean the end of my Thanksgiving vacation before it began. I hustled around the kitchen to put my croissants in the oven. I had breathed all over them and had tasted the dough. Had I washed my hands? Would my COVID germs burn off in the oven?

It was the longest fifteen minutes ever.

Only one minus sign appeared. Negative for COVID. YES!

After a quick happy dance around the kitchen, I went back to preparations and decided to be more careful with mask-wearing until I got the booster.

My cold departed as quickly as it arrived, and Thanksgiving was a blast, as usual.

On Monday, the CDC opened up the booster availability to everyone over eighteen. Finally. I freakin’ qualified.

Life returned to normal on Tuesday, and I returned to Resting Grouchy Scowl to get a booster. I would show her.

It surprised me that no one was in line. Maybe Resting Grouchy Scowl scared everyone away.

“Are you here for a COVID shot?” RGS said, more miserably than before.

“Yes. Do you have the Moderna booster?”

“Our pharmacy doesn’t have any Moderna.” She dismissed me by looking away.

Seriously?

As I turned my back, she added, “Other stores might have them.” Maybe there was hope for RGS.

I drove to several other grocery stores, but they were only giving Pfizer shots. Those who had the Moderna booster would only give shots to customers with appointments, and they were already booked into January.

Defeated, I drove home to let my fingers do the walking and called around.

The King Soopers in Longmont had a fabulous pharmacist.

A happy pharmacist.

A pharmacist whose help seemed effortless, joyful, and triumphant. “We give out the Moderna on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 9:00-10:00, but I would arrive at least fifteen minutes early tomorrow. We are only giving out four shots.”

Yaaaaaasssss!

Tuesday, I got ready as if it were the first day of school. I couldn’t wait for my shot. The nervous anticipation made time slow until it was time to go.

When I rushed through the store to the pharmacy, I took one of the empty seats in front of the locked and gated department. Three pharmacists giggled while preparing to open for walk-ins. Their chill vibe relaxed me. I no longer worried about getting the Moderna shot. I would survive it and would be pretty dang resilient by Christmas. I wouldn’t have to freak out at least for six months.

One of the happy pharmacists met me in a private room and agreed that Moderna had been more effective in preventing break-through cases. BUT she warned me that it caused more of a reaction. “Get ready for a fever and some body aches, and your arm will be pretty sore.”  

After a quick jab, I hustled back to the car with a spring in my bouncy step.

I rubbed and squeezed my upper arm to get the vaccination to circulate. Back at home, I helicoptered them like a little kid getting ready for takeoff and realized my rotator cuffs pop.

NOTE TO SELF: Alternate leg days with puny arm days.

Hours later, my arm was less sore than when I got the flu shot a couple of weeks ago.

Just wait, I thought. In the middle of the night, it will hit me like a Mack truck, and I’ll be achy and feverish and will want to stay in bed all day.

Nope, in fact, I slept great that night, but I was a little tired the next day and napped for an hour in the afternoon.

Wednesday night, I prepared for a late hit.

I never get up before my husband lets the dog out and makes coffee. I know. I’m totally spoiled rotten to the core.

Thursday, I woke up like a crazed maniac at 5:00 AM!

I made coffee, let the dog out, and watched my very first makeup tutorial courtesy of Adele and Nikkie Tutorials.

Once in a while, I have the opposite reaction to drugs. When the doctor gave me valium before Lasik surgery, it made me hyper, and I couldn’t shut up. Before my double boobectomies, I practically danced around the room until the lights went out. Same thing with my knee.

It’s called a paradoxical reaction — the opposite reaction to drugs.

But, lots of people had mild reactions to the booster. The Moderna booster is only half a dose. The Pfizer is a full dose since it wasn’t as effective as Moderna.

Did I make the right decision to mix shots? Who knows? Too late now.

Maybe a year from now, I’ll wake up with a new superpower!

I will develop a mega-brain with all kinds of new ideas, or imagine a place and have the ability to teleport myself. My body will stop aging and build muscle more easily, so I can become a world-class adventurer. I would travel to the highest peaks, scuba to the lowest depths, and have energy for more.

While I wait for my superpowers to kick in, I figure it’s better to be boostered by something through the holidays.

So, get your booster when it’s available. If you don’t qualify, go ahead and lie. I won’t judge you.

I wish you, your friends, and your family healthy holidays and a helluva better New Year!

Don’t worry. I’ll be back. I started sketching my annual Christmas card today. It’s a doozy! Does anyone say that anymore? Spellcheck recognized it.

Have you gotten your booster? Waiting for more data? Hitting the party circuit or staying quiet this holiday season? Which superpower would you be stoked to have?

46 thoughts on “On Boosters, Lying, Paradoxical Reactions, and Superpowers

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  1. Good for you. They aren´t mixing vaccines here in Spain and we have to wait until we get notified. But we´ll let the older folks get theirs first. Staying low key for Christmas anyway. Have a good one. I still have the card I won from you two years ago. Love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First, Glad to hear you are healthy and well. I needed to do my annual mammo and then was all set to take the jab to keep as healthy and safe as possible for the upcoming Holidays. Second, cannot wait to see the card this year – like an annual watch party tradition for me 🙂 Take Care – Happy Day – Enjoy

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  3. Well, the was completely uncalled for! She should have embraced your eagerness to be “boosted” – my wife and I were originally given J&J, so there was no wait whatsoever! We got Moderna and didn’t feel a thing with no side effects at all – it’s a shame you had to go through so much to do your part to help eradicate this!

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    1. Right? The worst stories always make the best stories though.🤣
      I just read that the booster only takes one week to become effective. That’s a bit of good news we all need to hear. I’m glad you’ve been boostered too, John! We’ll get over the hump one of these fine days. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We’ve had such a hard time getting the booster than I’m just gonna give up and wear masks, wash hands and limit contact with people. Have a great Christmas! Hope you guys get lots of snow!

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    1. That’s such a great idea, Jan! I think I’ll always wear a mask during cold and flu season while shopping. I hope you get the booster soon!
      Have a great Christmas too! We’re in a severe drought but snow is finally on its way. Stay tuned for my Christmas card giveaway!

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      1. You do realize that wearing the masks is likely why you caught that cold in the 1st place, I trust? It alters your blood chemistry because you’re breathing in too much CO2 trapped by the mask when you exhale, & not enough O2; causes a number of other problems as well. You also realize those jabs are NOT proven to “save” anyone; that the jabbed are dying in the same numbers as the unjabbed around the world. Other nations are admitting the truth more about it. I’m sorry you put yourself through so much anxiety, which also disrupts your immune system, for no good reason; the best practice is good prophylaxis, for which there are many long proven safe alternatives to those jabs for covid & the flu alike. I’m 75, with other comorbidities, including serious adverse reactions to many drugs, so not taking that jab. I’ve been exposed to covid; yet not so much as a sniffle or cough from it, because I use, & have used those alternative preventitives for many yrs. I don’t catch flu either. Being a retired RN, I can see through the lies the FDA, CDC, & NIAID have been feeding people. Stock up on Vits D3, K2, B complex & C, minerals zinc & selenium, and natural supplements turmeric, quercitin. Use those as directed on the label, making sure your vit D3 is at least 5,000 IU, because most adults are deficient & need to bring their levels up. Those will defend you against much more than just Covid & you’ll feel better too.

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  5. I’m still at the “not sure what to do” stage. I got two vaccinations and now they want us all to have another and what happens after that? Another? And another? And another? I don’t know what’s best anymore. Glad your sniffle turned out to be just a cold. Don’t forget to use NeilMed Sinus Rinse. It really works!!!!!!

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    1. So great to see you, Anneli!
      Ooooh! Love the NeilMed sinus rinse!
      That’s exactly what I think will happen. Hopefully, the severity of the virus will disappate, and it will just be included in our flu shot.
      There’s so little data, but I feel better being boostered. Keeping my fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh man. That sounds like a stressful wild ride. Sorry about all that I guess some places have more availability than others, shorter lines along the coast, long lines in different parts. But glad you were able to get boosted 🙂 and by the looks of that Thanksgiving pic family visit with turkey time went well 🙂 hope you’re having a good week!

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  7. Sounds like a real challenge to get the booster! Glad it worked out OK… and yeah, super-power side-effects would be great (that said, I was bitten by a spider once – alas, all it did was put me on antibiotics for 3 months…) Here in NZ the initial Pfizer vaccine programme is running and they’re bringing in Moderna for immunocompromised people, with Pfizer boosters to follow next year. A friend of mine who works in the Health Department told me that within 5 years there could well be a ‘general coronavirus vaccine’ available – 5-7 year protection against Covid and the common cold, all in one shot. Bring it on, I say!

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  8. I’m glad that you are OK, Susie! I just got home from Michigan today, made my booster shot appointment from up there for the 10th. Be well, have a blessed Christmas!

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  9. Hubs just got his booster shot yesterday. He’d had a break-though case a few months ago and they told him he had to wait. Then our doctor said, no, go ahead and get it. Didn’t have to tell him twice.

    I got boosted as soon as I was eligible. I’m tired of being afraid to just live!

    So glad you got yours, Susie!! Have a great holiday!

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    1. Great to see you, Kassandra!

      I went to two Christmas parties tonight and didn’t worry at all! I’m more likely to pick up a cold, which would still be a bummer. Speaking of the common cold, check out Matthew Wright’s comment about the future of vaccinatons. Pretty interesting stuff!!
      Happy Holidays to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Congrats on finally getting your booster. I got Moderna to begin with, and the effects of my immune system ramping up weren’t fun, but didn’t last long. I’ll be getting my booster just after Christmas, but our holiday plans will be pretty quiet – hubby will be working nights. My husband is one of those people who pays a bit too much attention to conspiracy theories and prefers Dr. Google over his own doctor, and only got immunized recently when the alternative was losing his job. So he’s good to go for a while. Have a great time this Christmas, hugging your family and enjoying their company.

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    1. I’m glad to hear you are all set with an appointment! I think the rush for vaccines frightened people, and there’s a ton of misinformation out there. Good think you’ll be all set in 2022!
      Merry Christmas to you! I’m taking a break from inking the card. LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I smile a great deal while enjoying your story writing style. Resting Grumpy Face was so perfect a description. Humorful, warm and a breath of fresh air. Thank you. – David

    I have my booster shot, they were all Pfizers. (BTW- I was quite early qualified because of my immunosuppressant medications.)

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    1. Thank you so much! She is in the wrong business. 😂

      I’m so glad you’re vaccinated, David. I’m keeping my fingers crossed about the Omnicron variant. *looks skyward* When will it end???

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  12. I almost feel guilty commenting since my booster shot was so easy peasy. I went into a Kroger’s to buy groceries and thought I’ll go over to the pharmacy and ask for a booster shot (Pfizer on first two). It took all of 10 minutes to register, get the shot (Pfizer again) and get back to my shopping. The gal handling it all was very pleasant, not a shot Nazi like yours was.

    On a positive note, you get an A+ for perseverance!

    Happy holidays to you and yours as well. Just think only a couple of more variants until Christmas!

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    1. LOLOLOL!
      I’m glad it was a breeze. It should have been a breeze for everyone. When I Googled “Lying to get a booster,” all kinds of results popped up. They should have expanded the age group BEFORE Thanksgiving. Duh.
      Happy Holidays to you!
      Stay tuned to win another card…

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  13. You had me glued with that crazy roller coaster story about your booster shot. The pitched battle you fought with yourself to earn the booster from the bitchiest pharmacist under the sun was both endearing and hilarious. I could overwhelmingly relate to the entire proceeding, not to speak of the consequent remonstrations. You are a super person already and that has got nothing to do with the vaccine cocktail you chose. I am glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving assembly.

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    1. Awwww! Thank you, Uma! It was worth facing RGS for your incredibly kind words. You made my month!
      She was a nasty bitch with no regard for people and should be in a job that doesn’t require conversation. Our country is short by 80,000 truck drivers. Sign her up!

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  14. There are advantages to being older and compromised that I had never thought of, I am 3 jabs and a flu vaccine in and have been told there is a fourth in the offing, but do you know what? It is a damn sight better than dead. Merry Christmas. Great Post terribly nasty pharmacist … you should
    D offer to stick a Pfizer in her🤣😅

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  15. What a tale of perseverance and pluck. I, too, was too young to get the booster shots when they first became available– which made me smile. I’m glad you made it through Thanksgiving a-ok and that you’ve been boosted now. I’ve been Moderna all the way and had almost no reaction to the booster, which my state graciously allowed me to get last week.

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  16. So good to finally find you! I have missed your readings. I have not gotten my booster yet…deciding whether to or not. I am a bit mixed, but feel now is not the time for me. I see very few people a week and wear a mask to the grocery store. No excuses, just not doing it yet – feels wrong, somehow.
    Scott

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    1. I would consider it since the Omicron is 4 times as contagious as the original, twice as contagious as the Delta. The problem is that our previous vaccinations have worn off. I can’t wait until it stops evolving. GAH!
      Good to see you too. Good luck and stay healthy, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Hubby and I are vaxxed and boosted. Three weeks after getting the booster, when we were at the supposed peak of immunity, we got Covid – probably omicron. The vaccine reduces the risk of severe disease, but it does not apparently stop you from getting Omicron, nor does it stop you from spreading it. I guess that is why so many places are abandoning mandates and accepting it as endemic.

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    1. So true! I wrote this before Omicron and suspect I got it too. Tests don’t always work since many boosted people only get post nasal drip. My son said they are asking people to blow their noses before testing to get a more accurate response. With new cases plummeting, I hope we get to an endemic response soon too!
      Thanks for stopping by, Margy!

      Like

      1. I’ve read that Rapid antigen tests like we took rarely give a false positive. Hubby tested positive on his 4th day of symptoms, so we are fairly confident he had Covid!

        Like

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