Hooray! A reason to celebrate being older. I’m at the top of the list of priorities for COVID vaccine distribution in the Dean household. Tuesday evening was my appointment. Mr D will be ‘done’ on Sunday afternoon.
Tuesday morning dawned bright and sunny, in keeping with the first few days of Spring. In addition, it was exactly a year to the day since the UK went into Lockdown 1.0… quite and auspicious day. The level of excitement rose steadily throughout the day. Family members texted or called to wish me luck. Those already vaccinated shared their top tips – take water and some paracetamol with me to have after the jab. It will counteract the worst of any side effects.
I listened and did take water and paracetamol with me in the end. The advice made excellent sense, given the reported side-effects. Lordy, could I not stop watching the clock! I was driving myself up the wall with anticipation. Naturally, like a watched kettle that doesn’t boil any faster, the clock hands didn’t move faster either.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, it was time to go. I got dressed up for the occasion. After all, we’ve had precious little reason to leave off the comfy clothes lately. This seemed like a good enough reason to wear smart clothes and real shoes (not trainers or slippers). Armed with my provisions, mask, gel, and appointment serial number we set off for our regional vaccination centre. This was the furthest we’d travelled since last October! It was like a mini road-trip. Even Cost Centre 1 (eldest kidult) came with us! What an occasion.
The centre was well signposted from the dual carriageway. A steady stream of vehicles joined our line as we peeled off the main road and into the centre. I have to hand it to the organisers. With Disney Park precision, we were guided through the cones, had my appointment verified and guided onwards to our parking space. Each guide waved to us as they do when we’ve visited Disney parks in Florida. It increased my excitement with each wave.
We were early, but that didn’t worry the organising teams. They checked my appointment number and jokingly asked what I was waiting for… go get in the queue!
Again, there were similarities to queuing in theme parks… the entire length of the queue is never revealed… just carefully distanced snaking around cones and barriers. As it happened, I could only see 5 people ahead of me. Once more, I verified my identity before being allowed into the main vaccination area. Booths to the left and right of me were overseen by a clinical specialist, while vacant booth vaccinators made themselves known to each person in turn.
Within a minute I was seated in a booth, final checks and medical questions gone through before the little syringe of hope was popped into my left upper arm. It was no more painful than a flu jab. As I was chauffeur-driven (thanks Mr D) I didn’t have to wait around. And that was it. 15 minutes from arrival, I was back in the car, swallowing down water and paracetamol. To round off the celebrations, we had takeaway fish and chips. Delicious and good for my brain too. Maybe not so good for my Slimming World diet, but it was a special day and as good a celebration as possible under the current circumstances.
The following morning, as I came to slowly, I mentally checked myself from head to foot. No aches, no fever, a tender deltoid, but that was it. Yippeee! I congratulated myself on being a lucky person to have the jab, and, to not have side-effects.
Fast forward to the end of the day, almost 24 hours since the jab and it’s a different story. It’s as if someone has flipped a switch on my thermostat. I’ve got chills (they’re multiplying…) and a headache! Looks like the side effects are here. Boo! An hour later and I’ve gone the other way, roasting hot to the touch. I packed myself off to bed with water and more paracetamol (p.s. I was taking good care to make sure I didn’t exceed the daily recommended dose!!).
Yesterday morning I woke with a spiked temperature, a headache, and general aches all over. In short, I felt like I had the flu but not quite I bad as I’ve had in the past. Nothing for it but to hunker down on the sofa and have a duvet day.
Today is better. I feel like I’m firing on three of four cylinders, but on the mend. My arm is tender but I can sleep on this side again. Mentally, I feel more equipped for the gradual relaxation of lockdown.
It’s my turn to drive Mr D to his appointment on Sunday. I wonder if he will breeze through it all or be like me with side effects. I’ll let you know next week!
In the meantime, stay safe and well.