Another day I’m up way before dawn, unable to fall back asleep.  This time, it wasn’t my over-filled anxiety backpack getting in my way or my ‘Got to Do Now’ list that was preventing me from getting an adequate amount of sleep.  But instead, it was the anticipation of . . . 

Pfizer vaccine

Hours before my appointment, Pfiz (the name of my anxiety), began to bubble. I confronted Pfiz head on, and told it to back off; but Pfiz didn’t listen. As each minute passed, Pfiz got louder and louder.

I arrived at the armory, hair disheveled, sweaty palms, and dizzy. I could feel my heart rate racing; pounding, whooshing, throbbing in my ears. “Pfiz, leave me alone!” But Pfiz continued . . . “It’s going to hurt! You’ll feel the burn! Haaaaaa, you’re going to be SO sick tomorrow! Look at all my victims. They look fine now, but all of them will be begging for relief really soon.”

Waiting in line, I shook my head fast, attempting to shake off Pfiz. One hand on my belly, the other hand on my chest. Victims are moving through the line quickly. Eight stations of stabbers administering the vaccine. Breathe . . . closer and closer. A deep breath in through my nose, watching my belly push my hand out. Breathe . . . Breaths that were deep and long are getting shallow and faster, in synch with my place in line. Pfiz is blocking all sound around me. All I can hear is whooshing and throbbing.

A gentle tap startles me. I suddenly lose all feeling in my legs and feel myself falling . . .

down . . .

down . . .


The voice behind the gentle tap asks if I am okay. I respond softly and with that she helps me up. She guides me to a chair.

I extinguish Pfiz blowing a long deep breath through pursed lips, making a soft whistle sound.

4 – 7 – 8

I take a deep, slow breath – 1, 2, 3, 4 – – – and slide my shirt just below my shoulder.

I hold my breath – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 – – – feeling a cool damp swipe on my arm.

I breathe out completely – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – – – “You’re all set.”

The woman behind the gentle voice guides me to the waiting area.

After a full 20 minutes and an entire bottle of Vitamin Water I left the Armory feeling quite empowered.

Published by georgiaaustin1

Wife, Mother, Dog Lover, Elementary Assistant Principal excited to write

11 thoughts on “Trypanophobia

  1. I was nervous before getting my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. I barely felt the prick. Now I’m nervous about the second dose. Ha! “Empowered”’ is the right word to describe the feeling from getting vaccinated.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t get nervous with shots but my daughter does and you describe the anxiety that she has relayed to me. You wrote this slice with such description that it was easy to feel your anxiety. I love that it ended with you feeling empowered.


  3. I felt this way both times I’ve had a Covid test. I’ve never passed out, but I have dreaded it! I hope you have an easy recovery and don’t have an side effects! I have no idea when I will be able to get the vaccine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you got your shot, I like the self talk as well as the chatter to Pfiz, and I’m worried about how that second shot is going to keep you up for multiple nights. Every ounce of your anxiety shows up in your writing. That’s a good thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Overfilled anxiety backpack is a great image, not to mention stations of stabbers. I have a second dose to go and am not looking forward to it. Then ending was great as it left me feeling a little more hopeful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You did it! I felt myself rooting for you as I read, worrying when you dropped. I love your turning point, tucked so beautifully in there, when you pursed your lips and extinguished Pfiz with a well-placed breath. Here’s hoping you feel okay in the coming days!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such clever personification and nickname. I was like oh I see what she did there lol. I’m sorry the event caused so much anxiety for you, but I’m so glad you came out the other side. I was hoping the Pfiz would go flat (like soda) after you had time to relax and be observed for 20 mins.

    Liked by 1 person

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