JANUARY 12, 2021

TODAY’S MISSION IMPOSSIBLE : Get a Covid vaccination.

Patti and I have tried and tried, again and again, to accomplish this MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. We were registered and signed up to receive the vaccine and were then told we did not qualify and to cancel our reservation. We did so (cancelled our registration). Then we were told we shouldn’t have cancelled our reservation. By then we had lost our-place-in-line. We are not alone in this MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.

Enough said.

Jerry (a woman) is a friend of Patti. I met Jerry when Patti and I visited her a few years ago. Jerry lives in the greater Cleveland, Ohio, area. Jerry was always complaining of being fatigued, tired, of having a low energy level. Idly I sympathized with Jerry as such feelings have joined me on my trek through life.

Then Jerry ended up the Emergency Room of a local Cleveland hospital. She was diagnosed as being severely anemic. So severe that she was admitted to the hospital and received a number of units of blood to combat her severe anemia.

Anemia is a condition in which you lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues. Having anemia can make you feel tired and weak. There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.

Fast forward to last January of 2020 when we were at the Mayo Clinic down in Phoenix, Arizona. My Doctor (a general practitioner) noted in his diagnosis that I was borderline anemic. THAT caught my attention as my mind flipped back to Patti’s friend Jerry.

Last August I got around to see and discuss this anemia issue with my Anchorage Doctor. She said she wanted me to see a hematologist. A hematologist is a specialist in hematology, the science or study of blood, blood-forming organs and blood diseases.

After a number of follow ups by my Doctor and the hematologist (why haven’t you scheduled an appointment?) we are into January of 2020 about five months later.

Enter into my life Alaska Oncology and Hematology. We’ll skip the Oncology part.

Finally, yesterday, I went with a long sigh. The last thing I wanted to do was to see a new doctor in a new practice and fill out the usual five or six pages of information (which Patti completed for me) they require etc and then participate in the getting-to-know one another experience.

I was positive I’d be assigned a brand new, young, Doctor just out of residency beginning his medical career.


I got a cracker-jack, super sharp, middle aged woman who had taught medicine at the University level in St. Louis, Missouri, on her way to meet me. We began the getting-to-know-one-another routine. Finally we got to business. As we were about to complete our appointment I asked her (because she said they would do a blood draw) IF I could get tested for Covid anti-bodies. “Why?” she asked. I told her that from October 2018 to December 2019 I had been in Mongolia, China, Korea and (oh by the way) I had spent 9 months in Russian Siberia. And that I thought I’d picked up Covid en route home in December of 2019 because, en route home, I made a stop in a Seattle, Washington, Emergency Room experiencing what we now know as possible Covid symptoms. I felt that I might have given what I had to a friend in Seattle and to Patti when I got back here to Anchorage.


“I am from the Ukraine.” 

“Yes I will ask for a Covid antibody blood screening for you.”

In this lifetime does it help to have friends?

As we were about to end our appointment she said ..”By the way”.. “Would you like to receive a Covid vaccination here?” 

Shortly thereafter the Administrator of the Alaska Oncology and Hematology Clinic came in with the paperwork for the two of us, Patti and me.

Tomorrow, Friday the 15th, 2021  at 9:45am the 15th of January we will receive the Moderna vaccine.

In this lifetime does it help to have friends?

Patti and I had, more or less, given up the hunt for the vaccine figuring in-God’s-time maybe it would happen.

Still Smiling .. Patti and Cap

After I got back to our truck (Patti was not allowed into the clinic because of Covid protocols) I said to Patti, “You have filled out a ton of medical forms for me over the years. I finally am going to repay you. Here is a medial form that I just filled out for you.”

I handed it to her. She casually looked it over. THEN, looking at the top of the page, Patti saw that the form was titled : Registration and Informed Consent for COVID-19 Immunization.

Yes. When Patti realized what the form was about, tears came to her eyes.


  1. Gullible

    Interesting that you have experienced so many problems with getting the vaccine.

    I received an e-mail from the Seward Senior Center advising of appointments available for the Moderna vaccine. I called the clinic, received a call back, and have an appointment on the 21st for my first shot. Just like that. The advantages of not living in a big city, I guess.

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Yes, there are advantages and YES there are disadvantages to remote living in Alaska. At our age, it is nice to KNOW that very close to us are two major hospitals and Emergency Rooms ‘at the ready’. Five minutes away just-in-case. When I lay down in Manley Hot Springs, the evening of September 11th preparing to bleed-out, Patti and I were 160 road miles away from a hospital. I lived OH YES BUT had I been close (5 minutes away) I would have gone to the Emergency Room. A coin has two sides. Yea and Nay. Smiles and Thanks Gullible for following us. Cap and Patti

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      It was amazing Kathleen! Our doctor hooked us up with the Administrator of the Clinic and she, the Administrator herself, got us signed up right on the spot. I then filled out the forms that she brought into the examination room I was in with my doctor. Yes it IS Serendipity! Thanks Kathleen .. Cap and Patti

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