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 car park, a volunteer dressed in a Hi-Viz coat, donning a face mask and hat, who looked like he was loitering in the car park entrance, directed me to a parking spot. He told me which lettered door to go through. No need to worry about the need to park in an accessible parking space. This I only need space to allow me to assemble my wheelchair next to my driver’s 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 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 of 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 to not roll off the slight incline to the entrance and hold my hands up. I received a squirt and thanked him for 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 sitting 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, one of about four. I have my own chair!
The piercing of skin
She decontaminated the chair at her station and then moved 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.
The nurse points to the exit, where there is more of the unpaid workforce, to open the door. 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 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 I am feeling fine apart from that. 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. I fall asleep at some point 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 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. The lad and I got through seven weeks of home-schooling together. I learned 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 get going again for the country, for me, and humanity. Let us see what happens!