SHOT IN THE ARM

I left work an hour early today to go see my doctor in Coquitlam. I was getting my second of three Hep A/B vaccine shots. Leaving at 5pm as opposed to 6pm makes a big difference. There are a lot of people running around downtown just after 5pm. Everyone is trying to get home from work.

I expected a lot of people to be on my bus but there wasn’t too many though the bus I caught was an articulated one which is double the capacity of my normal steel chariot. I also expected a lot of traffic but this also did not materialize. Content with the world, I fell asleep on the bus, which sadly is probably one of the most enjoyable things in my life right now.

I got home a little before 6:30pm which was a refreshing change of pace. I arrived at the doctor’s office around 7pm and in the evenings, it’s clinic style which means it’s first-come, first-served. The place was packed with people. The receptionist asked me if I wanted to wait an hour and a half. Yikes. I said I would but I’d like to come back. She put my name down and then told me to come back in an hour.

I drove home and had dinner with my parents before returning to the clinic at exactly one hour later. The place had emptied out quite a bit but there were still people waiting. As I sat down, I noticed there were some pretty hurting people with me. One kid was there with his mom. He looked to be around 12 years old. He was in some discomfort which I couldn’t attribute to anything specific. One old lady kept a hankie over her mouth and just closed her eyes until it was her turn to see the doctor.

I waited an hour before it was my turn. As my doctor greeted me, he told me I picked a bad night. I gave him the shot and he went away to get a cotton ball with some alcohol. Returning, he rubbed my right arm and asked if I was ready. I said yes and he plunged the needle into my arm. It barely registered as he injected me with the vaccine. As he pulled out the needle, he asked me to press firmly on the spot with the ball. I didn’t catch all he was saying but he mentioned something about “the needle going in pretty deep”. I didn’t realize what that meant until he asked me to remove the cotton ball from my arm and I noticed that there was a lot more blood on the ball that I had anticipated. It hadn’t soaked through or anything but considering he had only made a tiny hole in my skin that was a lot of blood. He wiped my arm off and sent me on my way.

I get my final shot five months from now. Now, if only I could come home at 6:30pm without getting a needle.

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