Well... I may have had to quit my job because this community does not "believe" in the risks of covid. But, because of the community's faulty thinking, I got my vaccine early. Silver lining to an awful situation?
I had been reading stories in the news about places around the country having leftover vaccines that they didn't want to go to waste. That made me think. So I drove to the closest health clinic near me to ask about the vaccine. They didn't have them there, but they gave me a list of places in the county that did. I got home and called the first place. I explained that I was looking for leftover vaccines. I was upfront about the fact that I was not yet in an eligible group. I explicitly stated that I did not want to cut in line; I only wanted the vaccine if it was going to be wasted.
Well guess what. It turns out my county had a vaccine clinic coming up and there were over FIVE HUNDRED appointments available. What in the hell?? The woman I talked to on the phone told me to sign up, that they were not restricting who got the vaccine to only those in the eligible groups because they didn't want to have to throw anything away.
I thanked her profusely, hung up, and immediately went to the website. I filled out the questionnaire to reserve an appointment time, and, bam, got an appointment. I didn't lie. I didn't misrepresent myself. I didn't cut in line or do anything unethical. And just days later, while holding my small stuffed animal that I brought to every appointment at the fertility clinic, I got dose #1 while sitting in my car in a drive through line of a vaccine clinic.
And then I promptly burst into tears. Big, fat hard-crying tears. It was very emotional for me.
I pulled into a parking spot to wait the required 15 minutes to make sure I didn't have a bad reaction and called my mom. I could barely speak. She answered the phone with a "Hello" and I said, "I'm crying." She said, "What?" because she couldn't understand me and I repeated, "I'm crying!" My mom, who is not sensitive like I am (at all), stayed objective and asked, "Good tears or bad tears?" and I was able to shout, "Good tears!" Then she let me cry for a few seconds before I could say that I had just received my first vaccine shot. She was thrilled. She has taken this pandemic and my stringent precautions quite personally since, unlike the rest of my family, I haven't traveled anywhere or seen her in the last year. She immediately asked when I would be fully vaccinated and I assured her that my first trip was going to be to visit her and my dad.
(When that will be is to be determined, although I didn't tell her that in the moment. I'm tired of arguing with her and I'm still waiting to see what the research says about post-vaccinated living. So far I have read conflicting information and my parents, although fully vaccinated, socialize and are now eating indoors at restaurants.)
Ohmygod I was so emotional. This pandemic has sucked and, as you know, that is a massive understatement. It was a majorly stressful interruption to our lives and changed everything about how we live. But for the first time in over a year, I felt hopeful that things would get better.
But I was also emotional because of the injection itself. Medical stuff always makes me emotional. Six years may have passed since I underwent three medicated IUIs and two full cycles of IVF, but I can recall all of my fear, anger, anxiety, and depression in a heartbeat. Getting my vaccine brought all of that back up for me. Almost immediately. Although I didn't realize that that's what it was until later in the day.
I drove home, cheered with my boyfriend, and went back to bed. I had a slight headache, my arm hurt, and I was extremely fatigued. The fatigue was probably a combination of everything: the actual vaccine, my nervous anticipation leading up to it, and the safely stored-away emotions it unlocked.
In true Phoenix fashion (I swear, I am SO freaking sensitive), I continued to feel a bit weepy for several days. My headache, fatigue, and arm tenderness didn't help. But overall, I really think my emotional reaction was a little bit PTSD-ish relating back to fertility treatments. I am using this information to brace myself and be prepared for dose #2. I can do this. I can do anything. (Well... Almost anything. I obviously can't get pregnant.)
I am so thankful to have received the vaccine. I am patient with myself with my emotional reaction to it. I am ready, even eager, to get dose #2 when it's time. I can barely believe it, but I am actually hopeful about the future.