It’s been a while since I have shared my story with you. A lot has happened in my life over the last year, some of which you might have been experiencing as yourself.
In this article I will be sharing my experience with getting the Covid-19 vaccine. The time had come for me to take the plunge and get vaccinated with one of the Covid-19 vaccines. From my previous article https://butterfly-box.com/2021/03/09/covid-19-vaccine-and-lupus/ you can read my thoughts about the vaccines leading up to me now saying yes to getting vaccinated.
Like many others I was skeptical about getting the Covid-19 vaccine at first. However the reason behind my fear wasn’t that I didn’t trust the science. The reason behind my fear was the lack of clinical trials that was done on people with autoimmune diseases like lupus.
Having very little data or protocol for people with an autoimmune disease was scary to wrap my head around. What if I got extremely sick upon receiving the vaccine, knowing that my immune would not be healthy enough to fight.
Lupus is a mysterious and unpredictable disease and no one lupus patient have the same experiences. So the fear of adding yet another unknow to my body wasn’t something I was excited to do.
However after consulting with my doctors, weighting the pros and cons, doing my research and my family encouraging me to get vaccinated, I decided to go ahead with it.
My first Covid-19 Vaccine (Pfizer)
When I decided to get vaccinated there were only vaccinating people over the age 65 and people with underlying medical problems if they had a letter from their doctor stating that.
So, I requested a letter from my rheumatologist to take with me to my first vaccine appointment. I went online and made a booking for my first appointment and got my second appointment at the same time for three weeks after the first.
I was happy to be getting the Pfizer vaccine, since I had heard it was the one with the minimal amount of side effects. My sister and her husband had gotten it a week before my appointment and it had gone well for them both, without any side effects. So I was happy to hear that.
A few days before I got the vaccine I was pretty nervous. There were news of the J&J vaccine being paused in Europe because a few people where having side effects which included blood clots and a lady had died from a blood clot after receiving the vaccine.
This didn’t give me the confidence I needed – even though it was a different vaccine from the one I was getting. The night before my vaccine I was so nervous, the place I was going to I hadn’t been there before. I didn’t know what to expect. I went to bed early so I could be well rested.
The location was at a theatre complex, Thursday at 10:15am. I had a small breakfast, drank plenty of water and got there about 30 minuttes early. I sat in the car did and did some breathing exercise to calm my nerves.
When it was time I went to the entrance of the building where there was about three people ahead of me. My QR code was scanned and I was sent to get my vaccine on the side with people who had a underlying medical issues and needed 30 minutes waiting time after receiving the vaccine to make sure that they didn’t have any immediate side effects after getting it.
There were two booths and I was sent to booth number 2. The nurse about to give me the shot said: “You have beautiful hair. Can I move it to get to your arm?” Then I turned to ask him if I had gotten the shot already. I didn’t feel a thing. However immediately after asking that question he replied: “Yes you did, and I can give you another one if you want” he said jokingly. I smiled and said: “No thank you!”
I felt as if I could taste the vaccine in my mouth and I felt a bit strange in my body, a weird feeling came over me which I can’t really explain it.
I went on to the next station, where I was given arm band and told to sit for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes I was good to go. I had no immediate side effects. When I came home, I was a bit tired and my arm was sore at the vaccine site. As it got later into the afternoon, I began experiencing severe pain in my arm.
I remembered reading that it was important to move you arm around to decrease the pain. So I started doing that with an intensity because I didn’t want to wake up the next day with this level of pain.
Fortunately the next day I was a little sore, but the intense pain was gone.
I was doing great for a few days, a bit tired and fatigue, but that wasn’t new for me having lupus. Then I got a severe headache, fever, chills, joint pains and coughing. I was in bed for 3 days, with lingering symptoms that lasted for another 2 1/2 weeks
It was like having one of the worst lupus flares, I ever had. My experience might not be yours, so do not let this deter you in one way or the other.
My Second Covid-19 Vaccine (Pfizer)
For the second vaccine my nerves and anxiety was even more, because now I knew how bad the side effects could be for me. Plus everyone kept saying the side effects where the worst second time around.
I did the same ritual as i did getting ready for the first vaccine. Got there, got the shot, same as before – it didn’t hurt. After 3 days after my second vaccine, I only had a little soreness at the injection site and now almost a month after my second vaccine, other than a some tiredness I am doing good.