Vaccinated!

Like so many others in healthcare, I have been patiently waiting to get vaccinated against COVID-19. I had no doubt in my mind to pass this opportunity by. We are in the midst of a pandemic where over 350,000 lives have been lost. That is a heartbreaking number to realize the amount of human loss in less than a year.

I have been advocating for science for a very long time and I will not stop. Science is a process to help us figure out things and solve problems. It is how we are going to get out of this pandemic and get life back to normal.

To help alleviate fear or hesitancy around this vaccine, I will be sharing my experience following my injection to be open and transparent about what effects I get from it.

I was fortunate to get an appointment the very next day I called at my local Kaiser Clinic. I am thrilled to be able to get this but also sad knowing how many never had a chance against this disease. I got my shot at 2:11 pm and did the 15 min wait with only tenderness at the site. I will be blogging more on this post as things happen or not.

1/5/21 6:14 pm

It has been 4 hours since I had my shot and my left arm is achy but no other issues. I’m still reveling in the fact that I was able to take it.

1/6/21 7:00 am

Woke up feeling like my arm could not work. Had left shoulder pain and could not lift arm over my head. No fever or fatigue. Just an achy arm.

1/6/21 5:27 pm

It has been over 24 hours since I received the short. My arm hurts a lot less than this morning but I have started getting some mild headaches.

1/7/21

Arm pain is present but mild allowing me to use it. Still having mild headaches and some fatigue.

1/8/21

No arm pain and headaches. Fatigue is resolved. Back to normal!

My experience pretty much reflects the data collected during the trials. I did not have a fabulous story to tell on my vaccination experience.

New Year Thoughts

2020 was a huge year of change for many of us. Life went completely upside down for me and my family. It didn’t mean all bad but it meant a huge refocusing.

At the start of the pandemic, I was working at my job of 11 years. Because of the fear of being in a nursing home started to grow, my hours there meant going to multiple facilities to gain more hours. I had the unfortunate luck of being at a facility with a positive worker that sparked change for me. I landed up deciding to get out of skilled nursing facilities and go into home care.

As my work in the nursing home declined, my home health worked increased and I saw the firsthand effects of COVID. It was heartbreaking to see what this terrible virus could inflict upon people. I saw folks who led active lives completely debilitated by this pathogen in a matter of days. It was eye opening to see how life can change in a blink of an eye.

Seeing this reaffirmed my support for science. When we have a problem, we need the scientific process to determine how we will navigate through it. There was really no other way to address this but with science, however the damage has been done over the years by the social media and poor reporting by the news.

Right on cue, politics got in the way of getting a good grasp on what the next steps would be and lots of confusion flooded the media as a result. The US is now paying for the effects this with rising infections and overburdened hospitals. As the vaccine is being rolled out, getting it out to people is now another challenge ahead with many fearing the solution because of hesitancy.

The latest word on the news is that the vaccination campaigns will take at least 10 years at the rate we are heading. Will that mean 10 years of mask wearing and social distancing? It might if we do not get a real handle on the cost of disinformation.

The very source of disinformation platforms like Facebook and Twitter are only now cracking down on false information. They were the source of bad information for over a decade and we now see the need to stop this from continuing. Too many said that fake news was not a big deal only to realize now how deadly it is.

I just received word that I have the privilege to get the COVID vaccine and I and getting it as soon as I can as a health care worker. It is my duty to protect my patients in the community and in facilities. Do I fear the potential side effects of this mRNA vaccine? No. I prefer not to be a guinea pig to COVID.

In this New Year, I hope more people open their eyes to the amazing possibilities that science can do for our lives. That’s all we’ve got to solve the problem in front of us. Time to science the crap out of this pandemic.