COVID-19 Moderna vaccination / Covid Arm side effect and my experience.

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.

This was on the night when the lesion first started coming up

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).

No your eyes aren’t deceiving you, there is actually a yellow line we drew around the outside over the top of the red line that naturally surrounded it (I was concerned about cellulitis at the time).
Disney was fantastic! Even with a sore arm 😊

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.

The minivan got rear ended by a big, old truck and the insurance company wrote it off because there was frame damage! A new car wasn’t in the plans, but it’s exciting nonetheless!

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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Give us Parents a Break Please!

One of my three children working hard at her new normal

Right now, our world as we knew it, has been completely turned upside down! There’s a pandemic out there that is scaring the bejesus out of us all! Our first responders (medical personnel, firefighters, police officers) are fighting with everything they’ve got whilst facing an extreme and before unheard of, lack of essential safety equipment. Times are tough. People have lost their jobs, unemployment is rising every day, social distancing is real and becoming tougher every day. We are all feeling pressures on us we never knew we would face! Parents are homeschooling and working from home, trying to balance this new normal as best they can, yet the minute they complain about it, others are very quickly putting them down and this really bothers me! I’m reading all of these Facebook stories/quotes/heartbreak moments that are trying to both scare parents with horror stories of children dying alone and to make parents feel bad for getting frustrated with their children after being stuck at home with them day in and day out!

Here’s the deal: don’t try to make me or any other parent for that matter, feel bad because I/we need to frigging vent! We know people have got it tougher than us! At no point in time have we said “woe is me!” or “I am in the worst position ever!” What we’ve said, had you been listening, is “holy shit!” – I really appreciate teachers right now! I really appreciate going to work, I really appreciate those few minutes I have to myself daily, I really love my kids but 24/7 is too much sometimes and I just need to vent without being judged and made to feel like the weight of the earth should rest on my already very weary, very overworked, overwhelmed, completely out of my comfort zone, feeling sorry for everyone in the entire earth including myself, shoulders! Stop it! Stop making us feel guilty for venting! We are doing the right thing, we are staying home, we are trying to be the best people we can be right now, but sometimes we get shitty, sometimes we want to scream out loud that we don’t want to anymore! Don’t throw shit in our faces about our babies dying! Don’t try to make us feel worse! We are in this position because we love our children so much that we are already feeling guilty we aren’t doing a good enough job at being parent, teacher, comforter, friend (because they can’t see any of their friends right now) 24hr guardian and everything else in between! Please just stop! Your tactics aren’t working to make this world a better place, they are simply making the good people out there; the people who are literally trying to be all things to the little people, feel even more like shit!

Let’s lift each other up, not put each other down! Let’s realize everyone needs to vent and for the most part, we are all trying to do the right thing and support our doctors and nurses, our medical technicians, our paramedics, our firefighters, our police, our military, our shop assistants, our shelf packers, our truck drivers, our construction workers, our funeral home workers, our delivery drivers, our scientists and researchers and laboratory technicians working day in and day out to find a vaccine, even a cure, our teachers who are still trying to figure out their new normal and how to best help their students, whilst juggling their own new normal, our restaurant chefs/cooks, kitchen hands and assistants, who are still making us food, but delivering it now, and all those who continue to work to help us get through this very difficult, crazy time.