The set up was great, the volunteers super helpful.
My GP surgery sent me to Wycombe Wanderers FC ground. The mass vaccination centre is set up here. After pulling into the carpark I was directed where to park by a volunteer dressed in Hi-Viz coat, donning a face mask and hat, who looked like he was loitering in the car park entrance. He told which lettered the door to go through. No need to worry about the need to park in a disabled parking space. This I only need for space to allow me to assemble my wheelchair next to my drivers door. I would be happy to park a mile away and push to the vaccination centre – get a bit of exercise – just as long as I have space to get in and out. Which I luckily had.
The clock next to the door says I have a five minute wait till I can go in. The volunteer parking attendant who told me which door I had to go in, said not to get out of my car till two or three minutes before my allocated time. I reckon I can assemble my wheelchair and get in it, from the car, in under two minutes in a rush, but I am not keen on rushing. This can cause mistakes. If a wheel slips from my grip and calmly rolls away, where does that leave me? Not being able to get out the car, that’s where!
The timekeeper manually turns the hands and I can see it’s my time. I get a little anxious and wonder if I should already be out of the car?
I made my way across the car park towards the door. There was another voluntary soldier in his hi-vis jacket standing in front of the door, and he lowers a dispenser of clear hand sanitiser. I duly turn my chair to the side, so as to not roll off the slight incline to the entrance and hold my hands up. I received a squirt, and thanked him rubbing my hands together – I cannot move during this procedure.
The door is opened for me and I reach for the wheels to propel myself into the vaccination centre. Now I have dirty hands! I am sat at a desk to be given my paperwork, by a team of masked volunteers, who directed me to a waiting chair opposite a nurses station, which is one of about four. I have my own chair!
The Piercing of Skin.
The nurse finishes off her previous customer and calls me forward. She decontaminated the chair at her station and then moves it out of my way. I handed her my paperwork and she told me I’m having the Oxford Vaccine today. Which I found weirdly reassuring.
I feel nothing from the jab. There was more discomfort from her pushing the Micropore tape into my fibrous meat, to hold the cotton wool on.
The nurse points to the exit, where there is more of the unpaid workforce, to open the door for me. I zip through the first internal door and the lady mentions: how well I can handle my chair. Well no! That’s what I hear! She actually says “aren’t you nippy in that?”’
In and Out.
I get back to the car and I calculate that I was in and out in roughly about eight minutes, maybe a little less?
I fire up the car to head home and my stereo is playing Incubus Live HQ, which I am enjoying listening to, while feeling happy, content, safe and I am trying to think when I last drove my car?….
Friday Night, Saturday and Sunday, now into Monday.
I have a little dead bit on my shoulder, where the needle entered my flesh, but apart from that, I am feeling fine. After tea, I watch some TV and then retire. I don’t sleep well, I cannot get comfortable for some reason. It’s the same bed, same covers, same position, next to the same love of my life, purring away softly with every snore. At some point I do fall asleep, because I was woken up when my son bounds in, with his usual bright ‘Good Morning’ call. He has no school today and I have a banging headache.
Should I, Shall I, Can I?
The day is spent procrastinating. The headache goes, then creeps back, repeatedly doing this all day?! Evening TV is watched with Pizza and I’m struggling to keep going, but Ant & Dec make me laugh, and when it’s finally it’s over and I consider hitting the sack.
Sunday is better, the aches in my head are noticeably less. But I’m still at a loose end. I force myself to cook up a broth of soup, just for something to do and not to let this tiredness beat me. When it is time to bed down, I lay comfortably, and again I am deprived of sleep for some reason.
Monday I am up early. It’s the first day of the schools returning. Me and the lad got through seven weeks of home-schooling together. I learnt loads! Onapamiatoa, personification and alliteration! He’s eight. I feel ok, but as I push to the school and back, I feel breathless. Maybe I might have propelled myself a little too hard? When home I decided to chop some food to prepare for the evening dinner. Even this, I find, makes my heart rate quicken and my breath become short.
Things are Looking Up.
After five days post vax, I’m back to my usual, poor sleep pattern. I feel OK and happy that I have had this first dose. I’ve taken a booking for some Wheelchair Training already this week and it looks like things might, just might, get going again for the country, for me and for humanity. Lets see what happens!