Monday, March 1, 2021

Getting Shot

 I had my appointment to get my Covid vaccination on March 1st. Thanks to the college I work part time at, I was able to get scheduled now instead of later Summer like was planned.

The appointment was for 10:17 (a crazy time slot, but they are doing them about every 3-5 minutes). That goal to get as many as possible vaccinated has become reality here. Yesterday on the news it was reported that Minnesota hit a record of vaccinating 70,000 people the day before. Quite an accomplishment in my opinion.

We had had some snow overnight leaving the roads a slippery mess of ice and slush. So I left at 8:45 to make the 45 mile one way trip to the makeshift clinic established at a county courthouse. As I was leaving, I received a text from the clinic telling me to hit reply on the text when I got there and they would give me further instructions. I arrived with about 10 minutes to spare. I pulled into the parking lot of the county courthouse which is about 2 big blocks in size. I hit reply and immediately the response was, “welcome, we will text you when it is your turn”. Knowing I was a little early and not sure where to go in the huge facility, I decided to walk on into the building. Right at all the doors there was a person ready to give directions to the clinic. As I got to the person with the directions, I got the text once again that it was my turn to go to the clinic. Wow, all within about 5 minutes of pulling into the parking lot and I was ready for the shot. I have to be honest and say that I had prepared for a long wait...had brought my earbuds to listen to music or read a book in  Kindle. This was happening faster than I could ever have imagines a government function going.

 I walked into the makeshift clinic and gave the person my ID and Employee badge and was pointed to take a walk to another waiting area that was empty. As I walked in, a nurse was waiting at the doorway of another room where the injections were happening. There were about 10 tables set up with nurses at each one with gloves, doses of the vaccine and a computer to enter the shot was given. And also a record card that the nurse filled out with proof of the vaccination. She led me to a free nurse at one of the tables and I sat down. We did the Minnesota weather chat and small talk for a minute and then she handed me the papers with side effects and what to do. We chatted another half a minute and then she was giving me the injection into my arm. No pain at all, no music or pomp and circumstance, just a bandaid on the site  and my record of the event handed to me. I have to admit, at the moment, I felt relieved and a little excited to think that maybe soon, we will be out of this Covid mess. And I felt like I am doing my part. I also had thoughts that after the second dose, maybe there is hope of being able to travel some this summer to see my kids out of state. I felt hope over covid for the first time in a really long time.

After the nurse gave me the shot, there was no time for the customary Minnesota goodbye. It was a quick “se ya in a month, stay safe” and I was sent to the exit process where another person checked the rest of the stuff needed in the chart. In nursing, care is about 10% and charting what you did the other 90%. The vaccination clinic had all the charting broken down into events...register, get the shot, discharge, monitor.

I was ushered into the final room where I had to sit for 15 minutes to be monitored so that I didn’t have a reaction to the vaccination. There were small tables socially distanced and they had some laminated instructions taped to them. It was instructions on how to schedule the second dose before leaving. The process took about 12 minutes and when I was done and the second dose in my calendar, I was cleared to leave.

I am completely amazed at how efficient and quick the whole process went. All of those working there were professional, efficient and extremely kind. It literally took about 10 minutes from the time I pulled into the parking lot until the vaccine was put in my arm and another 15 minutes to monitor me while I was able to schedule the next dose. After seeing so much disarray and commotion with some of the vaccination sites across the country, I am amazed and so grateful.

*Update 1

It has been several hours since receiving the vaccination earlier this morning. While I was prepared to have localized pain and possibly some side effects like fever, aches and pains or a headache, I am fine. My arm feels like when my brothers and I used to play slug bug, a little sore and bruised. But actually my brother’s caused more pain than what I have now. We shall see what overnight and tomorrow shall bring. Until, be safe and well. And think about getting your vaccination if you decide to. S the nurse had told me when discussing the side effects...better 24-48 hours of discomfort versus long term side effects from getting Covid. I do have to agree.

*Update 2

Well I made it through the night. My arm was a little bruised feeling, but nowhere near worthy of complaining about it. No fever, no aches and pains, no side effects at all. I am glad round one is over, will be glad when the second dose is done. Rumor has it that is when the side effects rear their ugly heads. But again better a day or two of that rather than full blown covid effects that can last a lifetime.

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