I showed up at the hospital today in the late afternoon for my vaccine appointment. Today is January 24rd. I had been thinking about it all week, got there early and had put others things I might have done today on the back burner.
So when I was told my name didn’t appear in their schedule I could feel the heat of anger rise. My body felt hot and tense. I explained that I had two appointments, one for each vaccine about four weeks apart, and that I had commitments to begin March 1st after I received my second shot. It didn’t matter. They only have enough vaccines to cover the people with appointments. I was out of luck.
I swore a good deal on the drive home. Fortunately there was no rain, no congestion on the freeway and not an unpleasant drive. Some of the old homes on Capital Hill are so gorgeous and regal. It’s always a nice drive through those neighborhoods on the way to and from the hospital. But still, I was hopping mad!
Mostly I was frustrated with myself because there was probably a Confirm Button somewhere on the scene that I overlooked with my ADD brain. One of the hardest parts of having ADD is the lack of attention to detail. My eyes take in a computer screen and my brain retaliates. I see the whole but miss the small bits that can be really important. There is also the impulsivity, so it’s possible I closed out the screen before confirming my appointment because I was done, or thought I was. Ready to move on. Famous last words with ADD and ADHD.
And so, how does an adult deal with anger, disappointment and frustration? I’m no expert here, but I have a lot of experience. As a child I used the fact I was Irish and Sagittarius to explain away my bad temper. The fact that anger feels far more powerful and comfortable than sadness made it my go-to emotion as a kid. Oscar the Grouch was my favorite character on Sesame Street.
So now, how did I manage? I think I did pretty well. I was polite, if not insistent, and I kept my voice normal, no tears or drama. I left the paper with information about the vaccine on the desk of the man who was checking people in. Dropping that on his desk was the only outside sign of my angst. And I swore to myself under my breath until I got into my car. Then I let it rip.
Thinking about what happened while taking a bath helped calm me down. Knowing that how we talk to ourselves greatly impacts how we feel, I decided to change the way I was thinking about this, the story I was telling myself.
I’ve decided that whoever else got my appointment needed the vaccine more than I. Just the other day the criteria for getting vaccine changed from 70 years of age to 65. Maybe the person waiting for their 4:10pm appointment has grandkids they haven’t been able to see. Maybe they are scared of getting sick and dying. Maybe they are more at risk than I.
I work in healthcare, so I became eligible a while back. I wasn’t convinced I met the criteria because I don’t work in a nursing home or with groups. I see people one-on-one for the most part. I didn’t make the appointment until I was invited to participate in a group activity with safety precautions in place. I thought I could be extra safe if I had my vaccines taken care of.
My next appointment is set for late March. UGH!