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.

Nursing School in a Nutshell

img_3532Imagine yourself on fire, juggling chainsaws, running from a T-Rex, and pulling a sled of giant, squealing cats all at once on about 3hrs of sleep and an energy drink in hand…that is about how I would describe nursing school.

Needless to say, it has been one of the most stressful times of my life and has lead me to a point of being the least healthy version of myself…which I find quite comical as we are always being taught about “how to be healthy” and “how to advocate for our patient’s health.”

All this chaos and stress stems from the very first day you step on campus when you get the initial lecture, that is then constantly reiterated by all instructors to follow, that says “You’re holding someone’s life in your hands with every decision you make” and that “Everything you will learn over these 2-3years will be important for your career as a nurse.” For me, this has stuck and has added a whole extra layer to the stress. This time I am not going to school just to get a job, I am going to school to have a career making peoples lives better and if not better, at least more comfortable. That’s a pretty big concept to wrap your mind around if you ask me.

To bring that back to nursing school, that statement means each and every time you go to class it requires all of your focus and attention so that you can learn to be the best nurse possible. You will stay up all night studying for the exams where 4 of the 5 answers are correct and doing patient research into the wee hours of the morning so the next morning you can spit off a list of meds and what they are used for and your plan of care with all the interventions you could possibly find just so that you will be allowed on the unit to try and be the best advocate for that patient’s health that day. IMG_5306

All of these things take up much of your time, so try to add a job or a family or even just a coffee date with a friend in there and quick bites to eat and energy drinks are sure to come your way. Anything that will allow you to keep pushing though to the finish line. So forget about your hours of fancy meal prep each week and the time spent exercising, those will come back when you finish (or when you finally catch your stride in the program) and set your focus on the finish line. A line that truthfully is a bit imaginary as when you graduate you still have not earned the title of “Nurse.” So don’t let up on the studying because your tassel had turned, your boards exam is yet to come. It is not until the word PASS comes across your screen and your name is on the state registry do you get to place those two sacred letters, RN, behind your name. That is when you are officially a “Nurse!”

The stress is unreal but the outcome will be surreal! So, happy studying my fellow nursing students, we will make eventually!

 

Six Things Sunday 2

Hey y’all! I hope you had a great week and an even better weekend. Since my posts are (unfortunately) turning into weekly thing and less of a daily thing, let me catch you up on this past week and whats going on with me in this week’s Six Things Sunday post.

1. Buzz City. Yesterday afternoon my roommate came across a couple free tickets to the Charlotte Hornets game and I was lucky enough to get to tag along. We met with a couple of her friends who ended up being awesome and a were fun to go out with before and after the game. Before the game we hit up Whiskey River and after we headed over to Tilt. However, at the game our tickets introduced us to some interesting characters…including two that made us feel really old. We had two 18 year old guys, one of which was stroking a rabbits foot, ask us to buy them beer, of course we said no but their skinny jeans and rabbits foot were hard to turn down. 😉

IMG_9211

2. Mason Jar Salads. Again the new roomie coming into play. She introduced me to these last week and I have to say they are awesome and keep everything super delicious and fresh. This week I used a lite blue cheese dressing, carrots, cucumber, broccoli, baked chicken, a hard boiled egg, and lettuce. What is especially nice about them is they are an easy make ahead lunch. The trick is to put the dressing in the bottom and keep the hearty veggies closest to the dressing. My layering is in the order that I gave you the ingredients. I highly recommend giving these a try if you are needing an easy lunch option.

IMG_9214

3. Harris YMCA triathlon group. Over the last two weeks I have gotten to work with the tri group and y’all they are a great group. I feel like I can learn so much from the head coach who has so much experience with coaching and each member of the team brings so much to the table whether it be a little bit of spunk or years of experience with the sport. They are so much fun to be around and I am just so excited to get to spend time with them week after week.

4. Cat pee. Okay so this one isn’t as much fun but I need your help. If you recall in a post a while back, I told you about my additional roommate, Izzy. Izzy is my roommate’s cat and she has decided that my bed is a litter box sometimes. Well actually she went on it 3x last week. My current solution to the problem is putting a shower curtain liner on top of my bed everyday but what do you suggest to get her to stop the behavior?

IMG_9215

5. Fuzzy Slippers. I don’t know if it is because its cold outside or the fact that I wear heels most everyday but slippers are a new favorite! Soft, cushy pillows for your tootsies… what could be better after a long day?!IMG_9217

6. Healthy Daddy. Early last week my dad finally went in to have his hip replaced and surgery went great! He is now home from the hospital and is up and moving around well already. I am so happy he was able to get this done and that he is on his way to a great recovery.

IMG_9218

Thats it for this week, I hope each of you has a great week and hopefully I’ll be back before next Sunday!

Just a Few Thoughts: 2

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all! I hope you all have had a happy turkey day full of giving thanks for all of your many blessings. As I have been going through the day, it has made me think about what I am thankful for and I came up with a list of my top 3 things that I am especially thankful for….

IMG_88201. My family. THEY.ARE.GREAT. Really, they are.. Yes they may drive me crazy sometimes (it is in their job description, I know!), but at the end of the day they are my biggest fans and most loyal supporters. Mom, always being their to listen to my every complaint and dry every tear, Dad, guiding me with his vast wisdom as I grow in my career and next stages of life, and Alex (aka Little Brother), always making me smile, laugh, and forever keeping me on my toes. I am beyond grateful for these three goobers that I get to call mine!

2. My Health. It has been over the last couple weeks that I have become especially thankful for this. While running the marathon nearly two weeks ago and the turkey trot today, it has made me feel so lucky to have a body that is healthy and strong. I look around at my brother and dad who are hobbled from cheering me on, and friends and other family members who are battling things much worse than my baby aches and pains and I just feel so lucky and blessed to have my health.

3. My Growth over this past year. This time last year I was one month from graduating college and didn’t have even the slightest clue as to what I would be doing the day that diploma was handed to me. Since then I have had several jobs and I feel so lucky to have learned so much about the big, scary, foreign, real world. I know I still have a ton more to learn and will only continue to grow but I feel so blessed to have a baby start to a career in a field that I love in a city that I am slowly starting to love and call home. Not every second of every work day is perfect but y’all, how cool is it that I get to make money doing what I love. Really, that is definitely something to be thankful for.

I feel like I could go on and on and on about each of these three things but that would put y’all into even more of a sleepy coma than the turkey so I will leave it at that.

What are you thankful for? Please share in the comments below!

 Thanksgiving Turkey

 

Couch to 5k Series: 4

12069-runner-5k-black

Howdy! How is your week going? Who is ready for their 2.0miles tomorrow?! If you’re just jumping on board, check out the the warm-up, week one, and week two‘s post to get you caught up. This coming week, week 3 of training, you are committing to about 2.5hours. TOTALLY DO-ABLE!! Think about how much time a day you waste on Facebook, Instagram, twiddling your fingers, procrastinating your next task… you have two and a half hours in your week to spare to put towards doing something productive for your health.

Monday — 3min walk, 2min run x5 {25min}

Tuesday — 20min walk

Wednesday — 3min walk, 2min run x6 {30min}

Thursday — 30min walk

Friday — Rest

Saturday — 2.5miles {3min walk, 2min run repeating till you complete the entire 2.5miles}

Sunday — Rest

Have a great week!! Please let me know how your training is going!

Happy Running Y’all!