Underneath my yellow skin

Trying to manage my fears

This is the first day in two weeks I’ve been able to do a full Taiji/Bagua routine. And it feels really good! For the past two weeks, I’ve been doing portions of it because of my reaction to the booster shot. In the first few days after, I mostly did stretches and warm-ups. I was exhausted, and I did not want to make things worse.

I slowly started adding weapons back in in. One at a time. This was probably four or five days after I got the shot. I really, really, really did not want to overdo it.

Today, for the first time in two weeks, I did all the things I normally do in my daily routine. All the stretches, warm-ups, and weapons. And it felt so good! That means Sword Form (right side)–

Gotta interject. I got my flu shot. I was going to get them on the same day, but thought better of that plan. In fact, when I went in a month or so ago to get my wasp bite checked out (it was infected), they asked if I wanted to get my flu shot and my Covid booster. I said sure. My doctor told me not to because I was already fighting off an infection, and my immune system was stressed enough. I had to do the full ten days of antibiotics for that mess. And my finger didn’t really get back to normal for about a week after.

Two weeks ago, I got the Covid booster. The Moderna instead of the Pfizer. It’s supposedly good to mix them up, probably so you can catch more variants. I have no scientific backing for this, but I believe that’s why I had such a bad reaction this time.

My plan had been to get the Covid booster a week before Tthanksgiving. Then, I was going to get the flu shot the following Monday or Tuesday. My brother had his Thanksgiving feast Friday night, and I figured it would be enough time to recover.

I was so wrong. So very wrong. I had never had such a strong reaction to one of these shots. I mean, I’ve always reacted to them, but not like this. It was mostly the welt that stayed forever. Which is annoying, but not a big deal. Usually, it was me feeling like shit for three days and then it getting better by day five or six. A week of being tired was pretty much it.

This time, it was so much more. It was horrid, and it never occurred to me until Ian mentioned it that it might actually be something other than a reaction to the shot. Which, it could have been–but it wasn’t.

I was talking to my Taiji teacher today on Zoom. She has Covid, and it was clear that she was really feeling it. We had a lesson, and I gave her the option to push it back, but she felt up to at least talking. I mentioned that I needed to get my flu shot, but I was hesitant to do it. Not just because of what I went through with the Covid booster, but also because I always had strong reactions to the flu shot.

In fact, it’s one reason I stopped getting them, especially when I found out that it wasn’t even a guarantee that if you got the flu, it would be one of the ones the shot was vaccinating you for. Briefly, the medicos in charge tried to figure out what was most likely to be the six or so most prevalent flus for that year. That’s what the flu shot vaccinates you against.

Now. Intellectually, I understand why it’s necessary to get the shot. I get that getting the flu sucks really bad (I’ve never had it, but I have heard stories). I also know it’s like insurance–you get it so that in case you need it, it’s there. You probably won’t need it, but what a relief to have it if you do.

But it’s really frustrating to have to deal with the ramifications of the shots if I don’t actually get the virus. Now, let me hasten to add that I’m glad I have not gotten the flu or Covid. I don’t want them, obviously. But I really wonder if I need to get these shots. I’m not in the gen pop very often, so maybe I can gamble with not getting the shots.

At any rate, I have gotten the flu shot. And I’m doing ok. That doesn’t mean anything, though, because it’s always the second day that really hits me hard. I am tired, but I was tired before, too. my arm hurts, but not that badly.

I’m hoping it won’t be as bad as the Covid booster. That really wrecked me. I haven’t had a flu shot in several years–since before the pandmeic. I had a doctor about seven years ago who scolded me for not getting one. I said I had a bad reaction to it, and she snapped that it was better than being dead.

I can now tell her that it’s not true. Dying (twice) was nothing compared to the various shots. Granted, I was unconscious for a week in the aftermath, so I’m not the best person to ask. But I shrugged off death (twice!) without breaking a sweat. I am not proud of it because it was nothing to do with me (except in that practicing Taiji for fifteen years has done my body good), but my body was not having any of that. So, yeah, it can get frustrating when it goes down for these shots.

Here’s a funny thing about that, though. I thought that the reason I had such intense reactions to these shots was because of my shitty immune system. Nope. It’s because my immune system is so good–it’s doing what it’s supposed to do when it thinks it’s being attacked. Don’t misunderstand me. I DO have a shitty immune system in that I catch everything none to person when I’m not in isolation.

I’m holding my breath that I won’t have an intense reaction to this flu shot. I probably won’t know until tomorrow.


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