Yesterday was one of those days where you do the things that you have to do.
The weather was excellent on the 4.0-mile recovery run that I did. Even going up Philbrick Hill felt decent for a change. However, my running wasn’t the most important thing on my mind.
Yesterday was all about getting that first shot.
Yes, that first shot.
I wasn’t stressing out over getting my first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine (too much), but I was doing what everyone does when facing the unknown. How our bodies will react to the first dose of the vaccine is a great unknown. So getting that first shot was on my mind since I got the call to set up the appointment on Monday.
We have been in self-imposed exile for so long that I was worried about how the vaccine would be administered.
I also wondered about:
There wasn’t any information regarding whether the site I was going to was drive-through or if I would have to stand in line around many other people? What kind of effects would the shot have on me? Would I have an adverse reaction? That is the thing I worried about most. Will I pass out or go into a mini shock-like state as I had done in the past when I got shots? All those kinds of thoughts that all of us have surrounding an unknown like this.
Plus, I had to drive to Brunswick (about 45 minutes away) at the old Naval Base to get the shot, which added drive-time and more time for thinking about things. I knew the base pretty well since I lived and ran there for three months back in the ’90s, so how to get there wasn’t an issue.
However, there was still the uncertainty of where on the old base I would need to go, what the process would be and how many other people would be around me.
We talked things over and eventually decided that everything would probably be okay and that it would be easier for me to go by myself. Which did add that element of “what if” to everything, but I was confident that I wouldn’t have any issues, and that I would get home safely. Plus, it was one less exposure for TheWife, until her first shot appointment next week, and has been struggling with some other issues, that we felt would be for the best.
Yes, we look at most things from the view of reducing our exposure to others. It might not be the way most or some people are looking at how they are responding to COVID-19. However, it is how we purposely chose to do things last March, due to our needs, and it has seen us through the pandemic so far.
While waiting to get going yesterday, I got pretty antsy, so I left about 15 minutes earlier than I had planned. The trip down was no biggie, although there were a lot more State Troopers out and about than usual, good thing I only go the speed limit. 😜
When I got to the old Navy base, the Veterans Administration had done a fantastic job of having, multiple big yellow signs up with directions to where I needed to go. That made the anxiety level go down quite a bit. When I got into the line for the vaccine clinic, I know that I relaxed a lot.
The entire process took about 40 minutes from when I talked to the first volunteer. I showed my VA identification card and print-out of the appointment confirmation, who then directed me to the next volunteer who cross-checked my name on their list of people with appointments. I sat in line for about 15 minutes while queueing up for the shot.
When I got to the section where they gave the shots, staff checked my identification, cross-checked my name on their list again, went over the questions they needed to ask, answered the questions I asked, and provided me with my vaccination card. The person reached for the needle, I turned my head, and before I realized it, she was putting a bandage on the spot.
Hey, I didn’t pass out in the truck! Staff watched me for a minute, made sure I was still in one piece, wrote down my release time on the back of the paperwork they gave out, asked me to put that on the dash, and let me drive ahead for my 15-minute wait to ensure that I didn’t have an adverse reaction.
While waiting, a volunteer came over to check on me a couple of times, and talked to me for a bit to make sure that I wasn’t having issues. The time went by slowly before I could leave, but a volunteer was right there right on time to see if I had any adverse reactions.
I didn’t have any that I noticed, other than a slight headache, which I didn’t mention, and I thanked her then drove off for home. Hell, I didn’t even think twice about not going to the Fleet Feet running store in downtown Brunswick, which is something that I almost always do when I go down there.
I just wanted to get home.
The past year has been a long year and this vaccination was the first step towards moving onward with the rest of my life. The sense of relief that I had was much more than I thought it would be.
Getting the first shot is a big deal and those who say it isn’t, well you can kiss my arse.
I am not going mince words about how much I want to get back to living a life closer to the one we had pre COVID-19 than the one we have had for the past year. The vaccination program is part of the solution to that and staying in denial about the effects or affects of the pandemic won’t help us get to the other side any sooner.
The entire process to get my vaccination was well-organized, thought-out, and professionally done. The VA staff and volunteers were outstanding and answered the questions I had about the vaccine and what to expect. I was delighted that I never had to leave my vehicle and only came within 6 feet of two people the entire trip and none that didn’t have on masks or PPE.
As I drove home, my headache did worsen, then about three hours after the shot, my arm began to feel like someone was sticking an ice pick in there and was twirling it around. About five hours later, I began to get body aches and lethargy. It seems that is pretty common to have happen for the Moderna vaccine, so it wasn’t a big deal.
This morning the body aches, headache, and arm pain were worse, and the lethargy was pretty evident. However, I forced myself to walk Bennie a mile first thing after getting up, ate a good breakfast, took a Tylenol, and then walked almost 2.0 miles with Bennie, just to push the body to move.
All that seemed to help me get out of the lethargy and worst of the body aches. The headache is still lurking around this afternoon, not bad, but there and the arm pain is reasonable, unless I reach overhead to get something out of the cupboard, then it feels like the ice pick is being used on me again.
I think that my allergies this year will be worse than the side effects of the vaccine.
As much as I want to go for a run in my new 1080 v10’s today (they came in last night). I planned to take today off from running, and unless I get entirely stoopid will not run. Both as a rest day and from what I have read, taking off up to 48 hours from vigorous physical activity after getting the vaccines is highly recommended.
So I will probably run tomorrow afternoon if the body feels up to it and try out those new shoes. I can’t wait, since they feel great walking around in them.
I do feel better today, both physically and mentally even with the aches and pains that came along with the vaccination and know I am one step closer to being able to reintegrate back into the world again.
Yes, I know that I can still get COVID-19, but at the same time, the chances of hospitalization or dying from it, have been substantially reduced, which is a good thing. Also, if I and millions of others do get the vaccine it puts us all that much closer to herd immunity and getting back to whatever the new normal will be.
Getting that first shot is one less thing to worry about, and that is a good thing. Now, to get to April 8th and beyond.