My Experience with the COVID-19 Vaccine

So first, let me start by saying I feel extremely grateful to have been in the first round of recipients. Working in the clinic setting I thought I would have been in a second or maybe even in a third wave of recipients but with the possibility that it will become necessary to deploy ambulatory RNs into the hospital in the event of worsening COVID surging I was able to get both vaccinations at early dates. I feel for those healthcare workers who have been on the frontlines from the beginning yet still unable to receive it at this time even though they are the fighting hands, day in and day out, aiding in saving lives of so many who have become infected with this awful illness. My hope is that all healthcare workers and non healthcare workers will have it in the coming weeks to months so we can all start to feel at least a little protected as we attempt to return to normalcy.

Vaccination #1 – Saturday, December 19, 2020. 10:00AM

Initially, I felt fine. My arm a little sore – to be expected, a sharp object was just jabbed into it. I came home from receiving my vaccination and went about life as normal. Tyler and I went for a walk, ate lunch, cleaned house… honestly a pretty normal Saturday.

Then somewhere around 4pm, I was wiped out!! I felt like a train hit me. We had just gotten back from our walk about 30min prior to and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. By 4:30, I couldn’t fight the urge to fall asleep any more and climbed into bed. I slept harder than I have ever slept for 2 straight hours. By the time I woke up, my arm HURT. I actually only woke up because I rolled over onto that arm and the pain woke me. I stayed awake for a few hours then returned to bed by 9pm and called it a night.

The next morning I was a little groggy and had a dull headache. By the 24hr mark I was okay, minus my arm. The arm pain started to fade by the 48hr mark and was completely gone by Tuesday when I woke up.

Vaccination #2 – Thursday, January 7, 2020, 10:00AM

Just like the first one, initially I felt okay. I had the vaccine, waited my 15min then headed back to work (at home) for the rest of the day. The first few hours were business as usual, then it hit me like a ton of bricks…

Around 2:00 the headache started, just a dull annoying headache but nothing seemed to make it go away. I tried Tylenol, caffeine, and extra water – my usual cure for all headaches. By 4:00, the chills set in. I felt like I was freezing in my 70 degree home with sweats and a blanket on. By 6:00, I was full on miserable. My head was pounding, my body ached, I was shivering like I was in the Arctic in a bikini, and my arm felt like it was rammed by a bull running full speed. I took another dose of Tylenol at about 8:30 and went to bed to try and sleep off the misery.

The next morning, the headache and just general feeling of brain fog were still present as well as the body aches. I was able to go into work and complete my day but boy do I wish I had it off so I could have slept off the rest of the misery. By about noon, the brain fog and headache did begin to lift and by around 4:00/5:00 the body aches were diminishing. Again, this night, I was in bed by around 8:30pm but thankfully, I only needed to take one dose of Tylenol all day.

The following morning, my symptoms were almost completely gone. A dull headache and a sore arm were my only remaining side effects. The headache went away by the end of the day and the sore arm gone by the end of day Monday.

All in all, even though I did experience side effects, I feel so blessed to have had the vaccine and I feel that it was well worth all the discomfort I felt in the days follow receiving it. I know there is still so much unknown about the vaccine and honestly the virus itself but I feel like it is a great step towards us at least attempting to return to normalcy.

If you have had the vaccine already, please share your experience below. And if you have not received it yet and have questions, please reach out. I would love to answer any questions that I can or at least help direct you to a credible site for further information.

xo, Kathryn

*disclaimer* This post reflects my personal experience with being administered the Pfizer vaccine. You may or may not have the same experience.

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