Monday, March 15, 2021

My Second Shot

This Walgreens was 30 miles and 35 minutes further away than dose number 1.  Unlike last time, there was traffic, lots and lots of traffic.  A rent-a-truck going 60 in the left lane in a 75 mph marked zone backed up cars for miles and miles and miles.  The grey van next to him moved up and back, precluding anyone from passing safely.  We observed all this as we followed the cars that were moving with more alacrity,  awkwardly passing in the far right lane.

That's not TBG's usual style of driving, but we were on a mission and he was determined to get me where I needed to be when I needed to be there.  As we drew closer to the orange U-Haul which was causing the disaster, we snarled at the driver who was holding his phone and merrily chatting away.  Our death stares didn't phase him, but they made us feel marginally better.

(There ought to be a direct phone line to call the police when someone is holding the phone; it's illegal all the way from here to Phoenix.)

We exited I-10 after a brief pit stop at the Rest Area, which is now reopened and was densely populated with masked travelers emptying their bladders.  The road that Google Maps selected took us through the Gila River Indian Reservation on a lightly traveled straight road that passed cookie cutter stucco-ed  one story homes with covered porticos at the front door to shelter cars from the sun.  The colors were different, but the basic style was always the same.  

There were no store save the gas station and mini-mart at the highway's exit.  Ten miles of vacant land, farm land, scattered houses, and one lone man working on a motorcycle in the shade of his portico.  The land is flat and featureless.  There's a BASF ("We make chemistry happen") factory set far back from the road, but that's it.  Desolate is giving it too much character.

Casa Blanca Road ended at a traffic light, and civilization appeared over the horizon.  Freddy's and Chipotle and Fry's and Basha's and gas stations of every variety lit up the overcast afternoon.  It was jarring to move from what could have been the early 1900's to the 21st century just by turning left.

The Google Maps lady sent us past all the different-but-basically-the-same strip malls, directing us to turn right into the Amtrak Parking Lot.   

There were no other cars there.  There were no humans to be found.  There was certainly no Walgreens in the small paved area.  Refreshing the app did nothing; she sent us to the same place.  I had the right address, having Ctrl+C'ed it directly.  I told her app that she sucked😒and closed her up.

I called the store and was told that there was no Amtrak lot in town.

After some confusion about where we were and where we should turn, I managed to get a cross street from the very confused young woman who was trying (and failing) to help me.  I have never wished for a paper map unfolded in my lap more than I did at that moment.  Finding Smith Enke Road on my phone was a less than pleasant challenge, but I saw a Walgreens and then a street sign and we turned and parked and were still 10 minutes early.

TBG followed me in for a bathroom break, then sat in a comfy chair as I filled out paperwork.  After assuring himself that I was safe and well taken care of, he went back to his car to wait without being surrounded by possible virus spreading humans in the store.  

The pharmacist stabbed me and directed me to a chair across from the main desk.  There was no joining TBG in the car until 15 minutes had past.  So, I sat and moved my arm around, chatting pleasantly with the woman occupying the I'm Next chair.  When enough minutes had passed, I stood, told the pharmacist that I felt fine, and turned to leave.

The line of patients waiting to drop off prescriptions applauded, smiling and giving me thumbs up and nodding heads and smiles behind their masks.  I curtsied and blushed.

I danced along to the top hits from 1965 all the way home.  It was an easy way to keep moving my arm, pretending I was 13 years old again.  This shot stung more than the first one, and the injection site was painful, not tender.  I prepared myself for the worst.

Home, fed, nestled in the couch with a book, I felt fine until I decided to stand up.  My legs weighed 10,000 pounds.  There was a weight on my chest the size of a refrigerator.  My tongue had a hard time forming words.  I've never been that tired.  Ever.

I finished pulling up the shades and flopped back on the couch.  The clock said 8:07.  I announced that I was going to sleep.  I took 2 Advil for the arm pain and pulled the covers over my head.

TBG rubbed my back until I dropped off.  The next time I looked at the clock it was 7:07, the sun was shining, and my arm still hurt.

I haven't slept that long since I can't remember when.  

And now it's nearly noon.  My arm, Advil soothed, still hurts when I move it abruptly, but it's fine tucked next to my waist as I type to you.  My friends have had reactions on the second day, so I'm uncertain how the rest of today will unfold.  But for now, I'm fully vaccinated and relatively okay.

I feel grateful and humble.  I feel safe and healthy.  I'm ready for a big sign that says SCIENCE ROCKS!!!


  1. I think my grandson has a tee shirt that says Science Rocks. Something similar anyway --been far too long since I have seen him!
    I have heard the second shot can be more problematic. My neighbor had some reaction to the first. She gets the second on Wednesday so I will be watching her as she has a neuro-muscular disease.
    I get my second shot later this week.

    1. Take care of your friend - my friends with big problems had big reactions.
      Good luck with your 2nd one!

  2. Glad you persisted through all the obstacles and got your shot, and then had a nice long sleep. NOW you are fully vaccinated, and in two weeks, you can breathe an even bigger sigh of relief. xoxo

  3. It's interesting to me how many employees in retail can not tell a potential customer how to get to their store. I once called a place to ask if they were on the east or west side of the road, and was told it depended on which way I was coming from.
    Congratulations on finding the store and getting the shot. I go Sunday morning and it can not happen soon enough.

    1. "there are no amtrak stations in town" ..... as we're sitting in it!


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