Saturday, 16 January 2021

Chillin' Out

So my second Covid vaccine shot happened on Jan. 7th. I took two shifts off in anticipation of feeling like crap for a bit. That actually didn't happen at all! I was surprised, but pleasantly so. I wasn't really looking forward to running a fever, feeling achy and super tired at all, even if only for a day or so. I was told I would have 95% immunity in a week after that. So happy I was able to get the vaccine!


I am just starting the 2nd of 2 weeks off work. Doctor's orders. Because I was having some pretty bad stress symptoms. He wanted me to take time off before I cracked.

Now, I am always been the "steady Eddie" kind of person. Rock solid in the face of stressful situations. Not fazed by much at all. But this pandemic, the increased stress at work (often working short staffed, having an increase in really sick patients, management saying 'yes, change is stressful but you will adapt' bullshit, etc) and the isolation from friends and family has really gotten to me.

I haven't seen my family in 10 months, other that my younger sister a handful of times. No family birthdays, no Easter or Thanksgiving dinners, no Christmas gathering, no pool parties at my nephew's in the summer. Zippo. I live alone, which usually isn't an issue. I have done it for years and actually like not having another person in the house most of the time. The cats are pretty good company. But not being able to see anyone else is a lot different than choosing to not see anyone. I miss them all desperately. I miss being able to hug someone. My family hugs a lot.

I wasn't sleeping well at all, and I was having nightmares, where I would be running for my life, or fighting for my life, there would be knives or swords or other weapons, and I would wake up with adrenaline surging and heart pounding. Try going back to sleep after that! Nope... just doesn't happen. And I was having a lot of GI symptoms. Not fun when you have to bolt to the bathroom multiple times a day. I have discovered I don't tolerate Imodium (Loperamide) to slow my gut down. It makes me feel absolutely awful, and loopy in the head. My doc tells me there is a name for the syndrome for people who do not tolerate narcotics of any kind. Of course, I don't remember what it is... he did tell me, I swear. I already know things like morphine and codeine (which include Tramadol, a synthetic codeine) make me physically ill. So the Imodium (which some people actually take because they want to get that loopy feeling ~ yay, party drugs...) is off the table for me.

So my doc gave me a letter to be off work for 2 weeks. And a script for Lorazepam 1 mg at bedtime, to help me sleep. It has been a little over a week now and I have stopped the frequent bathroom trips. I have been sleeping better and only one bad dream but after 5 days of taking the full 1 mg of Lorazepam at bedtime, I cut it back to 1/2 mg because my head was so foggy during the day. Still felt foggy with that, so know I have cut it to 1/4. The pills are so small, it is difficult to cut into 1/4s with my pill splitter, but I am doing my best. So still helping with sleep. And my head feels better too... I feel functional.

So functional, I have started updating my kitchen! I have one more week to get a bunch of stuff done. We will see how much I can get done in that time. I have to patch walls, paint the ceiling and walls, install new floor tiles (after ripping out the old vinyl sheet flooring) and updating the light fixture over the back landing. I got started yesterday by cutting back a cupboard so I can relocate the fridge. I discovered that this cupboard must have been painted red at some point. I cannot imagine red cupboards in this tiny kitchen!! Wish me good energy to get a good portion of this done.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

One down...

One to go.

I had my covid vaccine yesterday. No big deal. A very small amount of vaccine (looked like about 0.3 ml) and a small needle. Today, no ill effects at all. I don't consider the little spot on my deltoid that feels like a little bruise an ill effect. It is less that I get each year from the flu shot.

My next appointment for jab #2 is on Jan. 7th. That is the one where I may have some ill effects. One of the doctors I work with told me that the immune response is often much stronger with the 2nd shot and taking the day off work after the 2nd one is advisable. Some of the things one may feel are nausea, headache, body aches and fever.

Guess I will find out then.

Stay safe, everyone! Be kind. Be hopeful that this is the beginning of the quelling of the pandemic. 

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Struggling to get through

 We will be receiving a limited number of covid-19 vaccines in my province (enough for 900 people to start), and the government has set up a phone line to make appointments. There are strict criteria for the first candidates: you must be a healthcare worker, work in an acute care setting (hospital), and were born before Dec. 31, 1960. I fit all of these criteria, plus I have to care for covid-positive patients quite regularly. So I have been calling the phone number. It went live yesterday at noon. Yesterday, I dialed the number 114 times. I got through 6 times and was put on hold. Each of those times, after just over 11 minutes, the calls were dropped. I have called the number 16 times so far today and have been on hold twice. So far, this second time, the call has not dropped and I am at 16 minutes!

Fingers crossed, I actually get through this time.

EDIT: I finally got through after being on hold for one hour and 38 minutes. I have my vaccination appointments: Dec. 16/20 and Jan. 7/21. Yay!! I fully expect to feel like crap for a day or two afterwards (normal response to this type of vaccine) but very grateful that we are not waiting the typical 5 - 10 years for a vaccine rollout.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Oh Happy Day!

 May the healing our of sister nation beside us begin in earnest. Please let there not be violence and Trump's supporters take in this disappointment. Please stay safe, all my friends in America. Please stay safe. And may the world begin to veer away from the racist white supremacist ways that have been eating away at society across the globe. More than ever, we need, as the human race, we need to work together to reform our societies and our world into something that allows all life on this planet to flourish and to live in harmony. We all need to coexist peacefully.

Friday, 23 October 2020

We have the highest infection rate in the country...

 Winnipeg is only a city of around 750K folks. Not huge by any standard... piddly-ass nothing by New York and LA standards, but in Canada, we have the highest covid-19 infection rate per 100,000 people in the fucking COUNTRY!!! Because people have gotten stoopid and lax and just keep going out and partying, socializing, having big weddings, funerals and whatever kind of gatherings they want. It makes me so fucking mad!!

I go to work. I shop for most of my groceries online. We cancelled our family Thanksgiving dinner. We cancelled my greatniece's 14th birthday. I haven't seen some family members since January, FFS. And there are people here who insist on eating in restaurants, going to bars, doing shit that spreads that nasty everywhere. (But not anymore, because things have been locked down again starting this past Monday and masks are mandatory everywhere.)

Now, I have to admit that when I do go to to the store, I now see everyone is wearing a mask. So that is a good thing. But the majority of positive cases have been people in the 20 - 40 age group. People have gone to work with symptoms. People have gone to weddings with symptoms. Because of assholes like those, old folks are dying in care homes. There are outbreaks in many of the care homes here. There are outbreaks in northern remote communities. There are outbreaks on three wards in the hospital where I work. The strain on healthcare workers is huge. We are short staffed on any given day and overtime is soaring through the roof. One day last week, we have 15 people doing overtime, most of those doing double shifts, some 4 hours extra. We have covid positive and suspect patients we have to bring into the dialysis unit for their treatments because there is nowhere else in the hospital we can give them their treatments. We are strapped for spots for new patients. (And there are always new patients, because dialysis is a growth industry, unfortunately.) We are finding some supplies running short at times, and just today, we have a nightmare plumbing issue in one of the satellite dialysis rooms.

There is a lot of water used in dialysis. And that has to go down the drain. Today, the drain pipe in one of the satellite dialysis units became plugged. The plumbers spent a couple of hours using the snake to clean the drain. There was black sludge all over the floor, and a flood of filthy water running out into the hallway. The housekeepers had a team of 3 mini zambonis to clean up the water and try to contain the deluge. (Yeah, I know they are not zambonis [those machines used to clean the ice in hockey rinks] but they operate on the same basis, only on a much smaller push-from-behind basis, so that's what I call them.) I think they threw every flannel blanket we had on the linen cart onto the floor to soak up water before those guys arrived with their machines. I was working in the office across the hall for the day and we had to endure a lovely aroma of sewer for a good part of the afternoon. I couldn't wait to get outside and breathe some fresh air! The patients who were supposed to be dialyzed in that room obviously weren't. I am not sure what was done with them, and if the evening patients were able to come in for their treatments, but I am sure I will hear on Monday when I am back at work.

But on a much more positive note, as I drove home from work, I snapped this photo of the big prairie sky. Yes, I pulled over (it is illegal to use your phone while driving here and I sure don't need a big fine and my license suspended (which is the first offense punishment). I like taking photos of the sky. I might just print this one out one day and hang it on my wall.