Chicken Pox

As I mentioned previously i was given quite the list of labs to complete. Since they were sent to me by mail, no one ever explained to me what they were for either. Oh, did I also mention there were three lab sheets, for two different labs. Really? I can’t just go to one lab?? I made an appointment at the first lab which was quite the experience. I am used to going to the lab attached to my local hospital/medical center. It’s in a huge, new medical building. The same building actually where my OB/GYN office is located. They don’t take appointments, and no matter what time you get there you wait at least an hour. It’s always packed to the brim in the waiting room. Sometimes there aren’t even seats. If you don’t happen to be lucky enough to have a seat you have to stand awkwardly in the middle because they will not go outside to look for you when it’s your turn.

Well, this was NOT the experience I had at my first lab draw. First, the lab they sent me to had appointments, so I made one. I put the address of the nearest lab where I made my appointment in my GPS and I was on my way first thing in the morning (I had to fast, of course). Well it was not located where my GPS sent me. I eventually found it but it was basically in this little “shack”. I walk in, and there were three chairs against the wall, a desk, and this screen looking thing with another chair (the kind you sit in to give labs) behind the screen, and one person working both the desk and taking the labs. There was also a door, behind which I presume was a restroom for pee samples. Well thankfully I had made an appointment because there were a few other people there, and she took me first. It was crowded to say the least. The room was barely bigger than my master bathroom in my home. She took nine vials of blood. That is by far the most I have ever had taken at once. Some of them were like twice the size of the normal ones I get taken for my thyroid checks. I was light headed afterwards to say the least.

My second lab appointment was also at a rather small lab. I was also able to make an appointment. This lab had two employees. One at the desk and another drawing blood. The area where they took the labs was also separate from the waiting room. And by separate I mean there was a wall in between them, not a screen. This draw was only 4 vials of blood and a pee sample. Much easier.

So at this point I still don’t know what they tested with all that blood, except I was instructed to start taking Vitamin D3 supplements, and get a chicken pox vaccine. Again, nothing can be as simple as it should be….

So the nurse at the clinic tells me that chicken pox is lethal to you when you are pregnant and apparently even though I had chicken pox when I was a child, I am not immune to them. Given that my step-son is in kindergarten and hasn’t had them yet it’s probably pretty important for me to get vaccinated now. The nurse told me that these vaccines are widely available at most pharmacies so it should be super simple for me to get. WRONG.

So I started by doing a search online of every local pharmacy (CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens). You can “make an appointment” online if they have the vaccination available. Well after over an hour of searching I finally found one Walgreens that had it available. I did not make an appointment because it was located in a really inconvenient location and I wasn’t sure when I could actually go.  About two weeks before my scheduled surgery I was able to sneak away from work and I drove to the Walgreens.

I should take this moment to also mention that the chicken pox vaccine (Varivax) is a two dose vaccine, which must be taken 28 days apart.  It’s also a live virus, so you cannot get pregnant for basically 60 days from the first shot.  So getting this first shot before my surgery was pretty important to “start the 60 day clock” as soon as possible.

I was able to sneak away from work to go to the Walgreens a few days later and when I arrived I discovered that they, in fact, did not have the vaccine in stock.  Shit.  The pharmacist did offer to order it for me, took all of my information, and said they would call me in three days or so when it came in.  GREAT.  While the pharmacy was not in a convenient location from my home, or local office, it was sort of on my way home during my Thursday commute home on travel weeks, so I could stop on Tuesday or Thursday of the next week.  Score.

Well fast forward to the next Thursday (and a few days before my surgery) still no call from the pharmacy.  I decided to just stop in on my way home completing assuming that it was there for me, and they just forgot to call.  WRONG AGAIN.

Of course the people working were not the same from the first time I had been in, and there was no record that I was ever there, and no one ever ordered my vaccine.  ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME!?!?!?!  Not losing my shit on these people was a serious challenge but I kept it together.  I mean I didn’t want to be the crazy woman flipping out about her “emergency” chicken pox vaccine.  Thankfully the pharmacist working that day was actually a very nice man who literally called every Walgreens in the area in search of my vaccine.  When it seemed all hope was lost, and I would have to wait another 2 weeks plus (until after surgery/recovery), he found it….AT THE WALGREENS DOWN THE STREET FROM MY HOUSE.  What a wonderful man he was, and he was probably really perplexed as to why I was so incredibly grateful to get a chicken pox vaccine.  If there wasn’t a counter between us I would have hugged him.

The next morning on my way to work I got my first vaccine and all was right with the world.  And at the end of September I get dose #2.