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Second Shot is [Not] a Walk in the Park

Depending on who you talk to, receiving your second dose of the Covid vaccination can be a very unnerving experience. My son, a health care worker, age 42 received his second dose of Moderna last week. I worried about him after hearing so many stories so I sent him home with my heating pads. Seven hours later he was writhing in pain, shivering with a headache, and happy to have the heating pad. When I called to check in on him he said his teeth hurt. Just as quickly as his discomfort arrived he was back in the saddle and ready to go to work the next day.

My husband and I both in our 70s were scheduled for our second round of Pfizer on Valentine's Day at 12 noon. We both laughed as we drove to the Vaccine Super Station sharing that we felt like we were going to the guillotine. We canceled all plans for the next two days in anticipation of chills, aches, headaches, and fever. Our heating pads were ready for duty.

We were vaccinated by 11:45 and home by 12:30. The gentleman giving us the shots sensed our nervousness and shared that he heard if you drink a lot of water and lay down for two hours after the shot, it would help alleviate the symptoms.

It was a beautiful day so around 2:00 PM and feeling rather cavalier, I decided to take my one-mile daily power walk. Big mistake. One-quarter mile into the walk each step began to hurt and I started sweating. I decided to head home and heed the water and reclining advice.

For the remainder of the day, my husband and I tried to outdo one another with our complaints. I felt like something had gotten into my blood that just wasn't right. Everything that normally hurt on me seemed to grow in intensity with each passing hour. My husband, on the other hand, took a bike ride and made dinner as I laid on the couch. He did not feel any symptoms and began to actually question if they had given him an actual dose of the vaccine.

I decided to go to bed early and was glad I did. I felt horrible. Luckily, my neighbor informed me that Tylenol would do the trick. I am not a big Tylenol fan but this stuff really worked miracles.

Around midnight my husband climbed in bed and said, "Well it got me. I feel horrible."

"Take two Tylenol," I said, head throbbing with a gnawing feeling throughout my whole body.

We both slept through the night and by morning woke up to our barking dog who needed to go out. We looked at one another and did a status check. All good from both accounts. We each took two more Tylenol, drank cups of coffee, and then walked our dog. We knew we'd been through something very strange, but also were aware that it was over. It didn't feel like flu, it just felt weird; like how you might think your body would react to something you'd been given in a SciFi movie. It came on fast and left just as quickly.

We took a bike ride, I did my powerwalk and life seemed back to normal around noon. While these second shots were no walk in the park they made us feel like we had conquered something big in the Covid scheme of things. We felt liberated, part of the solution for herd immunity, and ready to take on any more of life's challenges. My word to friends who may read this post... not to worry. It's not as bad as you've heard.

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