Vaccine #1 – √

I arrived at the testing center thirty minutes before my scheduled appointment; exactly as instructed. I was signed in and given the consent forms to read and sign – again.

After a few minutes I was taken to an exam room where I was greeted by a lovely young lady who asked me the most personal of questions. How many pregnancies? 3 How many kids? 3 Last period: 2006. Surgeries: 3 Allergies: none – you get the idea.

Shortly there after, a PA came in and did a complete physical exam. Lungs: clear, Heart: pumping, Ears and throat: all good… feet: slightly swollen but that always happens when I wear my Tieks.

Cleared to continue to the next round.

Since I no longer have to worry about a pregnancy test I can finally go to the bathroom. They decide to check my weight while en route, something I should have probably done AFTER I went, but ok. Still in the parameters… on to the next round.

Within a few minutes, two children, I mean, people (students, im guessing) walk in. One sticks a swab so far up my nose I swear he touched my eye ball. I had never felt such… discomfort. But he’s not done. He moves on to the next one. This one had to have touched my brain. He’s certainly been to places otherwise unknown – you can at least buy me dinner first- geez! Luckily, I am happily informed that this is, by far, the worst of it. (THANK GOD). And I guess it was… I did, however, have an ENORMOUS amount of blood drawn, 8 vials to be exact.

I had never been so happy to see two people leave. And I am a quarantined sales person – I NEED TO TALK TO PEOPLE – ANY PEOPLE – but these two were probably the last on that list. I, as cheerfully as I could muster, thanked them and sent them on their merry way. The door closed behind them and I was left to sit and wonder if I had any blood left. I tried to focus on the mission at hand and resist the the urge to get up and run. Thankfully, I didn’t have the energy to do that.

I sat there a few minutes more and another sweet, but obviously exhausted, person comes in and gives me a present. A gift card and a cookie! I wasn’t sure which one made me more excited. The cookie, definitely the cookie..As I am, once again, left to sit and ponder how in the world I had gotten myself into this, no longer feeling violated by the child with the swab and feeling the blood slowly start to replenish in my body, I grabbed a COSMO I had in my bag, sat back, enjoyed my cookie and waited. Again.

Few more minutes later and I get to go to “the back”. The back is where the vaccines are actually administered. The time had finally come.. As I am seated in one of the six massaging recliners, I realize that it reminds me of the place my mom would get her chemo administered. All that was missing were the IV poles and bags.. You know how all these chemo places always have that one nurse that is just a tad bit to chipper to be there? Well, yup, we had one of those, too. Jerry. Jerry would come in every few minutes with a new vaccine and holler, “we’re saving the world today, folks!” The first few times it happened, I giggled with delight. After a few minutes I just wanted Jerry to come in and do what he had to do…. no shouting necessary. We get it, Jerry.. 🙂

At exactly 6:35 pm, my vaccine was given. I had to turn away because I was not allowed to see the injection. Not any part of it. I guess this is what they mean when they say “blind study”. The most important part of the day was, in a nutshell, pretty routine. I didn’t feel much of anything.

So now I wait – for exactly 30 minutes. In those 30 minutes I see people being excused without much fanfare. The most complicated part was downloading the app, and that was mainly for the older generation. But after a few minutes, even they got it and were merrily sent on their way with instructions on what to look for, when to call, what to report, etc. It was all pretty cut and dry. Until they got to me….

Being the impatient person that I am, I had already set my timer – 7:05 was when I could leave. By 7 I had the app loaded, the activation key inputed, I had selected my security questions, and I was ready to go. 7:03 – it’s all ready to go but no vitals can be taken till EXACTLY 7:05, so we both wait.. staring at the clock, watching the minutes turn.

7:05, let’s do this. Temperature √ added to the app. Injection site clear: √ added to the app. Headaches, pain, blurry vision – nope – √ added to the app. I was already grabbing my bags and texting my mom that I was done when she tells me that the last thing to do was check my blood pressure. No problem, check away… hold up, 140something… hmmmm, let’s try this again with a different, smaller cuff… now its a higher 140something. I’m instructed to uncross my legs – yeah, that’s gotta be it- an even higher 140something. OK, time to go to a private room, doctors coming in from every direction. In the 45 seconds it took me to get from one room to the other, it had gone from the high 140’s to the 160’s..

More doctors called. I felt nothing. No headache, no ringing in my ears, no flushed face – I FELT PERFECTLY FINE.

They decide to let me sit in silence for a few minutes – I put my head back and try and think good thoughts. Within a few minutes, they come back in and try again. Still nope.

There is talk of me going to the hospital; I say no. More talk of me sitting there a few more HOURS; also no – IM VERY HUNGRY. I decide that that is what had to have done it and they agree to let me go with a follow up call in an hour and another in the morning. Agreed.

As I’m driving home I realize that today was possibly a little history in the making. I also decide I DESERVE, not only my mothers cooking but some Delia’s Tamales, as well.. and I smile a little. With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of expertise I know nothing about it’s very possible I did just help save the world. (ok, maybe a bit much, but I’m feeling all sorts of things, mainly hunger, so just go with it).

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