I received my second dose of Pfizer on Monday so I wanted to share my experience. I debated even writing about this because some jerk off may read this and it sways them not to get it. That being said, that person probably wasn’t getting it anyway so screw it.

When Georgia opened up vaccinations for anyone 16 and older, it wasn’t even a question. I quickly scheduled my first dose.

I wasn’t nervous because I have never been one that responded poorly to medicine. What I mean by poorly is having the side effects that usually signify your body is responding and reacting. I remember my mom telling a story about when I was a baby. The doctor had told her the medication would likely knock me out and make me tired. That doctor was wrong as I was apparently “bouncing off the walls.” That doctor should’ve known what I’m about.

I had my wisdom teeth pulled in high school. I was given pain killers and antibiotics. My high school football team had a playoff game 2 hours away and they were like “yOu PrObAbLy WoN’t MaKe ThAt.” Wrong. I made the trip to cheer them on.

Because of these experiences, I don’t typically think anything of it when I get flu shots, vaccines, steroids for sinus infections or whatever the hell is being injected. I talked to people about their experiences with the different vaccines offered. Some good. Some bad. My train of thought knowing potential side effects is “let’s see what happens.”

I go online and schedule my vaccine which is administered at a drive up facility set up at the Delta Airlines Museum in Atlanta. When I arrived for my first dose, the first thing I could think of is “what in the Last of Us did I just drive into?” It was wild and bizarre seeing a checkpoint type setting with national guard and tents. It reminded me of a post apocalyptic video game. I drive up. They scan my QR code and confirm my paperwork and that I am getting the first dose.

I drive up to the tent. They ask me to put the car in park and turn it off. They rub my arm down as they prepare to give me my microchip. It was one of the more tame shots I have received. There was no burning during the injection, certainly not like the burning of steroid shots I have received. It was a small pinch, nothing more.

After they gave me the bandage and my patented I got vaccinated sticker, I drive off and head to work. I was fine all day. No pain in the arm. No side effects.

The next day my arm was slightly sore with a yellow bruise around where the injection was. As the day wore on, I noticed my arm pit started hurting. It was one of the dull achy pains that are just enough to notice it is there. However, nothing unbearable. I got home from work and took off my shirt to see that my armpit was in fact a little swollen. I begin laughing to myself thinking what the fuck is going on? Arm pits? Really?

Naturally, I start looking this shit up to see what that could be. I knew about the other side potential side effects, but swollen arm pits wasn’t something I was prepared for.

Sure enough, swollen lymph nodes. Makes sense. I also came across an article talking about women thinking they have breast lumps after the vaccine due to this being a side effect. Fun fact for any women out there. After 2-3 days of minor discomfort, good to go.

One of the things I have read is the 2nd dose is usually a little more intense than the first. Prior to my second dose, I mentally prepare myself for the idea that maybe my arm pit swells like a balloon and that’s the worst of it. Ooooof, was I wrong?

I’d be lying if I said I have enjoyed the last 2 days.

I got my second dose on Monday at 10:30 am. I went in to work shortly after. I was fine all day. I got home from work that night around 10pm.

On my drive home, I noticed my face started feeling a little flushed. I can handle that. As I get out my car at home, I start having some minor chills. Again, no big deal. I can handle that. I get downstairs in the house. I notice I am starting to feel worse and worse.

Meanwhile, I have my cat rubbing on my feet as I am not feeling well. Being touched while feeling bad is not something I am fond of. As much as I wanted to punt Benny across the room, I know he needs either food or water. I grab his water bowl and begin filling it up. I start shaking profusely and violently from the chills. I spilled half of his water just walking with the bowl a mere 20 feet.

When I say violently, I was shaking so bad I began having some shortness of breath. I put my arms over my head and began taking some deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth. That helped regulate my breathing a bit.

I immediately head for the shower after that. I cranked up the heat to about 1,000 degrees. Not really. But you get it. As I am waiting for the water to heat up, I check on the side effects and sure enough chills and shortness of breath are on there. Ok cool, well at least it is normal.

I spent the next 50 minutes in the hot shower. It took me a good 15 minutes to finally get warm enough to start washing the Karen vibes off of me from work. How do I do that you may ask? Well, with the best smelling soap on the planet…Dr. Squatch. The Pine Tar is lovely. (SERIOUSLY, I WANT A SPONSORSHIP) Wow, that was very Karen of me. Yikes.

After washing up, I opened the curtain to get out only to close the shit right up because the chills instantly came back once the cold air hit. Fuck that. I spent the next 30 minutes leaned up against the wall with the hot water beating down on me. It was quite delightful.

That night was miserable trying to sleep because of the balancing act of hot and cold with a hint of nausea. I was cold, but running a fever of 102. I slept in my thickest hoody and ended up drenching my side of the bed. It was disgusting.

One of my friend’s who had a similar experience from Moderna said it best, it was like having a hangover with the flu. Perfect description of how I felt.

I thought I would be better the next day. The chills weren’t intense, but I was beyond exhausted and just out of it. Being on my feet wasn’t helping the nausea at all. I ended up leaving work early after trying to stick it out. I came home and laid on the couch watching Cobra Kai. Not the worst day in the world.

On Tuesday night, the chills (although much more mild) came back for a while. I was dressed lightly though so that should give you an indication of how different it was 24 hours later. By 11 or 12 that night, I was felt normal again. Here I am today writing about it, living to tell the tale about how my microchip activated.

In 6-12 months when I will likely need a booster, I’ll do it again and suck it up for a few days assuming I run the gauntlet again.

I am tired of this shit and I want to do my part.

Get vaccinated. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Wear masks. Don’t be a dick like the person who one time came into the gym I used to work at and wanted to sign up while having strep throat.

“If the US government decides to stick a tracking device up your ass, you say, ‘Thank You. And God Bless America.” -Red Forman

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