I always have weird reactions go modern medications. Those long lists of possible side effects? I’m likely to have one of the more rare ones, with a twist. For example, “May lighten hair.” Mine will turn purple.

So I didn’t know what to expect with the shingles vaccine. The vaccine comes in two shots. Had the first shot a few months ago. All that really happened was that the vaccination site grew incredibly sore. It was also swollen and hot to the touch. Stayed that way for five days. On days six and seven, the pain rapidly decreased, until it finally disappeared.

When I got the second shot two days ago, I told the tech about my experience. She advised making sure that I moved my arm a lot. Made sense. So I walked that night at the gym, which got my heart rate up and my arm swinging.

Felt okay yesterday, but not great. Injection site was really sore. By mid-afternoon, I’d grown achy. Every joint hurt. Even my skin was tender. I did dishes late in the evening. Splashing water on my skin was a mistake, and just sent a shockwave of pain through my body.

All I kept thinking was that if this is a mild case of shingles, I DO NOT want a full-blown dose. It was pretty bad. I played around with covers for a while because that was fun and a good distraction for me. But I couldn’t really read or pay attention to much of anything.

Went to bed at 9 PM. Slept solidly until 5:30, but was able to go back to sleep for a couple of hours. I don’t generally sleep that much, but I needed it.

This morning, my skin no longer hurts. I have residual aching in my joints. Mostly it’s fine – didn’t really notice it until I put them under slight strain doing yoga this morning. Which I ended up not doing – just stretching a little instead of a full thing of yoga.

I don’t know if my reaction was typical or not. I’m glad it lasted less than a day. Again, if that’s what shingles feels like, I’m SO GLAD I got the vaccine and will hopefully never have to go through something like that again.

So I’m going to go write. What is the weirdest reaction you’ve ever had to a medication?

For me, that would be a tie between ibuprofen and shots cultivated in eggs.

First time I took ibuprofen I was with a friend who’s an EMT. He had me flat on my back in the middle of a parking lot. My at-rest heart-rate was 120 beats per minute. He said he’d read about people whose skin turned gray – had never seen it before then. Turns out that there’s a very small percentage of the population who have heart attacks the first time they take ibuprofen. I didn’t have a heart attack, but I came close. Will never take it again.

For shots cultivated in eggs, the first symptom is shooting pains up and down my arms, like electric shocks are being applied. Then my hands start to hurt, and grow so crippled I can’t type. Fun times. I don’t do shots cultivated in eggs either.