The Preposterous Anxiety of Nothing Going Wrong

I got my booster shot today.

Not today today, today when I write this. You’re not reading this for ages, which is a thing I do in part to help build a buffer, and avoid blog posts all bunching up around times when I’m productive, but also so, very pointedly, you are never dealing with the me who wrote the blog post you just read except in the rare case of Kenny Rogers dying. Which is a weird one but don’t expect it to happen again, I don’t think Kenny Rogers can die twice.

I do this in part for the emotional control it offers me, and to make sure I don’t shoot from the hip too readily. Everything has had a chance to cool. Plus that means when I do say something really emotionally revealing, like about fucking Lilo and Stitch, nobody notices.

Anyway, I got my booster shot today.

People were really thoughtful and considerate of the mental load it’d put on me. There were people offering examples of how they handled their booster, for one, which was very courteous. I’d been told to look out for brain fog, dizziness, numbness, tiredness, soreness, stress at the joins, swelling, sweating, loss of appetite and nausea. You know, all that fun stuff.

Nothing happened.

These same friends, very well natured, very good people, provided stories of what happened to them, and how it was a huge relief – because in a pandemic, waking up at midnight with no idea why you feel bad is bad, but waking up at midnight with 100% certainty it’s because of your booster shot, that’s a different kind of emotional texture.

I think I went a little weird in the head, though?

Because nothing’s wrong. Nothing was wrong. I didn’t have an adverse reaction all day. I was fine all day, despite blocking that time out in case I needed it. Not so much as a moment of dizziness. I got home, I did some work, I played some videogames, and because I was on the lookout for adverse reactions, I didn’t commit to anything too hard. When I played videogames with my friend, I took a moment to check myself and go: Hang on, let’s not go overboard, and did easier instead of harder content. I didn’t do things where I’d have to take notes. I chatted with some friends for an hour.

… and then because nothing went wrong, I got suspicious.

Fox will probably attest to this, if she remembers. I actually had a few moments where I wondered if I’d gone and gotten the booster shot. I know I kept checking myself for symptoms, like if I was having a headache that was out of the ordinary. If my toes were swelling in a weird way.

I spent the whole day looking for symptoms that didn’t happen, culminating in asking Fox if it was possible I’d dreamt the vaccination and I’d slept in this morning. She pointed out how ridiculous that was, reassured me, and gave me the proper PRATFO medical assessment.

And this is a thing! This is a thing that can happen when you have brain worms. Literally nothing going wrong can bother you, because you’re so convinced and so very reasonably expecting it to go wrong, you don’t have a contingency in place for operating while nothing goes wrong.

I blew a day on worrying about what to do about my complete absence of symptoms.

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