Tim's face and arm with rolled-up sleeve

Tim’s Second Covid-19 Shot

(Photo of me with sleeve rolled up showing dime-sized bruise three days after vaccine booster.)

San Juan Bautista, 2021Mar20 (Saturday)

     I got my second Moderna Covid-19 shot this past Wednesday morning at a drive-up tent, out in front of the Emergency Room entrance to nearby Hazel Hawkins Hospital in Hollister. Nothing unusual: a little pain in the left shoulder modulating over the next few days. My tolerance is pretty high. Didn’t interfere with my sleeping, nor wrestling out the old one-piece toilet that wouldn’t properly flush nor stop flushing. And didn’t interfere with putting in a new American one with its no-nonsense 4-inch flush valve.

Wouldn’t mention all this except that on Thursday the pain increased a bit and my energy level took a dive: falling asleep while staring at the company computer screen, wondering what to do next, confusing one customer with another, napping, coffee, more napping, finally falling asleep about 9 PM and getting almost ten hours of shut-eye. Yesterday morning I felt like a new man, fully awake, hardly any shoulder pain, raring to go. Began figuring it out.
     My first shot, a month ago, was a wakeup call to my immune system, the soldier cells leaping into action, triggering that slight shoulder pain. But they soon discovered that the invaders were not multiplying, there was no real microbial disease, so they stood down, causing minimal side effects.
     However, the second shot took them by double surprise with the sudden reappearance of “invaders” of the previous type, in large numbers, which were not supposed to be multiplying! “What the heck’s going on?!” The immune system sounded the alarm, “All Hands On Deck!” Sabers rattled, muskets at the ready, bayonets fixed … a recipe for auto-immune over-kill.
     It’s AMAZING how much chemical energy it takes for our bodies to mount a full-on defense like that, leaving the rest of our life functions and intellectual computing to run low on fuel. Still, it only took one day for the system to realize that the new “invaders” were not multiplying any more than the first batch were. So they mopped up, terminated the battle and went back to their barracks, their poker games and beer, their low-level firehouse exercises, and whatever else they do in their spare time, until the next attack draws them back into action. At least that’s the movie playing in my head.

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