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.

10 Responses to “Hit me with your best shot”

  1. TalaTimes March 16, 2021 at 6:13 am #

    Glad you were able to get your second shot!

  2. ms. chen March 16, 2021 at 6:38 am #

    Yay to the second shot! Your post gave me a chuckle. I can imagine how you felt having to get a shot in the butt when you weren’t expecting it.

  3. arjeha March 16, 2021 at 6:55 am #

    We get our second shot on Saturday, I have heard many say that show #2 hits them hard. Thanks for your advice.

  4. jumpofffindwings March 16, 2021 at 7:39 am #

    Oh, my gosh, Adrienne, my second is on April 1st. I am using this great advice, a prophylactic Tylenol, brilliant. Also, I lived in Colombia and was amazed by the usefulness of a relationship with the local farmacéutico. (Maybe we knew the same one!) Parasites laid me out, but he saved me.

    • Adrienne March 16, 2021 at 8:13 am #

      Oh the parasites! Where in Colombia did you live?

  5. Diane Anderson (newtreemom) March 16, 2021 at 3:06 pm #

    Just in time for my second shot this Saturday. Never had quite that experience at a pharmacy in Peru, but we could go in and get all kinds of things over the counter that require a doctor’s prescription in the US.

    • Adrienne March 16, 2021 at 3:07 pm #

      Same in Colombia.

  6. Shaista March 16, 2021 at 3:20 pm #

    A doctor told me the Tylenol-before-a-shot twenty years ago, and I have sworn by it for my kids each time, wherever I’ve been, I always give them a paracetamol before a shot!
    Your experience made me chuckle!

  7. gbrock March 16, 2021 at 4:47 pm #

    Needles, shots, and pain. Oh, what we must endure to feel better! The irony. The second shot wiped me out the next day. I’m glad you didn’t have to endure worse side effects!

  8. hzreflections March 16, 2021 at 5:38 pm #

    I am going to use this for our second shot!
    What a great story too!

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