Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Kittens and COVID Vaccines

Every time I sit down to blog, I can't quite figure out how to get started. You'd think after being a fairly regular blogger for more than 15 years, I'd have some notion of how to jump in, but there you have it. Maybe the issue is that my life isn't particularly interesting right now or maybe it's just been that the irregularity with which I've been blogging this last few months has made starting again hard. Either way, it's looking like writing about not being able to write is helping me break through, so that's something. But, not writing much also means a bit of a brain dump is coming.

In February, after losing Chewbi in August and Ani in January, we decided the house was far too quiet. Animals bring something to a space, even when they're not interacting with you, they make a house more full. With that in mind, we adopted two kittens from PetSmart (through a local animal rescue, 4Paws) in mid-February. They're were 10 months old at the time, two scared little black cats from the same litter, so we adopted both of them instead of just one. The little name plates on the glass said they had been surrendered, with their mama and littermates, to be euthanized. That broke my heart, because I cannot even begin to imagine what would make someone believe that euthanizing a mama cat and all her kittens was even remotely okay. That just seems cruel.

Their names were Venus and Luna, but as we do, we renamed them Eilistraee and Selûne (Goddesses from Dungeons and Dragons). They are so stinkin' adorable and have really brought life back into our house... after they stopped hiding under the furniture, that is. Eilistraee is a healthy girl, while Selûne has some minor health issues that we're working through with the vet (ongoing tummy troubles and conjunctivitis in one eye). Both are still a little skittish, even though they've been with us for several months now, but Eilistraee has warmed up to me quite a bit. Selûne still hides under she seems me coming, except when I'm laying in the bed, then she's come to me. It's been lovely to have them, even when they're getting into mischief. 

Selûne (left) and Eilistraee (right)
In March and April, we got our COVID-19 vaccine. It's probably true of every community, but there's a large group of mostly middle-age and older, mostly conservative people who're vaccine deniers/refuseres. They claim it's "a personal decision" but that's a little bit hard for me to swallow because it's not just a personal issue, it's a community issue. The more people who're vaccinated, the better off are we all. But, living in a small community that's been hit by the virus to a lesser extent than some larger places has lulled them into a false sense of security. 

I digress... We both got Pfizer and with the first shot I had arm pain and was a little bit tired, but that's it.  Matt had absolutely no symptoms whatsoever, not even a little bit of arm tenderness. It was the second shot that really hit me. While Matt again had no symptoms, I wasn't so lucky. The arm pain was extreme, much worse than the first shot, and I felt generally crappy for a couple of days. About two days after the shot, I started to have pain in my underarm on the side where I'd gotten the shot. The lymph nodes in my armpit swelled up and were pretty sore for almost a week. Turns out this is a known, but less common, side effect and is more common with Moderna, than with Pfizer. Something like .3% with the Pfizer vaccine, so I was one of the very few lucky ones. Once that went away, I was back to feeling 100% relatively quickly. All told, I was feeling cruddy for a little more than a week, but that's still so much better than the alternative. 

In April, Matt took vacation time because he was concerned he would get sick after the second shot and didn't want to have to work. When it was time for him to go back to work, though, his boss asked him to go to nights for a month to help with that shift. This means he went from working days (3 on, 2 off, 2 on, 3 off) to working nights (4 on, 4 off). He's not as young as he used to be, even though he hates it when I say that, and going back and forth from days to nights is tough. But, he's handling it like a pro and is always happy to do whatever is needed to make sure his department is running as smoothly as possible. He's very much a team player and very invested in the success of the process. I, on the other hand, am salty AF.

I don't believe he should have to go to nights, that's my first issue. He's put in the time and paid his dues, but he's willing to do it because it has to be done. Fine, okay. My second issue is all about me and how, thanks to my anxiety, I deal with these sorts of changes. I struggle to sleep when he's not home. This is a security issue for me. Matt = security, so when he's not here my anxiety allows my imagination to run away with me and every little sound the house makes triggers an anxious fear response. When Matt's home, on the other hand, I feel safe and am able to sleep at night. You can see where this is going. With him on nights, I'm sleeping like crap. Some nights, I'm awake until 3 or 4am, then up at 7 or 8am. I'm not getting enough sleep, which is making me exhausted, and the anxiety, which is already exhausting, is compounding the issue. Thankfully, he's not on nights much longer and things can start to get back to normal soon.

And...yikes! I just realized this has gone really long already. While I have one more thing to talk about, I'm going to leave this here for now and write about the other thing another time. Not only is this going way too long, but I have an eye doctor appointment in a bit that I need to get ready for... yay. 😂