044 // First Dose

I received my first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this morning. I arrived over twenty minutes early for my appointment and 10 minutes before they were scheduled to begin vaccinating and there was already a line winding through the entire second floor and down the stairs. I overheard a few of the nurses saying they would give over 500 shots just that day!

The process was efficient and painless, by far the easiest vaccine I have ever received in my life. I hardly even felt the jab! Afterward, I was congratulated and sent to wait in a room with around 20 other vaccine recipients to be monitored for severe reaction. I left with nothing more than a slight soreness in the upper arm and a lightness in my chest as a little of the fear I’d been carrying for over a year now lifted.

I’m thankful to be among the first to receive the vaccine due entirely to my occupation employment with a school district. I wish more of my loved ones would be eligible sooner rather than later, but besides my wife (who works for another school district) I will be the only one in my immediate family to be vaccinated until at least the summer.

I really wish the vaccine had been developed, approved, and distributed on a schedule just a month or even weeks faster. Maybe my grandmother would still be here. Maybe a lot of people would still be here…

I can’t let myself think like that, though. It’s hard enough living through the pandemic, and through winter, and without all the little things and people that used to bring me so much joy, without the addition of what ifs, regrets, and anger. I’ll save that for the summer.

The biggest question I walked away with after my vaccine, the one no one has an answer to yet, is how long the vaccine is effective for? I worry about losing immunity without knowing. I worry about variants that might outpace not only the vaccine but treatments too. I worry that this novel coronavirus will be with us a lot longer than we think, and with it that heavy burden of fear too.

044//366

I feel like absolute crap today. The sinus pain is nearly unbearable and the speed at which it’s reached this severity is seriously concerning me. It doesn’t help that I barely slept last night too. I was up all night with throbbing pain in my sinuses, my jaw, and even my teeth hurt!

When I woke up this morning, my face was swollen in the weirdest places. It seems so strange (and scary) that just a few days ago I felt on the mend and now it seems like I’m worse off than I began!

I don’t think this is all down to this cold I’ve been fighting. I think a large part of this icky feeling is the infusion and the new medication I started on Tuesday. I think either this is a direct side effect, or it has indirectly made the cold/throat infection worse. My hope is for the latter. I certainly can’t deal with this after every infusion for the rest of my life (or until the medication fails me like all the others).

Productivity-wise I’m completely useless. I feel so bad my coworkers can see it on my face and are imploring me to go home but I can’t, or I won’t. I have missed too much work, and life, as it is lately. I’m going to tough it out through to the weekend.