Today was the big day!! Yep, my daughter was kind enough to take time off her busy work day to pick me up and drive me to get my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. It’s done! I feel fine and so grateful it is over…thankful to my daughter and every person working or volunteering in this project.
Okay, that is now but last night I was worried. I had a sore throat for the past two days and a sinus headache last night. I have chronic rhinitis and some allergies so all this is NORMAL but when you are getting an important vaccine, your mind plays tricks on you…especially if you are a worry wart.
So I got up at 4am and called the health line and the nurse said I should be fine. I mentioned that I heard you are not supposed to take Tylenol the morning of the vaccination and asked if I could take Advil…she had not heard about this but mentioned that Advil has more side effects and did not recommend it. I took care of my throat and sinuses with salt and a good rinse a few times, then honey/lemon drops. Yeah, that worked! I know I was being silly but the mind does what the mind wants sometimes.
By the time I got to the centre which is an old Loblaws (grocer) building, I walked in the building and waited my turn at the gate. There were 5 lines. I never saw so many old people in one spot….haha, yeah, it was like looking at me, times 500. There were more single people than couples. I mention this only because a couple told me a few weeks ago how they were shocked about this. I had never really noticed that. Of course it depends where you are in your own life.
As I waited at the glass door for my turn to get through the glass door and register, I saw all the stations, and rows and rows of people…my heart started pounded, my throat tightened and I struggled to breathe. The more I paid attention to what was going on in my body, the harder it was to breathe. I quickly scolded myself…telling myself, “Okay, stop it! Now count 5 things you can see…keep looking at what you can actually see!!” I never got to what I hear or smell…just grounding myself with instructions to myself to articulate in my mind each item I could see and my breathing returned. Nothing like trying to practice what you preach…and it works!
As I entered, I was told to remove my mask and with cooking thongs, the person gave me a new surgical mask. Then I was told to get in the line and follow. I was relieved to see there were markers that were 2 metres apart. The couple behind me kept moving closer…I looked over my shoulder a few times and they got the message…well, okay, the last time I did look, I gave them “the Mother Look”. Haha, I think the man got it and told his partner. I realize when you are with another person, chatting, you can lose track of the distancing. But let’s face it, we still have to be careful, and I think I will remain a bit strict in that area for a long time to come.
One of my pet peeves pre-pandemic times are people who hover too close to you standing in line especially at the cash register when I am paying. It really irks me! I would turn my back to them in the past…now I have found the courage to say, “Could you back up please” and if they stay put, I will add, “Back up! have a little respect for others. My space is also protecting you.” I guess this is one thing the pandemic has taught me, to assert myself and when that doesn’t work…be a bit little aggressive. Before I would sigh out of frustration or once on my own, cry and be sad that there are some people who just don’t care about others.
I realize that is a generalization and that some are just so covid fatigued, apathy has instilled and depression…so I know I need to be aware of that when asking to respect the 2-metre space.
By the time I got to register for the actual vaccine, I asked the gentleman which one was I getting and he ticked off “Pfizer”…yay!! then I moved on to another person to answer questions about my health etc an in no time I was sitting at the station. A lovely lady introduced herself giving me her name and profession…she is a pharmacist. I asked her questions I was concerned about and she was patient and did not rush me off. Then I moved on to the section to sit and wait for 15 minutes. During that time a gentleman came over to ask for my vaccination“receipt” and added the date of my next vaccination in July…and voilà! As I waited the 15 minutes, my daughter texted me to ask if I was ok. I love her so much for caring and bringing me here and waiting. I know she is very busy with her work as a manager and teenage boys, but she did not complain. I texted her to tell her I was going out to wait and the sun was glorious! Many people were sitting waiting for their rides and the man next to me had pulled down his mask and was coughing…hmmm, not too bright…so I moseyed on away from him a good 20 feet!
I feel so fortunate having adult children who care…taking time away from their busy schedule to drive Mom around for something like this. However, I do look forward to my 2nd dose so I can jump on the bus, rent a car and get around…drop by to visit them rather than they coming to pick me up. Covid has aged my habits by a good 15 years, meaning, no longer driving (since I do not own a vehicle) and afraid to take public transit to get around and taking the bus to the car rental place. I say aged because I know my kids worry about me due to my lack of mobility as well for my health.
I have spasms of weeping for a few seconds most days worrying about our future but they are short lived. I can talk myself out of negativity. Talking to a few friends and of course family and virtual chats with my grand-daughter uplifts me all the time. I find myself closer in many ways to my children and have grown even closer to my friend/soul sister 650 kms away. It IS so important to connect with a few people who you can laugh, bitch, cry and laugh with, at the drop of a hat.
I have indulged in too much screen time but watching so many medical shows that are American, I feel so fortunate to be living in a country where we all pitch in to pay that little extra on our paycheques so we can benefit with free health care no matter who you are. Sure a few private clinics have surfaced due to the high demand but people who have insurance and/or can afford this …fine. I know I can walk into a hospital and not worry about being charged anything except for a private room maybe but other than that, I do not have to put off getting medical attention because I don’t have a better insurance coverage or am not wealthy. I never had to wait until I was 65 in order to get any kind of health coverage. So, yeah, I feel blessed living here.
I am thankful I still can work part time from home, eat well, (well, maybe too much these days) and live in a comfortable condo with all the amenities I need in walking distance.
I can’t wait for things to open up so I can slowly prepare for retirement…to explore more passions where I can volunteer…maybe find one or two places for diversity. I am not ready to stop until I know I can stay active.
plants forming buds others are late bloomers still… feel the movement life is slowly awakening beauty once again © tournesol ‘2021-04-08