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Bonus: Troy Gets the COVID Shot

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Bonus: Troy Gets the COVID Shot

Dec 22, 2020

Troy talks about his emotional reaction to getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Scot talks about jigsaw puzzles. Both preview the first few episodes of the upcoming 2021 season of Who Cares About Men's Health

Episode Transcript

This content was originally created for audio. Some elements such as tone, sound effects, and music can be hard to translate to text. As such, the following is a summary of the episode and has been edited for clarity. For the full experience, we encourage you to subscribe and listen— it's more fun that way.

Scot: "Who Cares About Men's Health?" And we just wanted to kind of give you one final gift of 2020 because that's the kind of giving guys we are. I mean, I know Troy's a lot more giving than I am generally. And Troy, this was his idea really.

Troy: This was my gift to all of our listeners. You know, Scot, we wrapped it up last week, but we said we can't end 2020 like that. We've got to have one final thing we say here. So we're giving you this.

Scot: All right. So before we get to our final thing here, this is going to be just a short "Who Cares About Men's Health?" We wanted to let you know some of the episodes coming up next season that we're pretty excited about. We've got some familiar faces back on. Thunder Jalili is going to talk about obesity and why is that a big deal when it comes to your health, and you might be surprised . . .

Troy: Great way to ring in the new year.

Scot: Yes.

Troy: Because I'll feel guilty on January 3rd or whenever it's going to air.

Scot: We're also going to bring back John Smith, he's our urologist, with another episode of ask a urologist. One of Troy's acquaintances is going to come on, tell us about, [Roshago 00:00:58].

Troy: Yeah, Roshago is someone I've known for over a year now. And he is a bodybuilder, not a professional bodybuilder, but just below a professional level, fascinating guy in terms of what he goes through for these bodybuilding competitions. Like talking to him, I hear him talk about body fat and how low he goes and what that does to him, how he diets for this, his whole process. Really, it's going to be fun to hear from him and his experience and then how that translates to the average guy. You know, like Scot, you know, a completely different world, but how do we incorporate some of what he does to try and, you know, put on a little more muscle mass and take off some of that fat.

Scot: And then also our very first episode back will be on a topic called cognitive load, which is fascinating and how COVID-19 and the pandemic has maybe impacted your ability to concentrate and even solve difficult problems. And there's actually a psychological explanation for that, which we'll talk about and we'll have some tips on how to overcome that as you head into 2021. But here is your Christmas present, if you will, your gift, your final gift, whatever holiday you celebrate, this is our little thing that we are giving to you. Our final, just going to leave this here. I'm just going to leave this here. So I wanted to let you know, Troy, that I have started puzzling. I've started doing a puzzle.

I know I'm a little late to this party. I know that this is so beginning of the pandemic, you do puzzles.

Troy: Yeah.

Scot: But my wife got a puzzle for me of Bryce Canyon for my birthday, 500 piece puzzle. I finally dumped it out on our big table, and I've really enjoyed it. You know, we talk about finding those things that can kind of take our minds off of what's going on or distract us or use a different part of our brain, and puzzling really is kind of filling that for me. So what I've enjoyed about it is getting intimately kind of familiar with an image and just knowing every little, small detail. It forces you to look at these little, small details you may have overlooked before. And then you look at all the pieces on the table, so you're looking at the cover, right, and you get the overall image. And then you look into the pieces on the table and then starting to recognize those patterns, those little intimate details that you might not have noticed before. And just the kind of even searching for the different pieces that go there. I've really started to enjoy that, and I find myself in a Zen state. I was up till midnight last night because I lost track of time.

Troy: Wow.

Scot: Putting together this puzzle. And, you know, so anyway, I just was really excited to share that that is something that I found has really kind of helped distract me. It's kind of like that hobby that we talk about. So it's not all on exercises back to, you know, reduce that stress and that sort of thing. You're laughing, what do you got?

Troy: But I can't help it, Scot. You're talking about puzzling. My only association with puzzling is Christmas Eve at my in-law's house, and every year, my mother-in-law has this gigantic, super-involved Christmas puzzle. And she wants us all to get involved and do it. And I do as much as I can. And usually, the other family members who are there find some excuse to get away from there. And so one year it seemed like it was just me and her doing this puzzle all evening. And I was just like, "Please, please make it stop." Nothing against my mother-in-law, but it was just trying to find these pieces. What you were finding to be a Zen-like experience, I think with my difficulty with concentrating for a long period of time, I really struggled with, so maybe I need to do more puzzling, but I'm glad you found that satisfaction.

Scot: Well, and I think the context . . . Yeah. The context for you isn't that great either because that's not what you're looking to do over your holiday.

Troy: It is really not.

Scot: Like, for me, it's like I go down to have my lunch and instead of taking my electronic device and just scrolling, I'll eat my lunch and I'll just kind of look at the pieces and look at the picture and, you know, I might find two or three pieces that help me with it and that's fine. I'm not breaking any records solving this thing, but, you know, it's something different other than, you know, mindlessly scrolling.

Troy: No, it's good. It sounds more productive than sitting down and watching "The Office" for the 40th time on Netflix, which is usually how I spend my evenings. So, yeah, definitely, a better activity than that.

So, Scot, I'm just going to leave this here. I now have gotten the COVID vaccine and I got it last week. As you probably know, it came to the U.S., rolled out last week. The first person to get it was in New York City. I think it was a MICU nurse in New York on Monday. And then I think you were involved in the news conference at the university on Tuesday where our first person in Utah to get it was also an ICU nurse at the University of Utah, and then I was fortunate enough to get it later that day.

So they told me I was one of the first 50 people. It was just dumb luck. I was leaving my shift in the respiratory unit after taking care of COVID patients all day, very sick patients, and one of our nursing administrators said, "Hey, do you want to get your COVID vaccine right now?" And I said, "Absolutely." I went upstairs up to the medical intensive care unit. We had several other frontline healthcare workers there from the MICU, from the emergency department, some from the trauma service, and I got the vaccine.

And it was a really cool experience. It was like a very bonding experience with everyone there. Like people were all getting pictures of each other and pictures of themselves doing this, probably all sorts of HIPAA violations with that, but we didn't care. You know, it's like, "Hey, this is amazing." And I had a lot of emotions. I think, like, I didn't think a ton about it at the time, but afterwards I got home and went for a run and kind of thought about it and, you know, kind of had a few different emotions. I mean, one was a very deep sense of gratitude that I was able to get this. And, you know, just kind of this feeling like, "Hey, here's the light." This is the light at the end of this very dark tunnel that we've been traveling through, and this is how we get out of it.

And I felt so grateful that I could get that vaccine, and I also felt a little bit of guilt. I mean, I got to be honest. It's almost kind of that survivor guilt. I kind of thought about people I've cared for over the last nine months who haven't made it and how I wish they had that vaccine and they could have prevented this and they could have gotten through this and guilt too that I was getting this when I know so many other people both in my life and then patients I know, and other people who I would rather have this than I have it. You know, I'd rather that they get it before I get it. So a little bit of guilt too.

So kind of an interesting range of emotions there. But my biggest feeling was I am so grateful to have this. You know, I guess it's kind of like feeling like you're on a ship that's wrecked and you're the first one ashore and you want to get everyone else to shore. And my thought was I want everyone else to have this right now. I want it right now for everyone. I know that is not logistically possible, but it was kind of like that opening of the door to say this vaccine is here. We're rolling it out. People are getting it. And I'm so grateful to have this. And I want as many people to have this as soon as possible.

So what I can tell you, in terms of reaction, the shot, the vaccine did not hurt going in. It's sore. You know, it was sore afterward, just an ache for a day or two after in my left deltoid, on my left shoulder where I got the injection. Maybe a little bit more of an ache than a flu shot, kind of like a tetanus shot if you remember how you feel with the tetanus shot. But otherwise, I felt fine. You know, everything's good. I've been running consistently since then. Everything's been great. So I would absolutely encourage you whenever you have the opportunity to get the vaccine, when that opportunity comes to get it.

Scot: I'm excited for you. That makes me feel better. I know that you've got, you know, all the safety precautions in place in the ER, and you're very diligent about that, but this is just that added level of protection and security. Now, does this mean that you can go after your immunity builds in two weeks, you can go visit your parents again because you won't be carrying it or no?

Troy: It's tough. The guidance that we have received and that others have received and given as well is to continue to practice everything you had practiced prior to getting the vaccine, which means I'm going to be wearing the same PPE at work, you know, the same mask, the same PAPR helmet, all that kind of stuff I'm wearing. The reality is still I need a booster in 21 days. From what I understand, two weeks after I got the injection, I should have built up maybe to 50% to 80% in terms of that immune response, and then that booster at 21 days gets you up to the full response. So we're really . . .

Scot: Which is like 95%?

Troy: Yeah. I mean, 95% reduction in risk, 100% in terms of just the response you'll receive from it, but a 95% reduction in terms of risk of catching the virus. But you can still catch it. That's a little of the challenge. You can still catch it, but it reduces that risk significantly. I mean, the efficacy of this vaccine is mind-blowing for me. Like this is better than anything I think any of us ever hoped for. So, hopefully, that plays out in the long term. Again, I don't know what the implications are for family, but I've been visiting my parents, meaning that I'll go down and see them, we'll hang out outside, you know, social distance, that kind of stuff. So when I do them, that's how we do things, and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon.

Scot: Time to say the things that you say at the end of podcast, because we are at the end of our podcast. All right. So if you want to reach out . . . wow, this is the last podcast episode of the year, Troy.

Troy: Wow, this is it. Yeah.

Scot: We're heading into 2021 after this one. All right. So if you want to reach out, you can do that, we've got a lot of ways. You can email us at, you can go to, or you can go to the website

Troy: We also have our listener line, it is 601-55SCOPE. We'd love to hear from you. Subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts, Apple, Google Play, Spotify. Please rate us five stars if you like us. Thanks for listening. And thanks for caring about men's health.

Scot: Have a good holiday, my friend.

Troy: You too, Scot.