It had been the 28 days since I received my first Moderna Covid-19 mRNA vaccine and it was now time for the second dose, the booster shot. On January 29th (2021) at 3:16 pm (PST) I received the second in the 0.5 mL dose series in my right deltoid (the top of the arm below the shoulder).
I chose this side again, as I am a left side sleeper, and found it so helpful the first round (thank you Kelsey for the recommendation!). Some people don’t get the arm pain like I did, so it might be different for you. You can read about my experience with the first dose here. I had been hearing how the second dose was worse symptom-wise than the first, and wasn’t sure how my body would react. In anticipation of possibly feeling unwell, my hubby graciously bought me a bunch of healthy snacks and popsicles ahead of time (thanks Micah!).
I was trying to come up with an analogy to describe how the vaccine works, and my fellow nerds might understand this one, in the realm of Star Wars. The Covid vaccine is kind of like Princess Leia smuggling the blueprint plans for the Death Star back to the Rebel Base through R2D2 (I guess he would be the syringe?), so they can send the Red Squadron out to destroy the Death Star. With these plans (the spike protein, or building plans for the Covid-19 cell to replicate itself) the Red Squadron and Luke Skywalker (leukocytes? aka white blood cells) can find the weakness needed to destroy the Death Star (aka the Covid-19 virus cell) before it goes active and unleashes it’s destructive powers. So it’s not the actual virus being injected into you, it’s just the blueprints.
Again, I carefully logged my symptoms so I could share them with you.
(Note: I definitely survived both shots, as I am currently typing this days later.)
- 3:16 pm – received the vaccine in my right deltoid. Didn’t even feel it immediately, Lu Thu is a good shot ;c)P Temp prior to injection 97.4°F.
- 3:33 pm – Okay I think I might be feeling some arm stiffness. Maybe it’s just the bandaid pulling on my skin? Ah. Nope. Hmm… not really sure…
- 3:38 pm – Huh. For some reason I feel REALLY alert. Maybe I’m going into shock? Coffee will probably help, so I’ll try that. No my hand’s aren’t vvvvibrating, why do you a-a-a-ask?
- 4:48 pm – Okay DEFINATE arm soreness. Definitely worse than the first round already. Ow! 3/10 pain. Temp 97.9°F.
- 5:55 pm – Made it home. Changed into sweats. Arm is SORE. 6/10 pain. Temp 98.8°F.
- 6:17 pm – Chills, knee pain noticed first in previously injured right. Temp 99.1°F.
- 6:30 pm and on – Body aches, chills, weakness, malaise, and fatigue. All I feel like doing is perusing Netflix, not really watching anything, but adding stuff to the watch list. Glad to have nothing planned. Ate dinner, watched a movie, and went to bed. Temp 99.1°F.
- 8:15 am – woke up after strange dreams of a vacation home on a beach and something about dislocating my hips (???). Vaccine arm is REALLY achy and swollen a bit. Body aches not bad. Temp 99.3°F.
- 11:33 am – Now it’s hitting me. Aches and sweats. Arm feels like someone drove a railroad spike through it. Can’t lift above waist level with arm. Temp 99.6°F.
- 12:30 pm – Very achy. Joints, especially wrist and ankles hurt. Knees now both angry. Getting winded when walking within the house. Temp 99.6°F.
- 12:35 pm – Hot/Cold. Sweaty then shivering. Headache 4/10. Arm might be feeling a little better? All I want to do is sit here and watch The Queens Gambit. Temp 99.8°F.
- 2:16 pm – Feel like crap. Very fatigued. Very short of breath when walking within the house. Body aching bad. Arm VERY sore, but getting better and able to lift it a little higher. Feel hungover without nausea or diarrhea like some, so that’s good. Spot doing her job of laying in my lap. Now obsessed with The Queen’s Gambit. Loving the storytelling they use. Temp 99.9°F
- 4:44 pm – Very tired and very lethargic. Bad headache, 6/10. Body aches and chills. Sweating. Slothing around. Finished 6/7 episodes. Brain enjoying turning off. Temp 100.4°F.
- 4:57 pm – Very weak. Don’t want to do anything. Body aches and chills. Headache persisting. Temp 100.8°F.
- 6:59 pm – 9:30 pm – Temp up to 100.9°F and considering taking Tylenol. Body still aching bad. Neck and back painful. Arm pain at times feeling worse, then a little better. Arm feels swollen and tight. Ate dinner and watched a movie.
- 11:16 pm – Feeling a little better. Temp down to 99.8°F on it’s own. I had decided not to take the Tylenol after all. Went to bed.
- 8:46 am – Woke up after a night of drippy basement dreams (it was very rainy all night). Some body aches. Headache 2/10. Feeling a lot better. Temp 99.2°F.
- 11:19 am – Vaccine arm now feels only a little sore and achy, like a nice bruise. Headache 1/10. Thoughts sluggish. Temp 99.4°F.
- 11:45 am – 2:50 pm – Virtually attended my beautiful friend Jaimi’s baby shower. Pretty awesome to attend in my sloth snuggie within the comfort of my own home. Doing basically nothing but sitting and watching a laptop, but by the end my temp went back up to 100.3°F.
- 3:00 pm – 4:48 pm – Concentrated on writing and finishing up blogs. Brain a little clearer. Body aches and chills returned. Malaise and fatigue back. Sweating. Old wounds are talking. Temp down to 99.9°F.
- 5:52 pm – Body aches and chills persisting. Sweaty. Temp back up to 100.5°F. Fatigued, weak, short of breath when walking within the house. Staying hydrated all this time with tea, water, and Gatorade btw (I know, I know Gatorade has so much sugar). Foggy mind. Feel like I could nap at any second. Decided to take Tylenol after all. We’ll see what happens.
- 7:03 pm – Temp down to 100.3°F with Tylenol and popsicles. Body aches a little better. Still weak/fatigued. Headache 3-4/10.
I’ll update my blog tomorrow. Although I may be calling out from work tomorrow, it’s still worth it to be protected and to protect vulnerable family members from the Covid virus. I’m lucky to be working for an employer that provides such a generous amount of paid time off for such needs.
May you and your family be well.
The next morning I awoke with a fever of 101.7°F and ended up calling out that day, Monday. Gradually my symptoms improved and I was able to return to work the following day, Tuesday. Overall it was about 3 days of feeling sort of like I was fighting a bug/hungover. Not too bad, considering the alternative.
Be Well ❤