Does My Reaction To The Vaccine Make Me Look Younger?

A rhetorical question

Sarah Miller

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Paul-Albert Desnard

I am not going to suggest that I or even “science” knows everything about how different people’s bodies react to the vaccine but I assume everyone has heard that younger people, with presumably stronger immune systems, generally have a worse reaction. Stronger immune system, more response from the body fighting the perceived threat. I don’t know that anyone knows this is exactly what is going on with vaccines but it makes sense that it might be at least partially true.

I am 51, not super old, not super young. I am healthy, not like Women’s Health “opt for fish instead of pasta” healthy, but I mean, I eat actual food and I work out and I have relationships with people even if they are far from perfect and I’m not drinking myself to death though I wouldn’t say my beverage of choice is green tea. I felt nothing on dose #1 of Pfizer. Didn’t feel the shot, didn’t feel the after effects. With dose #2 of Pfizer, I figured, oh, maybe there will be 12 hours of headache or chill or nausea but then I will be fine.

Wrong. I got my vaccine last Monday at two p.m.. I started to feel weird at around 10 that night and I awoke feeling amped up but odd. Then I felt like utter dogshit for 24 hours, then semi-dogshit for another 36 hours. The worst part of it all: I can’t really sleep. I saw today that this is indeed a symptom. I hadn’t heard that. I almost wish I had never found out. Now that I know it’s a thing I am afraid it’s going to get worse.

Also weird, maybe a blessing in disguise? I can’t drink alcohol. Last night I had half a glass of extremely good wine and I couldn’t finish it. “I have known your for twenty years and this is a first,” my friend said, holding up the glass. She speaks the truth.

Now this is all just anectotal, but my few friends who are 30 or so all reported feeling sicker than my other friends, having a day or two in bed then several days of not being quite right. My tighter circle, who all tend to be in their 40s and 50s, mostly report being less sick than I am. My boyfriend and our good friend, both 42, nothing. My other friend, 49, nothing. Two friends 56 and 50, a little sick, but mostly nothing.

What I am trying to say here is that I have anecdotal proof that while the outside of my body is aging, inside, I am a thirty year old. With a sudden case of insomnia. And inability to drink wine, which I used to enjoy very much. I am hoping this all goes away, but should I consider myself in possession of some extremely powerful immune system? Probably not. I think — I don’t know what I think, but I am sure as I lie awake tonight, yet again, I will have plenty of time to think it.

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Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller is a writer living in Northern California.