Shakes, Body Aches, And Cupcakes: The Covid Vaccine And Altered Mental States

Yesterday, at about 10:30 in the morning, I got my second Moderna vaccine (yeah!). The first shot was associated with very mild symptoms, barely noticeable soreness at the injection site. I had high hopes to sail through shot #2 with near equal ease.

By 9:00 that evening it was clear this was not to be. My body ached all over, I had the shakes, was a bit feverish, and exhausted. I went to bed but it was a rather restless night. In the night a strange thing happened.

I became convinced there were 50 cupcakes in bed with me. Yes, I really believed this. In this bizarre fantasy milieu the cupcakes were a physical manifestation of my fever. I believed that when the fever broke the cupcakes would go away.

At times for the at least couple of hours this belief persisted my rational mind would attempt to assert itself, attempting to persuade me that it was simply impossible for there to be 50 cupcakes in the bed, particularly without my wife noticing. At times progress would be made in defeating this weird conviction, but then I would fall back to sleep and later wake up obsessing about the cupcakes again and wondering if they were yet disappearing (thereby suggesting my fever was breaking).

I was not able to shake this belief until I came to believe the fever was breaking. Thus, the cupcakes would be leaving. I asked myself, “how would they leave?” and “where will they go?” I had no answers. Considerable effort was devoted towards attempting to explain how the cupcakes would disappear, but nothing availed itself.

The rational brain exploited this problem, making clear there could never have been 50 cupcakes in the bed, cupcakes never seen or felt when I moved my arms about the bed. Eventually the fantasy cracked, but it is amazing how hard it was, the effort it took, to disabuse myself of this impossibility.

This morning I told my wife the story. She advises me she no longer even has a cupcake tin. So no cupcakes for breakfast.

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80

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