#SOL21: Prelude




I navigate to the web site.


I’ve been down this road.

Log in.

Holding my breath on the password.


Confidence builds as boxes begin to have answers.

It’s the bottom of page 1 of the form.

I hit continue and I see red lines. I scroll back up to complete drop down items. Whoa. I didn’t even see these items with auto-fill. Maybe I shouldn’t complete this on my phone. Maybe I need a bigger screen. Maybe . . . My brain is buzzing with “could of, should of . . .” But there is no time to waste. Time is of the essence. This isn’t my first rodeo. This has become my life. The new normal.

Wait for a notification.

Rush to the site.

All too familiar.

This time I arrive at the upload portion. Upload two pictures. I click. No response. No choices. No browsing. No upload. I begin muttering as I start the process again. The whole thing. Autofill. Continue. Fill in the red sections. Upload. No response. No choices. No browsing. No upload. No spinning wheel. A silent, uncooperative screen.

I’m ready to toss my phone. Correction. I’m ready to throw my phone against something. Small pieces would make me happy. Why can I not complete such a simple task? Is it the phone? Internet? The program?

I look at the clock. It feels like hours but it has only been 15 minutes. 900 seconds. Time keeps ticking away. I pull out the chromebook and start again. Pounding the keys. No longer quiet.

The fourth time.

The form.


Drop down answers.


Upload pictures.

ARRRRRRRGGGGGH. The pictures that are on my phone that are NOT on my chromebook. Precious seconds, minutes as I email the pics and wait for them to arrive. Stuck in technological limbo.


The fourth time.

And yes, the final screen shouts success.

It does not matter that my first and second choices were no longer available. I’m in.

I start the process again for two more family members. No such luck. No slots left. No more magic today. It’s been almost two hours since the first notification. Too much wasted time. I have the email confirmation. Now I just need patience. Only one success today.

There has to be a better way. Hours and hours of searching. Hours and hours of frustration.

How are the elderly coping?

Is technology always a helpful tool?

When does technology become the source of frustration?

One Tier 1-B vaccination scheduled. Two more to go. So much frustration around the lack of a central registration system . . . especially for those who should be an even higher priority.


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

13 responses

  1. I agree, Fran. This whole process is frustrating. We have had our names on waiting lists for over a month. Now, with the storms snarling distribution, appointments being rescheduled, many places here are not taking new appointments at this time.

    1. Hearing of “openings”, rushing to sign up, only to have all the slots filled. On Saturday, no appts. On Sunday am, no appts. And then out of the blue, Sunday afternoon, a site opened up within an hour’s travel. It’s worse than crazy.

  2. The process of getting vaccinated IS so frustrating. I understand wanting to toss the phone at something!

    I heard about this site, https://hidrb.com/, to help you find doses that might go to waste. It could be worth a try.

    Good luck, Fran!

    1. Stacey,
      Just signed up my mom and sister.
      Oh. Lucky day!!!

  3. You’ve described the frustration so perfectly! My mom and aunts experienced this same back and forth, upload, reload process for my grandparents.

    Good luck!!

    1. The absolute worst is typing furiously and hitting the final “submit” only to find out that tme slot is unavailable.

  4. This is a great “small moment” piece, full of emotion and detail and relatability. I don’t think it’s a generational thing–you seem pretty tech-savvy! I struggle with an “elderly” computer that is in desperate need of replacing, though I know the purging and saving of digital materials will be a painful process.

    1. Phones, chromebooks, . . . all have glitches for sure. Digital does not always make everything simple and easy!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. […] This is the second installment in a story begun in last week’s post, Prelude. […]

  6. […] after I hit publish for this post last week, I received an email about an appointment source for Mom and my sister. I quickly scheduled […]

  7. “How are the elderly coping?” I couldn’t imagine my own mother being successful because I barely was, and I like to think I’m technically equipped and knowledgeable enough to get by. I literally worked four different local healthcare apps multiple times per day for a week until I scored an appointment for her. It became my part time job. I enjoyed the structure of this post very much.

    1. Thanks. Patty. Our system was set up for failure from Day one. So sad that so much distrust plus death has complicated all the divisiveness in life.

      We spent weeks and used every single friend in Healthcare for our leads!

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