I’ve had so many people asking when I’m getting the vaccine. It seems to be at the front of everyone’s mind at the moment (which makes sense) whereas it just feels like a tiny thing in a big ocean of big things for me – somewhat inconsequential compared with the other things going on. I totally get that Covid might be the biggest thing in other people’s lives at the moment, but it’s really just a small part of mine.
But obviously I’ve been keen to get it if offered to me. The more people vaccinated the better.
‘Have you had it yet?’
I was asked daily, weekly.
‘No,’ I would answer over and over again.
‘I’m not priority,
I’m not extremely vulnerable,
My borough hasn’t started over 70s yet…’
‘How about now?’
The questions repeated.
I answered ‘no’, so the next question was ‘when’.
I had no idea,
I’d heard nothing about it.
And it was pretty low on my priority list.
‘I hope you get it soon’
Yes, sure, me too,
But I’d rather be able to eat and talk.
And to drink without drowning,
But I’ll take it if it’s offered
No, it hasn’t been mentioned yet.
‘I’m not going to get it!’
Said someone I went to school with
I wondered what had made them think that way
I said ‘vaccines are safe’
I’m not sure they believed me
Our smiles moved past each other and sat on opposite walls.
‘We think we can get you in,’
Said my surgeons, ‘Will you take it?’
Of course, my response was immediately ‘yes’.
They put in a request,
It’s not easy to schedule:
Come in Friday. No, Monday. No, Wednesday… It’s a date.
‘You may feel some stinging’
But it hardly hurts at all.
I wait fifteen minutes just so they can be sure
There’s no adverse reactions to the vaccination.
I drink tea while I wait
But there’s not enough milk.
‘It might make your body ache’
But how can I tell the difference
Between that, and the aches already sitting in my limbs.
It didn’t give me more pain
Than I already had…
Though I guess my arm did hurt a bit.
‘It might give you a headache.’
But I couldn’t tell what caused mine
Was it that or any number of other things
My battered, empty face
filled with missing parts and implants
Pain is something I’m already living with…
I got Pfizer.
I heard they’re not allowed to advertise which one they’re going to give you so you just front up and play the lucky dip game. I mean it’s not actually a lucky dip, it just feels like one. What fun.
Last week I had my first, and next week I’ll have my second. Someone mentioned they got more side effects from the second one. But I doubt they’ll be notable above everything else.
There seemed to be a lot of admin involved. First, my appointment was changed three times due to scheduling issues. They can only do 20/day at the cancer centre so they have to shuffle people around. I got a call a few days beforehand checking that I was still going. Then I got a phone call while I was on my way there checking that I was in fact on my way. Lots of paperwork to fill out, information to read. They run a tight operation though, I was impressed.
I just had my call to check I’m actually planning on fronting up for my next one, so it starts again. It’s happening on Monday. But once again, it’s the least significant thing that’s happening on Monday because it’s also MRI day for me. So all my energy will be used trying to get through that.
It’ll be nice to be vaccinated though, take some of the pressure off. It won’t change my life much – you can still contract and transmit covid, it just means the symptoms don’t hit as hard. So I still need to isolate to make sure I don’t have it if I need to go into hospital etc.
But it’s nice to know that if I do ever get it, I won’t get it badly. And we can hope that this will start easing up the strain on the medical system, which in turn will mean I can have the surgeries etc. I need in future. So me getting vaccinated is definitely part of the solution.