Pfizer – One down, one to go

Thanks to the guidance of a few good folk, I managed to get the first dose of the Pfizer vaccination. Because my autoimmune condition does not affect my breathing, and because when my food allergies are managed those also don’t affect my breathing, I didn’t think either would allow me to qualify for getting a vaccination for another month or two. Turns out, I could get one now. So I did. I jumped at the chance.

Whilst I know that everyone responds to vaccinations differently, I wanted to share my experience. I feel like the more open people are about this, the more people will be willing to be open about this.

The shot itself was quite easy to take. I grew up grossly afraid of any and all needles, but about three years ago when I started the process to getting my autoimmune diagnosis, I got used to having needles. At some points, I was getting 5-6 different tests done in a single week. Anyways, that’s besides the point. When you get blood tests, that needle goes deep. When you get this vaccination, it felt as though it barely pierced my skin. It was simple. It felt like I got poked by toddler.

It’s a pretty regular practice to stick around for fifteen minutes following a vaccination. The reason they do this is so that if you have an immediate allergic reaction, the person who administered the vaccination can provide you immediate treatment for that. They keep the required supplies on-hand to be able to administer immediate treatment if someone winds up being allergic to the vaccine. They’re prepared. They’re always prepared.

When the fifteen minutes were up, I left, went home and back to work.

The person who administered my shot told me that the side-effects of the vaccine could effect me for three days following. He said regular-strength Tylenol to keep fever at bay and A LOT of water was going to make any and all potential side-effects a lot easier to deal with. So, I took him at his word. The only other thing I added to the rotation was Gatorade.

The side effects I dealt with:

  • Localized bruising on my arm
  • Loss of Energy
  • Headache

All side effects wound up being very mild. I was also warned about all side-effects when getting the vaccination, so I was well prepared.

I would say the hardest to deal with was the loss of energy. It felt like my batteries were on empty. It felt like staying awake was hard. It felt like climbing the stairs was an arduous task. Not an impossible task, but an arduous task. (For reference, my house is a very tall townhouse, so there’s a few flights of stairs. Getting from the kitchen to my bedroom is a bit of a climb when you’ve got no energy)

The loss of energy wasn’t a sick feeling, though. When you get the flu or have a bad cold, the loss of energy can make you feel extremely sick. This loss of energy just felt like there was no glucose in my body. It felt as though, despite drinking multiple Gatorades, there was no sugar for my body to use for energy.

On a scale from 1-Migraine(where I need to be in a dark, quite room), I would rate the headache at a 3 or 4. It wasn’t a bad headache, it was just one that stuck around for a lot longer than my typical headaches.

Today, though… well today I’m feeling great. I’m feeling truly lucky that I was able to get vaccinated when I did. I’m feeling lucky to know that in two weeks time, I’ll be up to 85 percent protected, and that I have that extra layer of protection to help ease my anxiety. I’m feeling light a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for me. I’m feeling… hopeful.

My particular province has opted to space out vaccine distribution to four months between doses as a means to get everyone their first shots sooner. For that reason, it could be a while before I’m able to get the second dose. I’m okay with that, though. I know, right now, that I have this added layer of protection now, and I truly hope that everyone who wants the protection is able to get their vaccinations as soon as possible.

For the province that my parents live in, their vaccine rollout has been a little bit slower. Both of my parents actually have appointments to get their vaccinations on Monday. They’re also looking forward to being able to have the vaccination and have that added layer of protection. They’re not sure which vaccine they’ll be given. The place where they’re going to get their vaccine is giving out vaccines based on the quantities they’re getting. I’ve asked my parents to tell me which vaccine they get and if they have side effects. I’ll likely share their stories too, if anything occurs.

This isn’t a story that I’ve told people, but with respect to Baby Harry being a long-term-resident in the hospital, my sister-in-law was actually able to get her vaccination a while back. With the province that she is in, and the fact that baby Harry is at a special hospital, they actually vaccinated adults who were there as long term caregivers of children. Since all of the children who are there are ill enough to be there long-term, they thought it safest to vaccinate the adults who need to be there with them, so there’s less of a chance of an adult giving COVID to a sick kid. It was a means to stop/slow the spread of COVID in the hospital. My sister-in-law said that her side effects were mild. She also got the Pfizer vaccination. She’s actually had both shots because she’s been with baby Harry at the hospital and they want to do as much as they can to keep outbreaks out of the hospital. She said with her first shot she just had a bad headache. She said with her second shot she had a day of nausea, but that it really didn’t register as bad to her because she has a newborn so she’d literally spent the majority of the past ten months feeling nauseous.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever told the story about myself getting the flu shot, but the flu shot kicked my ass. Literally. Knight could tell stories of sitting with me in Emerg throughout the night because I had an allergic reaction to it. Suffice to say, I thought the Pfizer vaccine was going to be a lot worse then it actually ended up being for me.

If you get the opportunity and you’re medically able, I highly recommend getting the vaccination. For you. For your family. For your friends. For everyone.

Have you already gotten the vaccine? If so I highly encourage you to share your experiences whether it on a blog, social media platform, or directly to friends and family through texts, phone calls and emails.