The websites make it sound so harmless! Side effects may be mild and will only last a few days. Symptoms include [insert a long list of scary symptoms here], but don’t fret! Many people have no side effects, and it’s different for everyone.
I feel like death.
I felt ill yesterday after getting Pfizer #2, but I attributed it to the stress of traveling. No, that wasn’t it. I got up and went to the gym this morning, and I really think I came close to (accidentally) killing myself. I was doing my treadmill routine when I started wondering, dimly, why my calves were sore again (my shin splints must’ve returned, I reasoned); why there were flashes in my head (I must’ve ingested too much gluten for breakfast! I’m convinced I have a mild case of undiagnosed gluten ataxia); and then why my… holy flip… my pulse was dangerously high.
I’d been treadmilling for over twenty minutes before I realized that something was wrong. Maybe I’m not in touch with my body! I’ve never done extreme exercising like this since I took ballet until age fourteen. That would be thirty years ago.
So I slowed down and lowered the incline. My pulse was still in the range of 150 to 155. Shortly therafter, in a desperate attempt to stay alive, I just gave up. As I drove home, “I Will Survive” was playing on the radio.
It was weird, because I felt exhausted on the treadmill, but I otherwise felt fine. I still figured I was tired from yesterday’s travel. But when I got home, I started feeling worse. I got achey, and the flashes in my head developed a soundtrack (I can hear them flashing!). And now I’m like, screw it, I’m sick.
It’s several hours later (after 7:00 PM), and I again feel worse. Worser and worser. Why did I think getting vaccinated would be so freakin’ great? Was I delusional? Yeah, probably.
I tried reading one of my anger management books about Buddhist philosophy of anger. It’s called The Cow in the Parking Lot. It makes sense to study Buddhist teachings here. How often does anyone run afoul of a mob of irate, enraged Buddhists? (Hey, let’s put that on my bucket list! Bucket list goal: anger some unsuspecting Buddhists. “Hey, buddy, your mother’s ugly!”)
So far, what I’ve taken from the book is this: if someone makes you mad, then pretend that person is a cow. So as you can imagine, I decided I wasn’t understanding the book in my delirious state, and I gave up. I’ll try to read more of it later. (But if anyone wants to look inside the book and read the beginning, I’d love to hear how “off” my interpretation is.) (Never mind. The opening parable, or whatever, isn’t included. I checked.)
For whatever reason, probably because I feel close to death, I was thinking of my favorite scene from Pollyanna in which the minister gets just a little bit carried away. I wish I had audio up here to watch this properly. Let’s just say he’s a bit too empassioned for my tastes. And Pollyanna’s all like, what the freak?!
I would love to perform this as a monologue. Oh no, I shouldn’t be encouraged.
DEAR ABBY: My sister and I are best friends. She has always been caring, empathetic and passionate about helping others. Now, however, COVID has turned her into a real piece of work.
Since the pandemic began, she has become increasingly selfish. She interrupts other people’s conversations to talk about herself and complains nonstop about how COVID has ruined her life, as if the rest of us weren’t experiencing this too.
She shouts hysterically at me when the Wi-Fi stops working and refuses to volunteer for the most basic household tasks. At first I tried to be patient because I understand it’s a reaction to an incredibly stressful time in her life. However, after 10 monster months of this, I’m at my wits’ end.
We live together, go to college together and share the same friends. How can I tolerate her self-centeredness until the pandemic is finally over? And what if this new version of her never goes away? — IRKED IN IDAHO
DEAR IRKED: I wonder if the friends you share with your sister are having the same reaction as you are to being interrupted and having their conversations hijacked. If the answer is yes, a group intervention may jolt her back to reality and help her recognize how obnoxious it is.
As to the rest of your complaints about her behavior, the next time she comes screaming to you about the Wi-Fi failing, tell her you’ll be glad to help IF she agrees to pull her share of the workload around the apartment. It goes without saying that when you can make other living arrangements — perhaps in the fall — you find a roommate more compatible than your sister. If you do, your relationship with her may improve because you will be exposed to her less often. (c) DEAR ABBY
Hmm… I disagree. The letter writer needs to find new living quarters right away. Maybe this hits too close to home. Back before my sister assaulted me nine years ago, leading up to it were several blowups of hers over our internet situation. I just have to say that bad WiFi is no excuse to shout hysterically. And with my sister, it progressed to her waving a threatening broom in my face and then ultimately assaulting me.
I wouldn’t blame the coronavirus. With this situation, my inner knowing and intuition are blaming the fact that they’re young-adult roommates. I don’t think that was a good idea, and it needs to be undone as soon as possible. Their relationship could become permanently destroyed by this, and/or it could become violent. Even if it’s secretly all the letter writer’s fault and not her sister’s, same advice. They shouldn’t be living together.
I’m not sure when I realized that some family members can’t live together, but after my parents’ divorce, we all moved one by one from our mom’s house (she was awarded primary custody…) to our dad’s house (…but he wound up with it).
My dad never provided any rules or structure. My brother and I never needed any. We were those rare teens who never wanted to rebel.
From what I understand, my mom made my then-teenage brother crazy (well, she made all of us crazy), and then she insisted that he take antidepressants. He refused on philosophical grounds. My mom took my brother to court, and my dad attended too. The family court judge asked my brother how he felt when not taking the drugs, and he said fine. He asked if he does his homework at my dad’s house, and he said yes. Stuff like that. The judge wound up suggesting that my brother move in with our dad, and he said that he absolutely didn’t have to take antidepressants. I think he somehow saw through my mom’s machinations. Mother was outraged, but my dad felt quite triumphant.
I don’t know why lately, but I’ve been remembering the psychological testing. My brother and I were poorly behaved children, so Mother took us to the University of Louisville to be studied. I was around nine, and my brother seven. A man put us in a room and told us to play normally with all the toys, and then he left us there alone. My brother, who always “played the game” of subservient obedience, sat at a small table and played nicely with the toys as instructed. I kept making faces at the wall-sized two-way mirror.
The man returned and assured me that there was no one behind the mirror. I pretended to believe him, and he left. Then I started really hamming it up, doing ballet moves and everything. It was great. We weren’t there much longer. [Facepalm.] I can’t imagine what they concluded, but the truth–that our victimized mother (who, in her querulous voice, would explain that she gave us so much love and just wanted us to be happy, after all) was an abusive monster–probably didn’t get revealed that day. Oh well. They should’ve closed her in the room with the toys.
I still remember my then-blond brother playing politely with the toys, shooting me these looks like, what the heck are you doing? We’re not supposed to know they’re over there. These toys look fun! Aren’t you going to pretend? The adults expect it. If not, you’re on your own. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, sis.
He and I never resented each other’s choices: his to play the game by being compliant as could be, and mine to throw screaming tantrums and get in massive trouble for it all the freakin’ time. I never had his ability to just “play along”, so to speak. That’s why I was the main brunt of my mother’s crazy. Being the oldest, I was glad to protect him, so it worked out.
Well, this has been fun. We’ve discussed the angry minister, the vaccine from hell, dysfunction and abuse, and my mother. Oh! And cows. There were cows, right?