Valentine’s Day & Rapid COVID-19 Tests

Life feels like it is moving pretty fast lately. Which is weird because we have been at home for such a long time now that I can only imagine what it is going to feel like when we return to a more “normal” routine. This Wednesday if all goes according to plan we will celebrate our 100th day of homeschool. I am just so proud of all of us.

On Valentine’s Day the kids woke up to treats on the kitchen table and a few new books to read. They also got In-N-Out Burger for dinner at the house from my parents. They were so excited because it was the first time they have had it in over a year. It is so expensive for our family to eat out and when the pandemic happened last year we made a choice to only eat at home. This has saved us so much money because for our family to eat burger’s and fries it costs $50. We don’t want to get into the habit of eating out as often as we were so we will be keeping this treat strictly for birthday’s or other special occasions to celebrate.

Josh and I celebrated Valentine’s Day by using a gift certificate from our dentist to Vincitorio’s Restaurant. Josh picked up the food curbside and we had a date night at home after the kids went to bed. We had a wonderful dinner and live streamed Josh Groban’s Valentine’s Day show. Thank you so much to our dentist, Dr. Anita Elliot, and staff. Josh and I have been going to her office for over a decade. If you are local and looking for a dentist we highly recommend Elliot Dental.

Our week was also filled with Josh going to get rapid COVID tests due to exposures from coworkers. Thankfully both tests were negative and I am just so glad he has had his first and second vaccinations. Huge shoutout to his fire department for having these rapid tests available. On a side note my grandparents go this week for their second shot and my dad is going to get his first. As of Sunday 500,000 people in the United States have died in the current pandemic, this is not far from reaching the grim milestone of 1918 (where 675,000 died). Just so sad.

We have been trying to spend as much time outside as possible lately because the weather has been beautiful. Our backyard sunsets have been amazing lately.

And we have also been taking advantage of our America the Beautiful Pass and hiking and picnicking. This week we hiked by the Salt River and got to see several wild horses on the trail.

Lastly our weekend finished with Josh ripping out a section of our daughter’s wall that had dry rotted. Several days ago he told me that he wanted to build a larger shed in our backyard which prompted me to kindly remind him of the wall project had been on the list for several months.

I love my husband so much and this was all it took to get him motivated to fix the wall. While talking over our plan with my dad on the phone he recommended bleaching the area to kill any mold and spraying foam insulation around the pipe. After the phone call Josh went to Home Depot to buy foam insulation, came home, and got to work.

Hours later we were finishing up texturing the new drywall. I asked Josh if he had remembered to bleach the interior of wall because I had forgotten to do it and assumed he had. He had assumed I had bleached it. And sadly the wall was torn apart again, bleach was sprayed, and another trip to Home Depot was made. We are hoping that the wall will be finished later this week.

Reading about what has been happening in Texas over the last week has made me so grateful to have electricity in my house and running water. If you live in Texas and have experienced lack of electricity and water I am so sorry. You have been in my thoughts and prayers.

I hope you enjoyed this recap of our last few days. Have a great final week of February and thanks for stopping by the blog and reading today.

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What It Was Like For My Husband Getting His Second COVID-19 Vaccine at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ

Josh got his second Pfizer vaccine last week at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. This is not the location where he received his first dose due to our county not having enough vaccines to schedule appointments. I am so thankful we were able to schedule his second appointment at the 21 day mark from his first vaccine at the state vaccination site.

GETTING THE COVID-19 VACCINATION AT STATE FARM STADIUM

We live about an hour away from State Farm Stadium. Due to a traffic accident on the road he arrived right at the time of his appointment. He was in a long line of cars that moved fairly quickly. He showed his QR code that came with the confirmation email, drivers license and also his employee identification. 

Josh stayed in the car the entire time. Once he recieved the shot he waited the 15 minutes to see if he had any complications. Again, just like the first shot, he said it didn’t hurt and 15 minutes later he was back on the freeway driving home. 

In total he was at the stadium for 45 minutes. He said it was well organized and as soon as he got the vaccine he had an email in his inbox confirming the vaccination.

HOW DID HE FEEL AFTER THE SECOND DOSE?

He felt fine. He was maybe a little more tired the evening of his shot but his arm was more sore from the first shot. Thankfully he didn’t experience body aches or a fever.

THE AZDHS SCHEDULING WEBSITE

I have now used this website to schedule six appointments for multiple family members. I have seen the not so great version of this website where you had to search every single date for an appointment and enter in your information each time you tried to search for an appointment because there was no save feature.

Last week when I went to schedule a vaccination for my dad the website update had corrected these issues. Thank you Arizona Department of Health Services for fixing your website. I was in and out of the website with an appointment secured for my dad in 5 minutes. I couldn’t believe it. 

If you or someone you know is getting a vaccine at the state site you are now guaranteed a second appointment. When my grandparents went for their first dose they were both scheduled before they left the stadium. Since I booked the appointments all their confirmation emails came to me. When I opened up the emails I noticed that only my grandpa had been scheduled. I mention this only to say make sure you double check those emails. Thankfully I was able to go into the website and schedule my grandma on the same day 10 minutes after his appointment time. 

If you made it this far, thank you for reading my ramblings. I am really looking forward to brighter days ahead. Josh is well on his way to being fully vaccinated. He is almost at the two week mark since his second shot. Obviously he will still be taking precautions, as will our other family members who have been vaccinated. But at this moment I am feeling hopeful and so thankful he was able to get both doses. 

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My Husband’s Experience Getting The First Dose Of The COVID-19 Vaccine

I am so grateful that Josh was able to get priority access to the vaccine. It has been a little over 24 hours since his first dose and I wanted to share what the process was like for him to prescreen, book, and get the vaccine. A little background in case you are new here. We live in Maricopa County, Arizona and Josh is a firefighter.

Our family knows so many people who have been impacted by COVID. Some have had minor cold and flu like symptoms or no symptoms at all, others have been put on ventilators, and many are still dealing with lingering symptoms months after being infected. Sadly some of these people have passed away.

I think all of us can agree that there are many differing opinions on getting the vaccine. Over the last few months Josh and I have had these types of discussion between ourselves. Many of these conversations also involved if I should get the vaccine. I had GuillainBarre Syndrome in my 20’s and there has been conflicting information if this vaccine would be contraindicated.

When I found out Josh would be able to schedule a vaccine in December I was so excited. Anything that we could do to protect him, our family, and those in our community I was all on board for. Josh said he would get the vaccine if I wanted him to but wasn’t planning to sign up for it at this time. That left me in a weird spot. I totally wanted him to be vaccinated but also really wanted it to be his choice. I began to drop hints, shared stories of other people we knew who were getting it, and hoped he would just sign up for it on his own.

He didn’t.

PRESCREENING, AZDHS ACCOUNT SETUP, & SCHEDULING

So several weeks ago when the state was in the middle of Phase 1A and only vaccinating healthcare workers I told him I really wanted him to get it. He did the online prescreening and we waited. Then several days before Phase 1A was going to end he got an email confirmation that said he could schedule his vaccine. He was on shift at the time so I did the account setup on AZDHS and booked his appointment.

Again I am grateful and so thankful to all involved that he has been able to be a part of this process. But the website is a little tricky to navigate. I had to try several different browsers, Chrome is what worked, before I could setup his account. Once the account was setup I was able to use Safari to schedule. This entire process to setup the account and schedule took an hour.

GETTING THE COVID-19 VACCINATION IN MARICOPA COUNTY

He got his first shot yesterday. It was also the day that our county moved into Phase 1B. Here is what his experience was like.

He arrived 15 minutes early for his appointment and here was the line in front of him.

For check-in he showed a QR code he received with his appointment confirmation, drivers license and also his employee identification.

The line moved quickly. Everyone stays in their car for the entire process and is masked at all times. There were multiple tents setup in two parking lots. One group of tents at one end of the parking lot which was for administering the vaccine and on the other side of the parking lot was another set of tents for volunteers monitoring for medical issues and to hand out follow up information. There was security monitoring the line and the National Guard was there assisting also.

Several firefighters in his department were assisting with check-in and he was vaccinated by a captain from his department (and coincidentally from his current station assignment). In case you are wondering he was administered the Pfizer vaccine.

He said the flu shot hurt worse and he experienced no stinging or burning when he received the vaccine. After he was vaccinated he drove his car into another line where he waited for 15 minutes. Easy peasy. He was instructed to leave the windows down and honk to alert those working if he had any complications.

In total the entire process took around 30 minutes. Which is fantastic! There was no waiting around in line, everyone was masked and in their own vehicle, and it is great that this part of the process is so streamlined. Now we just wait to get an email to schedule his second dose.

HOW IS HE FEELING AFTER 24 HOURS

Several hours after his shot he said his arm felt slightly bruised. It didn’t hurt or ache but just felt tender depending on how he moved his arm. And it was only localized to that one area. This morning the injection site is slightly more sore but nothing major.

Getting Josh vaccinated was the choice we made for our family. If Josh had been adamant about not getting the vaccine he wouldn’t have been vaccinated yesterday. There is so much misinformation out there about the vaccine even among healthcare workers.

Yesterday I was asking him questions about his experience getting vaccinated as we were eating lunch in our backyard and watching the kids play. He told me when I wrote this post to include that he initially wasn’t ready to get the vaccine when it was first offered to him. Stories like this are important and need to be shared. If you are a healthcare worker and weren’t vaccinated in Phase 1A but would like to do so you still can.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Yesterday evening I got a message from my Grandpa asking if I could help him figure out the registration system for getting vaccinated. My grandparents are in their 80’s and we have only seen them handful of times in their driveway in the past 10 months. He had been trying all day to register himself and my Grandma. We had told them if they needed help to call us.

I listened to how he had tried to register I told him he had done everything I would have tried. I saw an option on Josh’s account to register additional family members and told him we could try that. Thirty minutes later I had entered all their information along with insurance I.D’s., scheduled them both for appointments at the same time, and sent them their email confirmations. If you have already made an account on AZDHS and have family members who are having trouble scheduling or even accessing the website you might be able to book an appointment for them.

All in all yesterday was a good day for our family. Josh received his first dose and my Grandparents are now scheduled for theirs. I am feeling hopeful that in several months we will be able to spend more time together. Our plan is to remain masked when we do these visits and stay outdoors but I am looking forward to the kids being able to see their Great Grandparents for an actual visit as opposed to being in the car.

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