Tuesday, June 08, 2021

one down, one to go!

i was so excited yesterday to get my first shot of the pfizer vaccine. actually, i was excited already a couple of weeks ago, when i got the invitation and made my appointment. i stood before my closet, wondering what to wear. i landed on my favorite mid-length navy blue cotton dress from cos. it has roomy black pockets and i've traveled many a mile in it. it's my favorite dress to wear when i fly because it's comfortable and it means that i don't have to take off belt and such at security. not that i expected there to be security at the vaccination station. it just felt appropriate to wear my favorite traveling dress to get vaccinated since being vaccinated represents being able to travel again. i wore it with a favorite infinity scarf and i made sure i took my fancy sequined mask with me, as it felt like a festive occasion. 

when i arrived at the vaccination station - it was in an unoccupied office complex on the edge of vejle - the parking lot was full and i wondered if i would even find a spot. everyone getting out of their cars was in my age range (so lots of grey hair). that makes sense because we are invited by age in denmark. people were silently going in and no one was speaking to one another. i had my health card scanned and got in the line. weirdly, the people who had just had their jab and had to go sit in the waiting area came back through the line, walking a bit too close, if you ask me. i felt like they should have gone back on the adjacent roped off aisle, but they just brushed past all of us who were waiting in line.

no one was speaking and no one looked happy. i was feeling really happy and excited, but no one else seemed to be. there was a long corridor of rooms with numbers on them and people were going in for a minute or so and coming out and then the brusk little grey-haired ladies administering the vaccinations would call out for the next one, like we were small, dull children who didn't understand how it worked. i don't think they are nurses, but i'm not sure. it just seems like so many people are needed for this job that there can't possibly be that many nurses in denmark. i suppose they're all kinds of healthcare adjacent people who have been trained to administer the shots. 

mine was a bit cross and when i said that i had to have a photo while she took it, she was quite sour about it, saying it wasn't technically allowed. i said that i didn't intend to have her in the shot anyway, aside from her gloved hands. and that the moment was too big for me not to photograph it. if she'd tried to stop me, i would have pitched a fit then and there and i think she knew it, so she didn't. 

then, i went out into the big waiting room, where you're supposed to sit for 15 minutes. as usual, no one was speaking and no one looked happy or elated or smiling, though that's a bit hard to tell when everyone is masked. we were socially distanced and no one said a word. i set my timer for 15 minutes and then left when it was over. i had one brief minute during the wait, where i felt a little bit dizzy, but i suspect it was due to my excitement, than an actual reaction to the vaccine.

i've read so many posts on instagram and online in general about how happy and moved people have been getting the vaccine after this long, tough haul of a year, but i saw absolutely no evidence of that. the danes are apparently a stoic, emotionless people. i think i'll never truly understand them. 

and when i got outside? the parking lot was empty save for my car and like two others, which kind of felt weird. 

i went to starbucks and got a latte to celebrate and then i went back home to work. 

i woke up in the night with a low grade fever, so i stayed at home to work today as well. our receptionist at work takes our temperature when we arrive in the morning and i thought maybe my slightly-elevated temp would make her turn me away, so i played it safe. i felt otherwise fine, though late afternoon, my neck on the lefthand side, which is the arm i got the shot in, started to ache and i felt generally lethargic and achy all over. good to know my body is busy building immunity.

i can't wait for the second shot in mid-july.


1 comment:

celkalee said...

Glad you were vaccinated, glad it was the Pfizer, we are seeing fewer reactions with that one. I had mine in February,(I have an auto-immune disease so I qualified with the elderly and infirm) in a baseball park of all places, cold, snowing, a lovely day. It was a huge party. The providers had security stations (early on there were some issues with non-eligibles showing up with no appointment) There were covered and heated little pavilions, hot chocolate, tea, and coffee were provided with muffins, pretzels, or peanut butter crackers. Much like an organized tour of the Vatican, we were ushered by our guide through all the checkpoints, into the clubhouse, social distanced, masked, gloves if you wish, to your assigned injector. Then your guide took you to your wait station, monitors were spaced among the crowd. After your 15 minutes, you were given a tote bag, some cleansing supplies, tissues, a selection of masks, lots of literature, your return appointment, and a snack. Everyone was laughing, high-fiving, etc. Now, this is in a big city, none of us knew each other, we had a wonderful time with just a sore arm and a low-grade fever the next day. Interestingly, we have two very large and competing hospital systems here. The sponsor was my competition because my system was busy vaccinating the entire first responder population and students. We have 5 large universities that all have a medical program of some sort and the students were being trained to inject, therefore they needed to be vaccinated first. My friends and I made over 10,000 masks for our first responders, nursing home residents and anyone who asked for them. If I never, ever, ever have to make another mask I will have fulfilled my life mission. We are seeing a few more reactions with shot #2 and our research literature is clearly pointing to NOT getting the 2nd shot if you have had the virus. Reactions are serious. Feel well, we will be able to live again.