Monday morning when I got home from dialysis I signed up with Austin Public Health to get pre-approved for the current round of vaccines. Though our clinic is technically supposed to be receiving the shots "at any time," we've also been in that designation for almost a month.
I made it through the virtual paperwork and got in their system. The schedule showed no available appointments, which was not a surprise.
As I was setting aside my laptop to go upstairs for my post-dialysis nap, my phone dinged with a text.
We have appointments available, please check now!
Oh boy! Maybe someone cancelled. I quickly hopped back online to secure my spot. There were an awful lot of spinning icons and then, "sorry our page is being bombarded please try again." Over and over I went through the process, mindlessly pressing buttons until EUREKA!
There was a spot at 11:00-11:30 that morning, 15 minutes from my house. I snatched it up.
Furiously I ran upstairs to throw on real pants and brush my teeth. I grabbed my keys, purse, n95 mask, and jumped in the car. I was practically glowing on the drive over, thinking back on the previous hellish year and seeing a tiny hole in the box where we'd all been stuck.
The safety protocols were greater than I'd seen anywhere else, even at my doctor's office. They had me blow my nose at the door before entering, which I thought was strange, but the last thing I was going to do was question anything happening if it meant getting my shot.
There were only two people in front of me in the hallway. What luck! They must be at the end of their 11:00s. I got all checked in and was handed a plastic bag with testing equipment in it.
Well, they must be testing everyone that comes in for a shot, just for data purposes. That makes sense.
This would be my first ever covid test. I cooperated and sat still while I got my brain poked for 10 seconds. Then the tech said, "ok, well that's it! Your results should be back in a few days."
Wait. Ohhhhhh no.
Me: "I was here for the shot, though."
Her, looking at me like a poor dumb creature: "There must be a mistake, we don't do that here."
Me: "But...I had an appointment..."
Her, really wanting to get to her lunch break: "Maybe it was a different location, you can talk to the people up front." *mentally nudging me out the door*
As I slowly made my way out the exit I realized what had happened. While frantically clicking buttons that morning, I'd accidentally tapped the one that said "Schedule Covid-19 test" instead of "Schedule Covid-19 vaccination." They were all the same color.
I shakily made my way to the car and was horrified to find myself actually crying. Mentally berating myself, I was furious with my mistake. How could I have been so stupid? I had to miss my nap and get poked in the brain for absolutely nothing.
Mostly it was the letdown that I wouldn't be getting my vaccine today, or likely anytime soon. I'd been hearing horror stories of people trying and failing over and over to get an appointment. It was as if I'd finally made it out of that box with the hole in the top only to find I was trapped in another bigger box.
I've been getting up early every day this week since then to try and nab an appointment only to be greeted each time with All appointments are currently full. I'm not at all irritated that others are getting their shots before me. Everyone that needs shots in this category needs them. There just aren't enough vaccines to go around.
If there's any real irritation, it's that our dialysis clinic should have been first in line for this 1B group. Half of my fellow patients are in wheelchairs and most others have trouble walking. Most of them have diabetes and a good chunk have heart and/or lung problems. These are very sick people.
Also I'm irritated that I'm a dum-dum.
AN: Update! It's Feb. 12 and I got my vaccine from HEB this afternoon.