Much to my family’s (and my own) surprise, I got the first dose of the Moderna vaccine on February 9, 2021. It was an interesting transpiration of events.
At the time, my husband was working nights and had just gone to bed when my phone rang at about 8:30am in the morning with an automated message saying I was now eligible to get the vaccine. It was all completely unexpected as I am not anywhere near the 65plus mark, nor did I think I had any immune compromising preconditions, but apparently the Army system had asked all those eligible in order, and those ahead of me had either gotten the vaccine or had refused it. They needed to get the shots they had on hand out to not only those eligible, but to those who actually wanted it.
Hubby and I had had a conversation just the afternoon before discussing whether or not I would get my shot and I had honestly told him that I wasn’t sure. I had reservations, but I also desperately need to get home (to Australia) and will do anything I can to not have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to mandatory quarantine at designated hotels upon arrival. Yes, thousands. This after having paid the hefty price just to get there and with a family of five, this is indeed a hefty amount. I digress.
Anyway, On that February morning, I found myself pushing the button to be connected to someone if I would like to schedule an appointment. Before I knew it, I was booked in for midday that same day!
Well, off I went, not really thinking about what I was doing at the end of that 40 minute drive. The entire process took about an hour. I had to drive in to a field and fill out my paperwork as I passed designated soldiers to direct me where to go next. It was quite well organized given the number of cars both in front of and behind me. Eventually we pulled into designated parking spaces and went inside an auditorium to physically have our shots. We had to spend 15 minutes afterwards to make sure there were no immediate adverse effects, then it was off home.
My arm began to ache about 2 hours after getting my shot and was reasonably sore when I went to bed that night. I awoke with pain if I rolled on it, so it certainly wasn’t a fun night’s sleep. The next morning at about 11am, I started getting chills and just feeling generally rubbish. I really couldn’t move from my couch, even getting my friend to send our son home from the bus stop by himself because I just couldn’t get up. It was a rough 24 hours! But when it was done, I felt great. My arm was no longer sore, I didn’t have a fever, in fact all was good!
On February 15, 6 days after getting my first Covid shot, my left arm (the arm I got jabbed in) started to really throb again, It was about 6pm at night. Then it got incredibly itchy but it was too painful to touch. I took some Benadryl and some ibuprofen thinking this was a local allergic reaction, another rough night lay ahead! When I awoke the next morning, my arm was incredibly tender. I had a large, raised red lesion measuring about 10cm in diameter. It was burning hot to touch, itchy as hell and so sore that when I did try to itch it, it hurt like crazy! I really wasn’t sure what was happening, so talked to my doctor (who happened to call me about something else on that day) who told me it was just a secondary reaction and not to worry. “Take Benadryl and ibuprofen for the discomfort and it will go away shortly”. So I didn’t stress too much until my friend saw it at the bus stop and was very concerned that I had an infection (cellulitis). We were about to go to Disney World (first time ever after finally getting the go ahead from the head boss at hubby’s work because he had been fully vaccinated). Nothing was going to stop me! So I read and I read until I finally found an article on something called ‘Covid Arm’. The link to it is here.
That almost described my symptoms to a T! So that’s what it was; Covid Arm. A little known side effect (at that time) that seems to affect women more so than men for some reason.
My Covid Arm lasted for approximately 8 days. It was extremely uncomfortable but by the end of our 4 days at Disney, I could at least go on rides and not be in agony as well as terrified! Lol
By the time I got my second shot (March 15) my left arm had finally started feeling almost normal (though even as I write this segment of the blog – day 2 of second shot – it still has some tingles).
Ok, on to shot number 2 of the Moderna vaccine. One thing I didn’t do this time was massage my arm after the shot or exercise it at all, whereas the first time, I really made sure to move it constantly & I’m pretty sure I paid for it with a very sore, heavy arm from the get go. Even though I took a Benadryl that first night, I didn’t sleep at all, I would roll on my arm and have to prevent myself from screaming in agony and waking my husband, it was dreadful! So I spent my entire day 2 in bed, drifting in and out of sleep, feeling like my whole body was aching. I wouldn’t say I had a fever as such, just a weird feeling like butterflies in my stomach but spread throughout my body. Everything ached, particularly everything on my right hand side (I got the shot in my right arm this time as per the articles I had read about Covid arm and their recommendations). But even my lymph node behind my right ear was swollen. It was weird. I felt sick but didn’t vomit. I just tried to drink lots of water and get beyond that crappy feeling. I took an ambien sleeping tablet that night just so I could get some decent sleep having had none the previous night (yes, I have a prescription as I suffer from severe insomnia- but try to only take them one or two times a week).
Day 3. Woke up and got kids off to school, but went back to bed after everyone left, yes, I am lucky enough that I could do that, some of you don’t have that ability and I’m sorry, all I can say is better one or two days with side effects from the Covid vaccine than one or two weeks (if not longer) if you actually get COVID.
I say all this because I started feeling better by lunchtime day 3. Yes, I’ve had a reaction and I’m literally trying to give you the facts, not trying to convince you yay or nay. That’s completely up to you! But once again, I digress before the story is fully done. Day 3. By lunchtime I think my mind overcame my body as there were things I had to do (literally tornado warnings/watches next day as well as goods to prepare for my first spring market on March 20, 2021)! Exciting times!
Oh and my car just got written off after what we thought of as a somewhat small accident! NOT prepared for that! But we are all alive and well, so that’s all that matters.
Anyway, tomorrow we will deal with tomorrow’s challenges! Back to the now (or the then) my COVID arm seemed to be make an early appearance (last time it took 6 days, second shot was only 3 days) and it disappeared just as quickly as it came with nowhere near the same size lesion or pain levels!
Covid arm stayed with me for 3 days only this time and I am now 21 days past my second shot and doing great!
My left arm is still a teensy bit tender, my right arm though, is great!
I’m all about freedom of choice and I hope this helps you to be informed and make the right decision for you!
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One thought on “COVID-19 Moderna vaccination / Covid Arm side effect and my experience.”
I’m in the lucky group to have practically no reaction after the first one, other than an understandably sore spot at the injection site for a day or so. My next one is in a couple more weeks.
Bodies are so weird. While your reaction totally sucks, the bright side is that your body is well aware of what the virus spike proteins now look like!!