I wake with a weight in my belly. This time it wasn’t the cat.
Today is the day.
The day I get the first dose of my Covid 19 vaccine.
The day I’d been simultaneously fighting to schedule and trying to not think about.
Now, I’m the first to admit that I can have issues with anxiety. Well, actually, maybe my family is the first to say it, but I can’t disagree. I’m pretty sure the “Worst Case Scenario” brain is a genetic trait on the paternal side of my family. (Hey, on the plus side, Dad had no side effects from either shot, so maybe that’s genetic, too?) So, while I’ve been trying to submerge my upswells of panicky thoughts, (I’m so tired today. Maybe I have Covid and just no other symptoms. What happens if they give the vaccine to someone who has Covid already!?! Do they test you beforehand? I don’t think they do! OMG, I’m a goner!) it’s been tough.
I’ve tried positive self talk. I keep telling myself that millions of others have already done this. I tend not to have issues with side-effects. I’m young-ish. I’m healthy. I don’t have a history of allergic reactions. (There’s always a first time. How far away is the closest hospital anyway? In my head, I calculate the miles.)
Still, I’m a nervous wreck. It’s clearly not a rational thing…
And now, it’s almost time to go. I run through the list one more time:
confirmation e-mail— check
water bottle (in case I feel faint)—check
short sleeve shirt (dark to hide the nervous sweat)—check
Kurt (for hand holding, reassurance, and total emotional support)—check
I take a deep breath.
“Ok,” I say to Kurt. “We should get going.”
I walk outside as he gathers up what he needs. As I step off the deck onto the driveway, something catches my eye. I turn and freeze.
Looking at me from the middle of the field is a single deer. The door slamming shut behind me hadn’t fazed it one bit. It stands there looking at me. Staring at me. Calm. Cool. Collected. Everything I am not, right then and there.
Somehow that calm gets through to me, and I can feel the tendrils of anxiety loosen their hold…just a little. It feels like a sign that everything is going to be okay. Ridiculous? Yes. But undeniably, I feel just a bit more centered. A bit less panicky. Like I said, none of this is rational.
I watch the deer a bit longer until it turns and ambles away into the woods. Then Kurt comes outside, we get in the car, and we drive off to get my shot.