Let me begin by saying that I am thrilled with the fact that I have received both of my vaccinations. After losing family to this dreadful disease, I am confused as to why anyone doubts its impact on the world. No one could dissuade my decision to get vaccinated.
With the help of a friend, I was able to get into the link to sign up for my first shot. I traveled to the fairground the day before my appointment so I would avoid being omitted from getting my shot if I came late. I am directionally impaired, so I wanted a trail run. I was glad that I did, because it was not in the regular location I have ever gone to. Luckily, there was a sign that said, “If you are looking for the vaccination entrance, you are going the wrong way. Turn around and look for Gate 15.” (Obviously, I was not the only one lost even though I used my navigation.)
My first appointment went off without a hitch. The volunteer nurses were amazing. They went above and beyond the call to make me feel safe. Their car-side manner was superior. Every three cars or so, another nurse showed up to explain what was going on and what to expect. They were experts at general chit chat to make me feel relaxed. I had to show my email scan code as well as my ID numerous times. It seemed kind of funny, that they thought somehow, I had changed my identity while in the line. I didn’t worry about it though because I was so happy to be getting my shot.
When I arrived at the front of the line, the nurses said they were going on break. I kind of freaked out wondering if I was going to be forced to go to another line. I did not want to reveal my true fears, so I joked about being skipped. Another nurse quickly came up to my car and told me not to worry. She explained that I should be hydrating myself for the next couple of days. She asked me to open the car door so she could reach my shoulder. She was gentle administering the injection. I barely felt anything but a quick prick. I brought myself a lollipop for after my shot. I remember as a kid getting a lollipop after shots, so I rewarded my bravery.
After the shot I was directed to the “holding area.” There were ten rows of cars with at least ten cars in each lane. Because I told them, when asked, that I do have an allergy to a medication, I was directed to one of the lines with more nurses. Every two cars another nurse came up and asked how I was doing. They asked if I was feeling any reaction. I was not, and I engaged them in conversation also. Most were volunteers. I thanked them for giving their time for such an important cause. Even through the mask, you can tell someone is smiling.
My second experience was not as smooth. I admit to being a little worried because I had read and heard from others, that the second shot had a greater chance of a negative reaction. The line was longer than the first time. I waited in two cues, instead of one. The little kid in me, wondered why the other line was moving faster than mine. I laughed at myself and the adult in me said, just shut up and be grateful you’re getting your shot.
By the time I finally reached the front of the line I was a happy camper. I made it. I was getting my second shot. I even brought another See’s lollipop to reward myself. Nothing could go wrong now. Or so I thought.
An angry, gruff nurse came to my door. I rolled down the window and had my two ID pieces available. She growled at me to show her my IDs. I had them right there in my hand, which she could see. I suppose she wanted me to have them in front of my face. I don’t know what her problem was. She told me to turn off my car, which I did. She asked the usual questions, then asked if it was OK to get the inoculation in my left arm. I replied that I had the last one in my left arm. I asked if it was OK to use the same arm. She angrily said it didn’t matter if I had it that arm before, I could still get the second one there. Then why did you ask lady?
I felt like no matter what I said to this woman, I couldn’t win. Then I asked if I should open the door so she could give me the shot. She scowled that she was not going to risk her life to give a shot. I explained that the last time, the nurse had me open the door. She again grimaced and stated that if someone else wants to expose themselves, that was their business. Without any warning or discussion, she jabbed me in the arm, and it was neither gentle nor pain free. I was startled to say the least. Then she gave me some misinformation. She told me that the first shot gave me 95% immunity and two weeks after the second shot I would have 99% immunity. What I have heard is that the percentages are much lower, especially in people over 65.
After some deep breaths, on my part, I turned my car back on. She was adding information to her computer on the table beside the car. She came to my window and yelled at me. She hollered, “DID YOU TURN YOUR CAR BACK ON?” I replied that I had, but the car was in park. She exclaimed that I could still run her over by accident. Again, I said, “the car is in park.” She handed me a sticker and told me to follow the directions to the holding area. I tried to move forward, then laughed because of course the car was still in park. I said, loudly enough for her to hear, I can’t go anywhere until I take my car out of park. She mumbled something I could not hear. I was so flustered by the experience, I forgot to have my lollypop.
Happily, in the waiting line, the nurses were again kind and caring. I know they rotated positions, but I sure wish the nurse I had for the second vaccine was on a break when I got there.
The great news is that I had no reaction to the second shot either. It was two days ago, and I am symptom free. Two retired teacher friends also had the shots on the same day as I did. One had a low-grade fever for 24 hours and was fine after that. The other got tired a few hours after the shot and took a four-hour nap. No matter what the minor side effects, getting the vaccine was a no brainer.
I shall continue to wear masks. I shall continue to isolate most of the time. I shall continue to use my ablution stations regularly. But in two weeks, I shall visit my grandkids with masks on. It will feel safer for all of us. I hope everyone that wants a vaccine, can get it ASAP.
Your words are: change effect skip betray wonder – synonyms only