I understand the hesitancy about the Covid vaccine that many folks have—especially black and brown communities, so I am TRUTHFULLY Sharing a VERY DETAILED experience of my journey as I take “My Shot to Crush Covid”
Day 0: first dose of Pfizer vaccine given on 12/23 @1653. I took 2 aleve and 1 Benadryl tablet about 20 min prior to my vaccine to decrease inflammation and allergic reaction. I made the decision to do this because I have a remote hx of severe allergic reactions to foods, pets, and once an unknown environmental allergen in my teens & 20s. I have had to be hospitalized for allergic reactions in the past.
Day 1: 12/24 @ 1653- little soreness the injection site, rated 1/10 on pain scale— feels like the day after a workout. went to work feeling good!
24 hours post injection: 12/25 @ 1653- soreness is gone. My throat is just a little sore 1/10 on pain scale. I feel swollen lymph nodes in my neck— yea!! I know the spike protein is being presented to and my T and B cells and they are being activated to mount an immune response 💪🏾
36 hours post injection: 12/26 @0453- I wake up and my throat is for real sore now 5/10. I stick out my tongue with my cellphone light to check my throat in the mirror. My tonsils are swollen and a little red- Yea! Immune response is in FULL effect. I get throat lozenges and gargle with Listerene and then warm salt water. I went back to bed.
48 hours post injection: 12/26 @1653- throat is feeling better 2/10 on pain scale after hot tea with honey, but I am feeling diffuse body aches about 3/10 on pain scale, and I feel mildly fatigued—took 2 aleve and kept pushing through my day which included traveling by plane (n95 covered by surgical mask, safety goggles, hair covered, old scrubs over my clothes and Lysol wipes and 4 different hand sanitizers in my carryon) to our home in Maryland to spend time with the hubby. I was carrying/lifting luggage and walking relatively long distances in my double masks with no problems. I’d say I was functioning ~ 80%. I was feeling a little “off” but still going about my day. Stopped and got groceries and take out on the way home. @1930, I took 30ml of liquid extra strength tylenol and two throat lozenges, which perked me right up, and hubby and I ate and watched movies til late.
56 hours post injection: 12/27 @10:30 woke up with sore throat 2/10 on pain scale and body aches 2/10. Sneezed 3-5 times, no cough or congestion though. My hubby (who was very skeptical about my getting vaccinated despite LOTS of discussion about the science) is getting antsy and asking if I want to go to urgent care 😂🤣😂. I reassure him that I have felt much worse than this and worked a full 24 hr shift— I’m FINE! Hubby is a worry wart and took my temp. it’s 97.3. He tries to give me throat lozenges, but i refuse because they and the liquid Tylenol have sugar, and I am intermittent fasting for at least 16 hours a day, so no flavored or sugared items until at least 300pm. I don’t feel bad enough to want to break my fast. Sent hubby out for large black coffee mainly to help his anxiety by letting him have something he can do to help. Took an aleve. Posted my Sunday social media content on considering the Covid Vaccine in pregnancy: https://youtu.be/sBFnjjjni9g. @1330 I am feeling much better. Throat 1/10, body aches 0/10. My nose is running a little, but I don’t feel bad. I remind myself that getting COVID or even worse passing it to others would feel 100x worse!
77 hours post injection. 12/27 @ 2157: by dinner time, my sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and bodyaches are completely GONE 😮. I have a runny nose, but otherwise, I feel really good. As an aside, I did a 20hr fast today, which probably helped with inflammation.
96 hours post injection. 12/28 @1715: I’ve felt good all day. I took a Zyrtec last night. Runny nose was gone by the time I woke up today. My energy level is back to normal today.
OFFICIALLY 1 week POST VACCINE!!!! Today, had a little soreness in my throat again. It was 1-2/10–not enough to make me break my 19 hour fast with a throat lozenge (I don’t eat or drink anything flavored during my intermittent fasting hours). My energy was great today—I tackled BJ’s, the grocery store, target, AND reorganizing our kitchen. So I was lifting, bending, and carrying stuff all day without and residual muscle soreness. I’m ok with the sore throat and swollen lymph nodes because I know that means my immune cells are activated and they are going to be pumping out antibodies against Covid-19! We are so fearfully and wonderfully made, y’all! If you ever have a chance to study anatomy and physiology, please do! How God made our bodies is TRULY, unequivocally BRILLIANT. I am so glad that They (God) allow us to uncover the secrets hidden in the functions of our bodies, and to create ways to help the body heal and grow stronger.
Day 12 Post Vaccine. 1/3/21 at 1300. Happy New Year! I enjoyed taking some time off and I did a TON of cooking and freezing healthy meals for my hubby for when I have to go back to work next week. I’ve been feeling great with the exception of mild sore throat here and there—haven’t really taken anything but Halls throat lozenges. No headaches, congestion, muscle soreness, or any other symptoms. I have 9 days to go until my next dose. Much of the data from the trials report that participants have more symptoms with the second dose. This makes total sense. When our bodies are exposed to foreign protein, bacteria, or virus a second time, our immune system remembers it and gets busy faster kicking out those antibodies to fight it off—this is why the second dose is referred to as a “booster” because it “boosts” the number of antibodies against a protein (like the Spike protein that helps Covid attach to our cells in this case), bacteria, or virus.
Because the immune system really revs up fast, we feel more symptoms. It does not mean we “have Covid, or the vaccine made us sick.” Most of the time “feeling sick” is more due to our immune system’s RESPONSE to a foreign protein (antigen) than the foreign protein itself.
Based on the preliminary results, both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines convey very high levels of protection against severe disease. Based on reported data, 5% of people still contracted Covid-19 after being vaccinated, but NONE of them had severe disease, and NONE DIED! We also must consider that most folks getting vaccinated at this point are not getting tested prior to injection. This means some people may have already had Covid-19 PRIOR to vaccination. I got tested 2 days after my vaccine just to be sure I didn’t fall into that category since I had been taking care of Covid + patients right up until my vaccine—my test was negative.
Looking at the death tolls now, I’d say the vaccine is the way to go. People are dying at record numbers, and we don’t have the space, staff, or the most effective methods of treatment. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be vaccinated.
Day 14: today my throat was REALLY sore! I woke up at 0331 and felt pretty miserable 😧. I lost my voice. By 8 that morning I couldn’t take it, so I got checked out—I had strep throat! I got antibiotics and a medrol dose pack and by Day 16, I was back in business! I learned something from this that I already knew, but just didn’t consider—when people are part of a clinical trial, REGULAR LIFE STUFF HAPPENS TO THEM!
You know how every medication commercial has ALLL if these “this medication COULD cause A,B,C,D…?” Well that is because it happened to someone enrolled in the trial, but happened so rarely that they were not able to associate that side effect with the medication being tested, but by law, the fact that it happened to someone in the trial has to be publicly reported.
Now, before anyone asks: The vaccine does NOT cause strep throat. I saw a lady with strep 1 or two days before I felt bad. I clearly recall because I was running around my office trying to find the instrument I use to look at ears and throats😂🤣😂 we have one, but we hardly EVER need to pull it out. I joked with the patient that she should get a second opinion because I hadn’t done a throat or ear exam in so long I lost the scope! I was wearing my mask when I saw her, and she was wearing hers, but we were super close together—checking someone’s thraot requires you to LITERALLY be “all up in they grill!” 😂🤣😂
Day 21: I got my 2nd Dose of Pfizer vaccine today at 11:05am. Like the first time, I took 2 aleve and a xyzal (to prevent allergic reaction) about 10-15 min before my vaccine. I barely felt it. About 4 hours later, I had about an hour of just real fatigue and achy joints—I had been in the hospital for over 30 hours and done a crazy complicated surgery, so I was definitely already tired, and I think the vaccine made it worse. I took a nap and felt back to normal when I woke about 4 hours later. I packed and watched Netflix until it was time for bed. I slept well.
Day 22: I am officially 24 hours out from dose 2. I did surgery this morning at 0730, made rounds, and then went to my office to see my morning patients. I feel normal, other than a teeny amount of soreness in my left arm where I got the injection.
After morning clinic, I took off for the airport—spending time with the hubby this weekend 😍. I easily managed the long walks and lifting required for travel. I’m sitting on the plane as I write this and I feel normal.
56 hours post vaccine: Feeling just fine! So far I seem to have fewer Side effects at 48 hours after this vaccine. Most folks have reported the opposite—they felt more reaction with the second dose than the first—but I guess my path may be different.
Today I am OFFICIALLY 1 WEEK out from dose#2!!!! Based on the information we have so far, by today, I should be generating enough antibodies to have 95% immunity to Covid-19, AND if I am one of the unfortunate 5% of people that STILL gets infected, I have a 100% protection from severe disease!! To God be the Glory!!!!
I am sooooo grateful to be free of the anxiety of becoming deathly ill or passing this virus to my friends and family!! I’ve continued seeing and taking care of patients for the entirety of this pandemic, and each time I enter a room, I am mindful that I am exposed—especially when I am with birthing people who are Covid-19 positive. There is no way to prevent nature from taking it’s course… and I have an up-close, personal seat to that miracle! While that mom is panting and pushing out her blessing, I know that viral particles are floating all over that room; even if the mom has no symptoms. I know that I am the only child of my parents who are aging and have underlying conditions. I know that so many people depend on me. I don’t think I realized how much pressure I was feeling until the pressure lifted!
I woke up this morning and said “Today is the day I should be immune! Today is the day a VP who looks like me is inaugurated! Today is the day President Biden takes office and takes the Reigns on this wild horse of a pandemic!” Today is a great day, indeed!
TWO WEEKS POST 2nd Dose:
I’m officially 2 weeks out from my second dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. I feel just fine. The second dose was better than the first dose for me. I had almost no effects. I feel UBER grateful to be vaccinated. At my small hospital, we’ve had about 30 Covid-related deaths in the last 10 days. I was listening to colleagues talk about how HORRIBLE this disease is. One doc lamented “These people are just so sick, they just die before I can even do anything”😭
Covid is surely a killer. I spent 10 years working at a high-volume, tertiary care hospital, where I started in the lab. I have seen very rare, very deadly diseases—even a case of Ebola—but COVID-19 is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in terms of its deadly consequences.
The most important thing is that we all do our part in staying SAFE and HEALTHY.
I encourage folks to get the vaccine when they are eligible. Some people are worried about not having access to a second vaccine after getting the first. To that, I say even getting the first one on board reportedly conveys 80-88% immunity, which is WAY better than none at all. The second can always be given as a booster once available.
My Booster Experience:
So studies have shown that after 6 months, the spike protein antibodies began to wane, making a 3rd “booster” dose necessary to keep immunity high. Since I got my second dose on January 13th 2021, I am almost 8 months out and I am taking care of a LOT of Covid positive patients. The Delta variant is ravaging our small community. Today, we have dozens of people in our small town requiring ICU care due to Covid 19 infection, and the number of vent-dependent folks is in the double digits.
The biggest reason for this is our area’s very low vaccination rates paired with lots of unmasked social activities—we let our guards down when our cases dropped significantly, but we did not turn out in enough numbers to get vaccinated. Now we are paying the price as a community…
My father called me yesterday to let me know he was taking my nephew to the hospital because he was ill and his oxygen levels were below 93%. I was immediately concerned for both of them—my dad because he needs his booster, and my nephew because he is unvaccinated.
Luckily, he was able to rally enough to remain outpatient and get monoclonal antibody therapy, but it prompted me and my dad to get real serious about finding a plan for booster doses ASAP. I called a couple pharmacies and went to one and waited, only to be turned away because I was not exactly 8 months out from my last dose. I ended up just walking in at CVS and showing my vaccine card and I was given my booster without a problem by the nicest pharmacist without any issue.
It was given today, August 30, 2021 at 6:12pm. I took 800mg Motrin and 25mg Benadryl about 1.5 hours prior to getting this dose. It’s now 9pm. I don’t have any soreness or any side effects that I notice at this time. I am getting ready for bed.
12 hours after booster, I took 2 extra strength Tylenol to ward off inflammation and rubbed my left arm with Doterra’s Deep Blue lotion to help prevent soreness. I will be alternating 2 Extra Strength Tylenol and 2 Aleve every 12 hours for 2 days to keep any fever or lethargic feelings at bay. After the first shot put me out of commission fir a few days, I developed a plan for the 2nd shot that seemed to work very well (or I just didn’t react much to the second dose). So, since I have a busy week and I don’t have time for the post-vaccine side effects, I decided to stick with this regimen this time around as well!
24 hours after booster I notice some soreness in my left deltoid muscle— kinda like I worked out. I rubbed on more Deep Blue lotion, which helped tremendously. So far, no fever or other symptoms. I worked my usual full day of clinic and made hospital rounds with no problems. I felt normal today.
Vaccinated or not, we ALL need to:
Wear A Mask
Watch our distance
Wash our hands
Let’s continue to do our best to care for others and for ourselves!