There’s a continuity of life and we’re used to it with only small, regular interruptions, such as a night’s sleep. Each day builds on the previous one with plans being fulfilled, projects attempted, and yes, work. Then something happens to disrupt that and it’s like starting over again. I imagine (and feel for), for instance, those who’ve lost everything to Hurricane Ian are going through it. They are reassessing and rebuilding, even as around here we’re beginning to get some of its rain. A break in continuity may be smaller, however, and on an individual scale. I had, for example, my first Shingrix vaccine in January. Never having reacted to any vaccine before I was completely caught off guard when the next day I couldn’t get out of bed. But more than that, I knew this was a two-part vaccine, and I was going to face this again.
I kept putting it off. I needed to have a day when continuity could be broken so that I could recover. That’s always tricky because I’m busy all the time. I’ve got a book manuscript under a December deadline and I have to work every weekday. Yesterday I took a personal day and had Shingrix 2 after work on Thursday. Yesterday was a lost day. Although I knew this was an important vaccine, like the various Covid vaccines I’ve had, I wasn’t ready for the consequences. With short periods of wakefulness, I slept until 1:30 in the afternoon, unable to do anything. Feverish, I couldn’t read without falling back asleep. Working on my book was out of the question. Meanwhile, emails kept coming in, asking for this or that.
The lost day takes some time for recovery. It’s not nearly so bad as those who’ve lost their homes and communities because of this massive storm that’s tapping its outer fringes on my windows right now. Still, I have to try to remember where I left off. Amazingly, after sleeping for some seventeen hours, I was nevertheless ready for bed at the usual time last night. The nurse who gave me the vaccine assured me that it was better than having the actual disease. I don’t doubt that. Those I know who’ve had shingles warn that it’s nothing to mess with. Still, I sit here slightly stunned this early Saturday morning, wondering where I left off before all of this began. The continuity has been temporarily broken, and I lost a day in there. I’d forgotten what it’s like to sit in a chilly room before sunrise with a tabula rasa before me. But I do recall that I have a final manuscript due in a couple months.