Featured photo taken by Nick Fewings | Source: Unsplash
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I’m just someone who does a lot of research and who received the COVID vaccine. Before you receive the COVID vaccine, speak with your primary care doctor.
Additionally, I am not writing this post to try to convince anyone to get the vaccination or not. I am simply sharing our experience. Whatever you decide is best for you is completely up to YOU.
Over 79 million people have received at least one COVID vaccine dose in the United States and 43 million of those people are fully vaccinated. By the time you read this, those numbers will be much higher!
I’m proud of the fact that my husband and I are two people who fall under the fully vaccinated category. Despite being young and in good health, we were able to get vaccinated through the military.
M decided early on that as soon as the vaccine was offered to him, he would take it. His mindset is that as military members, we are vaccinated against basically everything, so he wasn’t worried at all about possible side effects or reactions. I will be completely honest: I was skeptical at first. I hate any sort of vaccine with a fiery passion… it’s not that I hate the idea of getting vaccinated because it’s not that. I simply hate needles. I avoid them. I’m that baby who needs to be seated when receiving a shot or else I’ll get lightheaded. I have to lay down when I’m having my blood drawn. Go ahead and laugh, it’s fine! I’ve been researching the COVID vaccines for awhile, though. Ultimately, I decided it was something I needed to do and if the military offered it to me, I would say yes because if I said no, then who knows the next time it would be offered!
I received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Wednesday, January 27 at approximately 8:30 am. I went home for the rest of the day until I had to be at work around 4 pm. I coached three OrangeTheory classes in a row and by the time I got home, my chief complaint was that I was hungry- mostly because I coached during my dinner time. I slept like a bear in hibernation that night. Seriously, I woke up the next morning feeling like a brand new person! I also had a pretty sore arm for a few days after that. I also realized about a week later that I actually had a bruise from the vaccine, which I think was maybe just because of the person giving it to me.
I received my second dose on Wednesday, February 24 around 8:30 am. After hearing about other people getting the “vaccine flu” after the second dose, I already arranged to have my OrangeTheory classes covered the next morning. After the vaccine, I went home and made myself breakfast just like I would any other day. I tried to act as normal as possible despite knowing what was likely on the horizon.
Around 4 pm, I noticed I wasn’t really feeling that great. I wasn’t horrible at that point, but definitely not good either. Also my arm was already incredibly achey.
Around 6 pm, I started getting chills and body aches. I was running a very low-grade fever at that point, so I knew I would be one of the many people who would have that rough night after getting the second dose.
By the time I finally went upstairs to go to bed, I was running a full-blown fever and was struggling to even move. I was exhausted, but had a terrible time sleeping. My body kept going back and forth between being too cold and being too hot. I wanted to sleep on my left side, but that was the arm I received the shot in and it hurt so bad to even move it. I simply could not get comfortable. I’d also been chugging water to stay hydrated for most of the day, so I had to get up a lot to use the bathroom. The highest my temperature got (that I recorded) was 102 degrees and it didn’t break until between 5 and 6 am the next morning.
The day after, I was just exhausted. The other symptoms quickly disappeared and I napped on the couch all day. It had been a long time since I felt tired like that.
Despite getting all the symptoms we hear about, I would do it all over again.
The way I see it is that these symptoms are still better than actual COVID and now, if I did end up getting the virus, I have peace of mind knowing that the chances of being hospitalized and/or dying are EXTREMELY low. Would I still show symptoms? Maybe. But the most important thing is that I would not be taking up important resources in a hospital.
Additionally, I live in Miami-Dade county, where so many people have been flocking to for spring break. Around this time last year, we were going through our first COVID surge because of spring breakers. It was terrifying back then because I felt like my health was in danger because of selfish and ignorant people, and there was nothing I could do about it. This time around, I feel more in control because I chose to get vaccinated plus still wear a mask, practice social distancing protocols, and other guidelines.
My Husband’s Experience
M received his first dose of the Moderna vaccine while he was deployed overseas. I believe he received it on February 25. The first dose was also very easy for him. He was just very tired and had a sore arm. Though unlike me, he got a terrible night of sleep because of his sore arm.
He received his second dose on Friday, March 26. After a few hours, he began to notice he was getting a headache. After that, he had some mild body aches.
We went to bed around 10 pm that night and I woke up once because he was tossing and turning, as if he couldn’t get comfortable. We both slept in that morning because he was pretty tired!
M had a lazy morning while I went to a friends house to have a puppy play date. He was able to come hang out with us later on in the evening. The lucky duck never had a fever or chills. He was just tired for about a day or two after the vaccine and had that headache.
My final thoughts.
There is a lot of misinformation out there and it is really tough to not go down the rabbit hole. I am someone who thrives when I learn new things and I always try to get my information from unbiased resources, preferably from experts themselves. Still, I almost went down the rabbit hole.
One thing that happened to me that was significant is right before I got my first dose, a bunch of my Florida friends found this social media post where an anti-vaxxer found entries into VAERS, the system people report adverse effects to. There were apparently a lot of entries that said people were dying after receiving the vaccine.
When I went to work the morning before getting my first dose, one of my coworkers literally told me, “no, Kayla, don’t do it! You’re gonna die!”
Honestly, it’s not a good idea to say things like this when over the past year, many of us have heightened anxiety about our own mortality, myself included. When this was officially declared a pandemic, I was terrified that I wouldn’t live to see the end of 2020… because my anxiety always takes me to that worst-case scenario.
In the end, I didn’t even acknowledge all of the biased social media accounts and media companies. I trust science and the brilliant minds behind these vaccines.