at my job, we do a lot of infectious disease work, the sort of stuff that makes my mom freak out real good. in the course of a conversation with my boss last week, it became apparent that i was not yet vaccinated for smallpox. “wow,” she says, “we have to get that taken care of for you as soon as possible.”
*poof*, after prelim testing that very same day (they gotta make sure that you’re baby & HIV free…no matter that i’m quite well aware of where both babies and HIV come from and could therefore assure them i have neither), i was in today to get my shot. well, actually 6ish shots. they use a bifurcated needle (one that’s split into a 2-pronged fork) and just dip it into a little pot of pox and poke you in the arm with it a few times. “i’m going to jab you with this a little lower on your shoulder,” he says, “so that the lymph node involvement will just be in your armpit and not bridging across your arm.” i feel so cuddly about that.
this vaccine has a possible plethora of way-fun side effects, like encephalitis or “permanent neurological sequellae”, including a super-extra-happy “black box warning” (the strongest level of caution they’ll slap on fed-approved drugs or vaccines) about the incidence of heart damage. ugh. incidence of side effects is of course quite low, and dead of the pox most definitely not a desired outcome, so this is a good idea, but somebody call me in 3 days to make sure i’m not needing a straitjacket.
Kris called to check in with me today, asked how i was doing, offered to call this evening to check up on me again. naw, i said, i’m out with Di & Melissa at iron bridge for dinner reservations we made about a month ago. she says, “you sure you’re up for going out tonight?” “of course. they’re giving me smallpox today, i think i’ll need a drink by then.”