"Did anybody get the number of that bus that just ran me over?"
I had big plans for a blog post a couple of weekends ago when life interrupted me.
Because of my current health challenges, multiple and simultaneous medical tests, and the stream of doctors appointments, no one, to date, absolutely thought it was a top priority for me to be vaccinated.
I know that seems a little strange but ..as I shrug my shoulders, I figured time would tell.
I actually thought, in the beginning of all of this, that I would fall into the group of The Unvaccinated. While others got theirs and created herd immunity, I would be surrounded by a padded and protected cushy little bubble.
As time went on, though, and the Covid strains began to mutate and multiply my eyebrows began to raise and my thoughts turned from not caring to wanting, even needing, to have some kind of protection for my already challenged body.
*As we get to know each other you’ll learn of my health trials and tribulations and my ever growing education of our “healthcare” system.
I did as much research as I could, questioned my doctor friends and my actual doctor doctors.
The info says I should be ok, the people in my peer medical support groups seemed to be ok, so once my docs gave me the green light I got on the computer in search of an appointment.
You can imagine my surprise when my husband had no trouble with one of our hospital systems and literally had his “pick of the litter” in terms of appointment choices. I, however, in the very same system was told repeatedly that there are no appointments available to me. I sent an inbox and was met with a myriad of excuses as to why my husband could get an appointment and I couldn’t.
"Maybe he's" : No, he’s not over 65, we are the same age.
"Maybe he's" : No, he doesn’t have extenuating health issues that would bump him, mine are worse.
and Yes, when my husband showed up to his appointment, without me, to an nearly empty convention room, with plenty of space and vaccine available. We weren't entirely surprised by this but it was annoying.
Regardless of the back and forth I couldn’t schedule an appointment through them. There seems to be a flaw in their system.
It won't shock you that I’ve been through most all of the medical systems in my area due to my ills, so I signed into another online chart system and found handfuls of appointments, in all sorts of locations. If I wanted Pfizer or Moderna I was going to have to drive over 90 minutes, but if I wanted J&J I could be seen the very next day and it was only 35 minutes away.
I had my appointment almost two weeks ago.
I 'll be honest when I say that I was secretly hoping that I would skate through with very little reaction. I only say this because historically I’ve never had a reaction to much of anything.
I also had this twisted little dream, hope, that maybe this vaccine would grab hold and shake my body like "Get your act together man, this is how you do your job!" Just maybe it would fix something, anything that has been broken for the last few years...LOL, I know, totally crazy, right?
Anyway, I never felt the initial poke or "mosquito bite." The best way I can describe the feeling after the injection is like the aftermath of a hard punch to the upper arm.
I then went to the the waiting room and sat for the required 15 minutes along with the other folks amongst the chairs spaced out about 3 feet.
*Hubby and I had a laugh because he felt slighted that his medical center didn't offer him water or cookies like mine did. I didn't take either but I did get my sticker :) and that handy little vaccination ID card.
The soreness wore off fairly quickly, which I found to be a relief.
And as the day wore on I felt pretty good, for me, and thought maybe I WILL skate through.
Then sometime early evening-ish, I started to feel the quicksand. My body became heavy and I had to sit down. I sat down for just a minute on the couch and actually nodded off.
I had a short little couple of naps before dinner, dragged myself to the table and forced a small meal because I knew by then I was going to need to take some Tylenol. ... and You know it's always better to not take meds on an empty stomach.
Once in bed and all tucked in I felt ok. Not too hot , not too cold, just right...as long as I didn't have to move.
I slept as crappy as usual, which was a bummer, because I was really hoping for a reprieve from my normalcy even if it was only for one night.
I woke up the next morning and I was not only freezing, chilled to the bone but my body weighed as much as a cement ocean liner.
"Ah, so no skating." My bed was the place to be for the unforeseeable future.
All of the symptoms I experienced were 100 percent normal. I am grateful for that, truly.
Chills and shivering, hot flashes, low grade fever, mild on and off again headache, complete lack of appetite. I haven't had the flu in a million years but this brought back some memories of my youth.
After spending all of Sunday in bed I was thrilled to feel more normal Monday morning as I got up and ready for a doctors appointment. The day went exactly as planned and I was almost giddy about it. I not only managed to get my vaccine and have a one day normal reaction but it was the single shot, one and done, Woot! I didn't have to think about going back for another one.
You know the universe has a twisted sense of humor and that I clearly spoke too soon as I woke up Tuesday just I had Sunday, cement ocean liner with the added bonus of the news headlines blaring on about how they were halting administering of the J&J vaccine for concerns over blood clotting.
From my bedside I texted my doctor friends to ask what the deal was, did they have any facts or figures to go with this news? Where should I place my concern, if at all? I got the "it's rare, 1 in a million" spiel but that didn't answer my actual questions.
Were they women and/or men?
Same blood type? Common genetic make up? What about medications? Do they share a illness or disease, autoimmune or otherwise?
Seriously, what is their connection?
The only answer I got, like many others, was that it was 6 women between the ages of 18-48.
It hasn't been 2 weeks yet since this has happened and we still know very little.
So far, merely based on articles I've been able to find and texting with a doctor friend, we know that the 6 women are all white and some may have been on some sort of hormone medication, whether it was birth control or a replacement product I do not know. Some, maybe all, maybe not. And that they felt symptoms of pain somewhere between day 6 and day 20 after receiving the vaccine.
I don't know how it is that they have yet to find a common thread between them.
I mean, seriously, this is amazing given that a random person can post a video with barley a profile of some offending other person and the internet can ID them down to their location, workplace, social media accounts and favorite coffee shop in a matter of hours. But given the full medical history of blot clot sufferers and all we know is that they are white women who may or may not have used hormone meds?
As if the current climate isn't stressful enough? 1 in a million, great, but why? How do we avoid it going forward and how do we know who the next potential patient may be?
Am I worried? Not exactly. Am I white and a woman? Yes. Am I on hormone meds? No.
Should I be concerned? Maybe, maybe not. I really don't know.
What I do know is that I have seen first hand over the past few years just how much doctors either don't know or don't care to know.
Science can be amazing and yet flawed given the interpretation by the messengers. Whether it is simply the lack of experience and inability to be a keen diagnostician.
No different than an attorney who chooses to interpret a law based on how it should apply to the case in front of them, some doctors rely on textbook definitions in order to care for us rather than actually listening or paying attention to us as individuals. We are not "one size fits all" beings.
One of my doctor friends tells me all the time that nothing comes without risk. I can't disagree with her on that, but most of us common folk still look to our medical professionals to be on the cutting edge in order to protect us and promote well being, even with the machine that it's become.
I personally try to temper my negative thoughts based on my poor experiences with the fact that I know there so much good in the medical and science world.
At the same time as I go through the daily motions of my unknown yet familiar painful symptoms I am quite aware that it is day 13 after receiving my one shot of a currently halted vaccine.