Archive | 5:57 am

Hit me with your best shot

16 Mar

The only real side effect I had from the second COVID shot, was tiredness. I believe this was the result of following advice given to me by several people: take Tylenol before the shot then every six hours afterwards for a day or two. It worked like a charm.

I passed this advice on to my teaching partner, whose second shot came over the weekend. Her side effects were also minimal. This preventative measure got me thinking about another time I had to take preventative medication.

It was December 1993 and I was living in Colombia. A wisdom tooth needed some attention. I’d seen my dentist and we’d scheduled the extraction for our Winter Break from school. He wrote me a prescription for penicillin injections to be delivered twice before the day of the appointment. This could be done at any pharmacy, so in a timely manner, I arrived at my neighborhood pharmacy on the first day my dentist recommended.

The pharmacist was a jovial pot-bellied man, middle-aged with thinning hair. He looked at the prescription then told me to come on into the back. A lot gets done in pharmacies abroad that would happen in a doctor’s office at home, but I followed him back, and began rolling up my sleeve. The pharmacist gave me a funny look then kindly explained that it had to be delivered intramuscularly and, for this shot, that meant the buttocks. I gave him a look of incredulity. He smiled. I turned and dropped my drawers. It was over in seconds.

The walk home started the movement of the penicillin through my body. It also got me thinking about the second shot. The sting of that thought was far greater than the pain of the needle itself.

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