If you read my post last week, then you know I had an allergic (anaphylactic) reaction to my first COVID-19 vaccination. Not lethal, (obviously) but scary. The scarier part was that a second dose is required. That means a second shot, and a second shot at a bad reaction.
Spoiler alert: I got my second shot yesterday, and I am doing fine. A little sore and tired, but that’s it.
But there’s a message in their somewhere…
As I told people about my experience and the reaction, lots of people kindly offered sympathy and said that they hoped the next one would be better. I hoped so, too. It seemed like “hope” was the word of the week.
But I wanted more than hope. I wanted to do everything I could to alter the outcome this time around. There is a scripture that floats around in my brain the ever a situation of “hope” presents itself: D&C Section 123:17, counsel given to Joseph Smith when he was locked up and suffering in the Liberty Jail.
“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God; and for his arm to be revealed.”
I decided that before I revealed MY arm, I wanted to “cheerfully do all things that lie in MY power to lessen the chances of having another problem. So, I rolled my sleeves…okay enough puns.
Here’s what I knew: I wanted to get the second dose of the vaccine for several reasons.
- My own immunity. I want to not have to worry about the virus, and be able to do more.
- I want this pandemic to be over so we can get back to normal. The more people who drag their feet, or refuse to be vaccinated, the longer this drags on. And it will drag on. Call it my love for my fellow men.
- The man I believe speaks for the Savior, President Nelson has called the vaccine a “godsend,” and counseled us to get the vaccine. I can’t turn a blind eye to that. (link)
Because of this, I needed to do all things that lie in my power to make it happen. Here’s what I did:
First, I read articles from the CDC about reactions and second shots and found, to my amusement, that they contradict themselves. Gasp! I read a lot of articles by doctors online, but that’s not as good as talking to one I real life. So…
I called my buddy who is a doctor, (and also one of the smartest people I know) and explained the situation. He answered by saying he would give me his medical opinion, and a spiritual opinion. Perfect. His medical opinion was to make sure I took a antihistamine before and after the injection, do it somewhere safe, nearer to medical care, and hang out there much longer than the prescribed 15 minutes.
His spiritual opinion was to “press forward and do it…unless God tells you something different.” Again, perfect.
Second, I called the AZ Health Dept and was fortunate to find a rep who gladly scheduled Chrissie and me for a local appointment, so we did t have to go back to the reservation in the middle of nowhere.
The week before the second shot, I was very careful about my allergies. Tree pollen at this time of year messes me up. So, when. I was outside, or doing yard work, I would wear a mask to keep out the pollen.
Next, the night before, I started dosing with Benadryl and Alegra, and took them again a few hours before my appointment. Groggy? Yes.
I got a good night’s sleep and had a good breakfast, then headed out for round two.
And while moving forward, God never told me something different. And I asked. He didn’t answer, which happens a lot. (The idea that God answers every single prayer is quaint.) Thankfully, Elder Richard G. Scott helped my understand this dilemma:
When He withholds an answer, it is to have us grow through faith in Him, obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to act on truth. We are expected to assume accountability by acting on a decision that is consistent with His teachings without prior confirmation. We are not to sit passively waiting or to murmur because the Lord has not spoken. We are to act.
If, in trust, we begin something which is not right, He will let us know before we have gone too far. We sense that help by recognizing troubled or uneasy feelings. (link)
I had no such troubling feelings. A bit nervous, sure, but no indication that God was trying to “hedge up my way.” So, away we went!
After getting the second dose, I waited in the parking lot for over an hour, close to the paramedics, just to be safe. What happened last time didn’t happen, and now, next day, my arm is sore, and I feel like crapola, but I’m okay.
Boiled down to the simplest terms, initially I hoped I wouldn’t have a reaction, but by doing all that lay in my power, I shifted from hope to faith. Because faith requires action. Faith gets things done. Then, I sat back, confident that I was making the right choice, and that things would be ok.
And they are.