Contributed by Bob “Oxygen Man” Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~
So, 2021 is off to a bang, right?
So many changes.
The good news is that availability of COVID-19 vaccines continue to expand, but with the new opportunities there is also a lot of confusion on getting it.
First things first, the vaccine is being distributed with a phased approach. The phases are designed to take the available doses and get them first into the arms of those who are working in public service and our senior citizens. The general idea is that the phases will cover the most vulnerable and work through the categories to the general public as doses are more readily available. Click the link to read more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I am happy to report I got my first dose of the vaccine last week! I qualified to receive the vaccine because of my medical condition of having a severe lung disease. For those of you who have other health-related ailments and specific conditions you might be eligible as well.
To confirm who is eligible to receive the vaccination in your geographical location follow this helpful link to visit your local health department to learn more.
There are lots of lists you can get on to get the vaccine – your local pharmacy, state health website, and possibly a 3-digit phone number. Mine in Ohio is 211.
Make sure to be patient with everyone you speak to. Most have been more then helpful, but at times there can be a bit of confusion in the roll-out because it is an exceedingly difficult time to get good information … no doubt.
No fault of anyone or any organization I believe. This is new to everyone. There haven’t been any living people that have the firsthand experience that can be shared.
Not many can help from the last pandemic back in 1917, obviously, but then again it is so different today anyway. Who knew we’d be living under these crazy conditions?
If you are wanting to get a COVID-19 vaccine here are some steps to go through to make sure you are staying up to date on the latest details regarding the distribution of the vaccine.
- I would recommend you contacting the health department in your state and county you live in. Mine for example is http://www.Medinahealth.org. You should have something similar where you live. Gives a good snapshot of what is happening.
- Look into the distribution plan and where you might fall int his plan. When I talked with someone this week, it was informative but frustrating and disappointing at the same time. There are NOT ENOUGH vaccines to distribute right now. And some are starting to administer the second dose of those who have received the first vaccine dose as well, which makes it a bit more difficult.
- Get on a local waiting list at your neighborhood pharmacy or health department. For those of you who are frequently at the pharmacy ask them about availability when you are there. You probably know them as well as I do with all the medications I take. They are helpful.
Friends, the bottom line is that you need a plan, and you might need help as I do in getting yourself vaccinated. Ask for help and ask questions, please!
I tend to be somewhat quarantined or isolated from time to time with this journey as I am sure many of you are. But 18 months of no vacations and not really getting out much is a tough pill to swallow and I have over 20 a day to take.
It’s crazy times when I look forward to traveling to the Cleveland Clinic downtown for a couple days of lung testing and transplant evaluations. LOL. I’m getting out, getting some exercise, and talking lungs stuff, oh boy! What an adventure. It does beat sitting at home. Good days are ahead of us!
The warm weather will be here before you know it and we can get out in the yard and start visiting friends and loved ones on a regular basis, (fingers-crossed)!
I think we will still have much of the face mask wearing and social distance practices still in our normal routines, however.
That isn’t so bad, I think, as we become a healthier nation. Maybe the flu numbers will continue to decrease, and more virus and other type ailments will not spread so easy. I’m in for all that. COVID-19 will be around I fear, but the science and health industries continue to make good strides in fighting this new monster! Personally, killing the monster in movie thrillers is more final and preferred. LOL.
But we will learn to live with it and the experts will help tame its progression. It is a scary virus no doubt.
Unfortunately, I have experienced some loved ones and friends who have contracted this disease, and some have lived to talk about it, some are still fighting, and others have become victims and can’t speak of their battle, sigh. It has been incredibly sad.
I was thinking the other day as I was going through class registrations for next year with my kids. It has been over a year since they have been in school with all the students at the same time. The teachers are getting their vaccines this week and the counselors are also excited to have the kids back. Even though my kids are concerned for me, they are excited to be back. I’m ok with it. We know how to be safe and have been practicing for years. What’s cool, is they are helping their friends be safe. I love that!!!
Remember friends, we can only control what we can control. Don’t waste time wishing for this or that. Enjoy what you can and spend the best quality times you can with whomever is important to you.
Next time I’m going to share a bit more about my journey and what is coming down the road. I hope many of you will relate and can share as well.
Love you all!
I must go out and observe the snowplowing festivities. We are digging out of over a foot of snow today!!!
#toucheart, #laugheveryday, #breathe-easy
Keep the ‘tude!
Bob Rawlins, 61, of Medina, Ohio, is husband to Terese and father to their 16-year-old triplets, a soccer coach, a hospital volunteer, band dad and chaperone, and marketing guru. He uses a FreeStyle Comfort portable oxygen concentrator and a transportable oxygen concentrator for overnight travel.
If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE by visiting www.caireinc.com/patients or by calling 1-800-482-2473 to talk to an oxygen advisor. The contents of this blog post are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice.
Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.