Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Joys of Vaccinations

So two weeks ago, Utah county had a vaccination clinic for swine flu vaccinations. I found out the day after it was over. Ugh. So disappointed. So I called the number for vaccinations, which updated their recording every day or two, to see when they would have another clinic. This is because they really have no idea when they'll get more vaccinations in, so they have to wait till they get more before they can hold another clinic. I was determined to make the next one. I DO NOT want to get the swine flu and I definitely DO NOT want Alex to get it (obviously if I had to choose, I would get it rather than him. Bad news for young kids).

On Friday when I called, I got the good news: a vaccination clinic was scheduled for Tuesday, October 27. I was so excited that I could barely concentrate for three days in anticipation. I just wanted to get the vaccine and know that I would be okay. I guess there is a slight chance to still get sick, but more than likely if I do, it would be the regular flu or something much less severe. I mostly got nervous when I heard about how many families in my neighborhood that had gotten sick with H1N1, and I didn't want to be added to that list. We've kept Alex at home since we heard the news, and we've limited how much we've gone to church and so on.

So this morning Aaron and I got up at 6:45. We were both dead tired because we didn't get to bed till after 1 a.m. A book from the Wheel of Time series, written by a friend of mine, Brandon Sanderson, was coming out at midnight. All books bought at the release party would be numbered, and Aaron really wanted proof that he bought one of the first couple thousand copies. To facilitate other release parties going on the same day, Brandon held the book signing at midnight and then flew out right after. But being the nice guy he is, he presigned all the copies so you could just run in, buy one, and then go home. If you wanted to have it personalized, you could wait in line. I can't imagine how exhausted Brandon must be right now.

Needless to say, Aaron just got one and came home. Brandon often has signings in the area, so he can likely get it personalized later on.

So that's why Aaron was up late. I was up getting everything ready for the vaccinations. I had no idea what it would be like, but I figured it was possible that we'd be there an hour or two, so I packed food, hats, gloves, scarves, a diaper bag, candy, books, toys, and other stuff we could do to pass time. I wanted to get up and out of there by 7:15 a.m., so I needed to be as ready as possible. I even laid out our coats and made sure our shoes were next to the door.

So in the morning I woke Aaron up and started to get ready. After I had eaten some cereal, I realized Aaron was not up and going. I went back and found he'd fallen back asleep. I woke him up again and then went to get Alex up and going. After changing Alex's diaper and getting him dressed, I gave him a bottle of milk. He really went to town on the milk and by the time he was done, it was already 7:15. Even with all the preparation, we didn't get on the road till 7:30. Add in traffic and we didn't get to the Health and Justice building in Provo till 8 a.m. It was difficult finding a parking spot, but we squeezed in between two vehicles where only a compact car could fit.

We could see that there was already a ton of people there and more and more arriving, and I cursed myself for not getting there earlier. I really had no idea what to expect. No one at 8. 100 people at 8. Or 1000 people at 8. Well, I rushed toward the building with Alex in my arms and rolled my ankle on the way in—really bad. It's still sore, but I kept on limping. I was so concerned with finding the end of the line, I lost Aaron along the way. Luckily we both had our cell phones. I found out the line ended inside the parking garage on the bottom floor. It was tricky trying to find the end and there were A LOT of people there. I found out later that there were 1500 people in front of me in line. I was worried we were already too late, but I wasn't going to give up. I WANTED THAT VACCINE.

If I had known then that it was going to turn into a 4.5-hour affair, I would have immediately sent Aaron and Alex home. As it was, both of them stuck it out for 2 hours. Alex did really well, despite the circumstances. An hour in, he peed out of his pants—first time I can think of him doing that (besides during the night) in months. The people in front of us were nice and let us use one of their blankets to change him on, since there were no bathrooms nearby. And, luckily, I'd brought a change of clothes just in case, despite the fact that it's been months since I've needed it.

So we got him changed and he was happy again. When he got cranky again, he was satiated with cheese and crackers. But after 2 hours, he hit his breaking point. Aaron took him to the car, and then after another hour, he took Alex home and gave him a quick lunch and they got a quick break. Finally the line was really moving and by noon, I called and told them to come back. We finally got to enter the building where it was warm just to find that the line was still fairly long once we got in (doesn't this sound like a horror story about a ride at Disney Land? "Yeah, so there we were, thinking that we had to be towards the front of the line, when we turned a corner and found out there were still 200 people in front of us before the start of the line!" Of course, in our situation, we didn't get to go on a fun ride in the end).

So finally we got to the real front of the line. Workers went over our forms and then we were put into another, luckily very short, line to get the vaccine. Finally, after hours of agony, we got our prize. And now I won't wake up in the middle of the night and think my dry throat is really a sore throat and that I've got H1N1, I won't be paranoid about using hand sanitizer (though I still will use hand sanitizer), and I will feel confident about taking Alex trick-or-treating and not worry about whether he'll get deathly ill from it. Although Alex will have to go back in a month to receive a booster. Let's hope they have some then!

Now that we have the vaccinations, Alex will start going back to his babysitter's house (next week) and we'll all be going back to church. I'm excited, since I've been going insane trying to work each day with him home. I really count on that 3-hour break! Yay for vaccines. I honor whoever it was that invented them.

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