Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Hit Me With Your Best Shot (not the one that causes blood clots)


Well, the first jab is done and as expected it hit me rather hard. I had to go off of my immune suppressing drugs before, so that probably didn't help me feel any better. Still, I'd MUCH rather have a few days feeling poorly than Covid. The second dose will probably be worse, but I now know what to expect. That will be in a few weeks. 

The clinic was much different from the set-up Dan went to in Iowa. Rather than being part of the pharmacy set-up, mine was in a mass vaccination clinic in a building that used to be a supermarket but has sat empty for years. We queued outside around the building, then entered and were directed where to go by county health department employees, and National Guard soldiers. I believe having the Guard there really did keep the grumbling about the shambolic vaccine system to a minimum because who is going to complain about being inconvenienced to someone that gets sent into disaster areas and wars for a living?! Got my jab, waited 15 minutes, scheduled my second dose, and was on my way. 

I had been scheduled for the J&J vaccine when I got an email from the health department the night before indicating they would be changing to the Pfizer vaccine instead. Dan thought that sounded fishy so he texted his  "contact" at the county health department see what was up, and got texted back at 9 PM on a Thursday by his "Contact" that all hell was breaking loose though at the time it sounded more like a supply issue than a side effects issue. I guess both were happening at the same time. Lucky. 

Okay. I'm not sure what's more surprising, that he has a contact at the health department, or that he got an answer in the middle of a crisis. Apparently the contact is aware that Dan is a student journalist and doesn't have a problem with it. To me, that's kind of mind boggling. To date, he's also managed to get interviews with the infectious disease expert at the Med Center, and the governor. Anyway, I was one day away from being shot full of a vaccine that has the potential to cause blood clots which isn't an issue for most people, except people with a history of blood clotting problems (hellooooooo, it ME!) so I'm feeling incredibly lucky right now. Even if it went fine (which it almost certainly would have as evidenced by all the people that didn't get blood clots) I would be driving myself mad with worry.

The reaction I had to the vaccine was strange, though mild and nothing that antihistamines didn't resolve. I developed a rash on both hands, and my toes turned bright red and swollen. Headache from hell, and I slept all of Saturday and most of Sunday, but really it could have been worse. I'm thankful I didn't have to go into a workplace, or take care of a small child. They boys made their own dinners, I slept, and appreciated how lucky I am. It was like a three day hangover.

My autoimmune diseases have been doing their respective things of late, so I've just been going along  knowing it will subside eventually. I have a rheumatologist's appointment at the start of May, which I've only just noticed it has been two years since I've gone for an exam. The last time I tried refilling my Rx they said I needed an appointment but I suppose after two years, that's fair. Like taking an automobile to the mechanic for maintenance. I fully expect a course of steroid medications to knock this current bout back, and fingers crossed that ought to do the trick. In the middle of all this, I managed to tear a muscle in my shoulder but at this point, all I can do is laugh about it (because I can't shrug-that would hurt). I did insist on getting the jab in that arm because it already hurt from the rhomboid muscle and a bad case of tennis elbow. No point injuring my left side too. 

 Coming back to the vaccine for a moment, I want to stress that at this point, pausing a vaccine to investigate the issues doesn't mean it is a bad vaccine. If it were the only thing available I'd still take it and then monitor for symptoms. Your risk of getting Covid is much greater. All drugs carry some scary side effects-I think birth control pills are rather notorious for causing blood clots as well. Because it is a new vaccine that was rushed through it is sensible to be concerned, but the media is also doing a very good job of whipping up fear when there's already so much vaccine hesitancy in the US. To my mind, that's irresponsible. It needs to be kept in perspective. I'd rather take something with a one-in-a-million chance of making me sick than the much, much more likely odds of getting a virus that can permanently incapacitate or kill me. OK, lecture over, I just wanted to be clear about that.

Everything is bursting into bloom in Omaha though are nights are still quite cool. Even my houseplants seem happy and the final bud on my Easter Lily has started to open. They're so gorgeous, though the scent can overwhelm a small room. I don't mind lilies indoors but forced bulbs of paperwhites or hyacinths quickly become too much for me. 

"Feeeeed meeeeeee"
I've been told that if you pull out the yellow pollen buds the flowers last longer. I'm going to plant the bulb in the garden after the flowers die and see if it comes up next year. Our climate might be just a bit too cold for them, but I'll put it in a warm spot and mulch it really well before winter. It is going below freezing again for the next two nights, so the garden will be getting covered in fleeces again. This time of year is difficult for plants as we go from freezing to blazing hot and back again. It does look like my peas are going to be abundant this year. The strawberries like their new spot and are producing flowers, which is much too early. That doesn't typically happen until June. The thing about Omaha is that you can have a couple of different gardening zones in one neighbourhood, sometimes yard. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it really isn't. I always feel like a successful garden is possible (unless you get nerfed with hail or a tornado) but it takes more work than it would in other places. Then again, the satisfaction of a successful garden is immense. It never stops being incredible to me that I can stick seeds in the ground, give them some water, and out comes a plant.
You can't quite see the bottom of the mask but it reads, "Vibe Check". My collection of crazy masks continues to multiply. 
This was what I wore to get my vaccine. It felt like an appropriate setting to wear my Nebraska belt buckle.
I know you're wondering what perfume I wore to get vaccinated. This is Dosis de Amor. That felt appropriate. I have all the fragrances in the Dosis line so I'll wear another for my er...second dosis. Also felt appropriate as the vaccination site was in the heart of the Latinx neighbourhood. 
I'll leave you with this brooch, and my best attempt to imitate it. Sometimes life imitates the art.
Have a great week everyone!



Emily said...

So Dan has friends in high places, including the governor! That's wonderful.

I thought of you when I heard that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was being pulled from the supply chain due to safety concerns. I'm happy that you got a different vaccine, even though the risk of blood clots was low.

Your flowers are looking lovely, and I hope you can resume your gardening when the side effects of the vaccine wear off. Take care.

Goody said...

I'm not sure I'd describe the governor as a friend-it was an unexpectedly hard hitting interview that I don't think he was expecting from a student. I think Dan is permanently on his shit-list ;)
He thinks to do things other people figure wouldn't happen on the assumption that the worst they will say is, "no" and sometimes they say "yes." I'm such an introvert it shocks me sometimes to see how outgoing he is.
I hope you're having a nice spring in the PNW. You're in such a beautiful part of the country.
Take care.

Emily said...

I like his gumption! Being a lifelong introvert, it inspires me when someone goes through life with the attitude that anything is worth a try because the worst thing that can happen is the other person will say no. Good for Dan, asking some hard-hitting questions to your governor instead of playing softball.

Spring has definitely sprung around here, although the nights are still very cold. As of next week, all adults in Oregon can get the vaccine, regardless of age or preexisting conditions, so I'm hoping to get mine soon.

Goody said...

Oh good! Best of luck for the jab!

Vix said...

I'm very impressed with Danny's contact list, he's going to be a fantastic journalist!
There's the same furore over the rare incidence of blood clots going on the AZ vaccine here. As the experts keep saying, it's rare. I wish the media would stop whipping everyone up into a frenzy. I'm glad you're feeling better after your jab. xxx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Well done, Dan! Networking already; he's going to be a very good journalist.

Glad you've had your vaccination and are over the worst of it.

Loving the outfits and the last brooch was gorgeous. I'm still trying to get my head around the contrasts in your weather. As you say managing a successful garden is difficult in such conditions and I think I'd fail...


Polyester Princess said...

I'm glad to hear you've got your first jab, even if it made you feel poorly for a couple of days. As you said, I'd rather have that than Covid! I do wish they'd get a move on here, but the AZ blood clot thing is throwing a bit of a spanner in the works here as well. Wish isn't helped by all the scaremongering media coverage.
I'm very impressed with Danny's networking, and with the outfit you wore for your vaccine. I'm sure you were the best dressed one there!
As for your pose in that last photo, I was wondering what that was all about when I saw it on Instagram. I never realized you were trying to imitate your brooch :-) xxx

Beth Waltz said...

Well done, Dan! Having dabbled in journalism myself, I predict he'll find a notebook and a press pass his ticket into many interesting adventures. Please nudge him to keep a contact file -- some of mine are sill active decades later. (And we're all of us surprised we ended as well as we did.)

Wearing Dosis for the dose...is exactly what we'd expect of you. One good jab deserves another.

And, yes, that plant does resemble Audrey. Last year I had a cucumber plant by that name. Extremely aggressive specimen, climbed fences and crawled into gutters. Good luck finding a micro-climate spot for your lilly!

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful your son has an interest in journalism and has the assertiveness to go with it. I was a shrinking clamed up violet well into adult years. Shyness can be a real handicap. Your Son should be proud of asking hard questions. If the politicians don't want to answer tough questions they should not be in politics !

So glad you started the vaccination process. You will be so relieved when it has been completed.

Best Wishes,
Gail from Pa.

Bibi Maizoon said...

Bravo to Dan for insightful journalism & inside contacts!
Congrats on your first jab too, <3 !Loving your vaccination ensemble.
One of the 6 women who suffered a blood clot unfortunately just died (apparently due to mismanagement of the clot) so I am certain the Press will be in full force fear-mongering glory.
I have never gotten a store-bought Easter lily bulb once it died back. Wonder if it is even possible?
We are having horrific forest fires here in Nepal after a very dry winter receiving only 25% of normal rainfall. The air quality has been so bad schools & airports have closed. Blah. What next?
Stay safe!

bahnwärterin said...

glad all went well with your vaccine - beside of the headache - but as you say: all is better then getting a worst case of covid.
here the very slow vaccination almost comes to a halt because the over 60 ones dont want AZ - ignoring that the few complications hit women under 50....... and numbers rising fast.... the same group is the one that stands in the supermarked unmasked and close together chatting - every given day! supermarket is the new pensioneers club.
the politic has given up it seems.
but danny as a jounalist gives me hope! the world need such youngsters!
love the red/white look - its so very fresh and springlike <3

Goody said...

It is having a strange effect here. The former pres. who's name I won't say, issued a press release claiming Biden is trying to keep people from getting the "Good" vaccine and people should go demand the J and J one and that they're only stopping it so they can push the other vaccines. Because his supporters are complete idiots, they're now demanding the J&J vaccine. You couldn't make this shit up. Until a week ago, none of these people would take ANY vaccine because they were Covid deniers. Now they're suddenly all clamouring for one because the cult leader told them to. I guess on the positive side, we'll get more people vaccinated but, yikes.

No idea if he'll pursue it (he wants to study languages) but we're pleased he's found something useful to do with his time.
Our weather is completely unpredictable. There was frost again this morning.

I didn't get a chance to speak to her, but there was a teenager at the vaccine centre wearing a vintage Love Is tee shirt and a Peter Max print mask. I was impressed!
I hope they get the AZ vaccine sorted soon. Especially now that everyone knows what to watch for.

I think their files are all on their phones these days. I was recently cleaning out a drawer and found my telephone/address book from the 80s. I imagine most of those people are long gone by now.
I cannot grow cucumbers here-the squash bugs get them or else the squirrels do! Last year I only got to eat a handful of the lemon cucumbers I planted. Good luck with yours.

Thank you. We're impressed with his ability to talk to just about anyone. That's not a gift I have.
Take care.

Fire sounds terrifying-I know you're probably familiar with it from all those years in California, but even knowing what to must still be awful. I hope you stay safe. Ramadan Mubarak. I hope you have an easy time of it this year.

The old people figure they've lived this long they will be OK-complete madness.
I hope you get a jab soon. I wish I could bring you here and get you one.

Señora Allnut said...

Great news that you had your first dose, and looking so fabulous and cool!. I'll have to wait for a while, as they've stopped the AZ vaccine (our politics are crap, they take decissions ignoring what scientifics tell them). Probably, politics will change their minds as most people are informed about how rare secondary effects are, and putting pressure on to have AZ back Now. Some people are still worried about blood clots, and I should be worried, as I also have a history of blood clotting problems, but I'm not. I totally agree with you.
This red floral dress is so fabulous, I have a weakness for this kind of print, so summery, and REd!. Loving it!
And you've put a smile on my face with your posing, the brooch is actually beautiful and your outfit is fab!.
Sorry that you had these annoying symptoms. Hope you feel better soon. Whatever the secondary effects, I'm looking forward to have my jab!

Mim said...

Golly, Dan's a man of influence and power!

I can see why you'd worry if you have a history of blood clotting issues. I had the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is also rumoured to cause clots, last week but aside from feeling awful for 36 hours it's been fine. We were warned about a headache with ours but I've not heard of anyone getting a rash as a side-effect.

Making plants is the best! It is amazing how you can put a few specks in the soil and have tomatoes six months later.