Yesterday, I had appointments back at the hospital to check my progress. I couldn’t get a lift, so I got the train in.
I left early, intending to visit the Exhibition building to get a Covid vaccine booster shot. I’m vulnerable to any infection, and the AZ shots I have appear quite ineffective against the new omicron variant. With cases exploding in NSW particularly (the mate I stayed with last week now has Covid), and across the country, I wanted to do all I could to safeguard my health.
It was a good plan, and I walked out of there with the Moderna vaccine as my booster, but it was a bit hairy in between.
It’s quite well organised, however, there are extended periods standing in queues. This can be problematic for me at times, and it was yesterday.
At no stage did I feel particularly strong, and travelling in by public transport had probably put an additional strain on me. I managed to weather it initially, but after about 20 minutes felt increasingly unwell, which included the splotches that appear in your eyesight. I hoped to make it to where others were seated waiting to be called up for their vaccine – perhaps 6-7 minutes away. If I had a seat, I could recoup my energy.
I didn’t make it, though. Feeling as if I might faint at any moment, I dropped to my haunches. The man before me in the queue and asked if I was alright. I swear, for most of my life and 99 out of a hundred times, I’d have answered that I was okay. But, this time, I answered honestly, “no” I said I wasn’t alright.
He went to speak to an attendant. Another woman in the queue came to check on me. I was very grateful for their attention and just a mite embarrassed by it. I admitted to the woman I had cancer as if a tall, fit-looking guy like me might be faking in. A wheelchair was brought to me, and I was wheeled into a medical room accompanied by a doctor, where a nurse looked after me.
They took my blood pressure and checked my heart rate – activities I’ve experienced hundreds of times in the last few months. I had a glass of water. Lying down, I began to recover.
After about 10 minutes, they gave me the vaccine (no side effects except a moderately sore arm). After another 10 minutes, they let me go.
I was much better and made my way the short distance to the hospital. There I was told that if the swelling and redness didn’t improve within a couple of days, I’d have to call up to be re-admitted to hospital for another course of IV antibiotics. I don’t want that, and it’s probably not feasible given there’s no-one to look after Rigby.
Because I was in town, I’d agreed to visit the office. It was the first time I’d been there since about June. I met with my team leader, and we went to lunch. He wanted to know when I might be able to return to work. I told him it was a week to week proposition and that things could change quickly – but, I said, maybe February, on a part-time basis.
I also told him I might need a holiday first to clear my head of everything. I need to make sense of things. I can’t understand. It’s been a terrible year. I don’t know what’s to come of me, but what justice is there should I be cured when my dearest companion is (likely) condemned?
I came home and slept for about 90 minutes. I felt washed out, but I had a dinner to go to.
As in previous years, I met with friends at a restaurant in Hampton to celebrate the season. It felt very different for me.
I didn’t feel great, and it’s hard to be as light-hearted as in previous years with everything that has happened. I’ve realised these aren’t enjoyable occasions for me. I can’t hear very well, and what I hear sounds muddy. I expect most of the hearing loss will be permanent and that I’ll have to get a hearing aid down the track. The effect right now is that I feel out of it and in a separate bubble from everyone else.
I was tired, and the act of speaking – with my face swollen and mouth half blocked – was wearying.
I made the most of it, but I don’t think any of us were in a particularly festive mood. It was an early night. I was home by 9.30 and straight to bed, sleeping just over 12 hours straight.