As many of you’d know, I fall in to the “high risk” category… I’ve been very vocal about that since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.
While I’d always intended to take the vaccination, I’d settled on doing so at the latest possible juncture: next year at the earliest. However, a conversation with my daughter changed my mind about that.
Several of my immediate family members (- a mix of front line workers and the elderly -) had already gone forward with vaccination… so that convo, with my daughter, was the tipping point for me.
The Injection itself:
The process was actually THE LEAST PAINFUL injection I’d ever received in my ENTIRE life! The medical team was very professional. It was a pleasant experience.
I logged my experience as it unfolded, in the hopes of being able to better inform anyone who’s considering undertaking it.
So… Here goes:
• 15 hours following the shot:
I woke up with knee pain. My skin physically HURTs. My muscles – particularly those around the injection site – hurt.
It was an okay type of hurt: possibly akin to the localised soreness you’d get after a workout.
I laughingly said to myself: “maybe I should do a shoulder workout today!”
That may have been my last laughter of the morning… as the general feeling of systemic inflammation intensified.
I know pain.
I have a high pain tolerance. I’m covered in tattoos, and piercings.
I’ve had dengue fever four times in my life.
I’ve had chikungunya and Zika once each… So understand the comparison I am about to make:
My body hurt like when I had chikungunya!
It was like dengue without the chills or pain behind the eyes.
I usually shower in icecold water. This morning, despite being absolutely anal about hygiene etc, I stood outside the shower negotiating with myself. I knew, because of how my bare skin felt, that there’d be nerve pain from the introduction of cold water.
I wasn’t wrong.
I started my day as usual. Or tried to. Shower. Cardio on the treadmill. Virtual Personal Training. Breakfast.
Cardio, I cut to 30 minutes… From my usual 70+ minutes. Too many achy bits, as well as weakness and sharp pains in the hip muscles. Breakfast, I couldn’t finish. It ended up in the garbage. In. The. Garbage. Y’all’s KNOW that isn’t like me. I just couldn’t finish it. I simply couldn’t. Nausea started midway through.
• 21 hours after being administered the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine:
My body hurts. It’s pretty bad. I decided to take a break from virtual school, which I was helping my daughter with at the time, to just rest a bit. I woke 5 &1/2 hours later.
• 27 hours after being administered the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine:
The fever has set in.
Remember how earlier I said there was no pain behind the eyeballs?
Well… It’s here now. It isn’t comparable to the behind-the-eye pain I experienced during dengue fever. But it’s definitely unpleasant.
The rest of my body though? I can barely move.
It’s laughable, because I have a ridiculously high pain tolerance, and I’m accustomed to pain flares (due to a mystery chronic inflammatory condition which we are still working to diagnose). But this was certainly something.
My grandmother, who was vaccinated the same time as I, as well as my mother (a front line worker) are both fine.
I am not.
3 of my friends, who are similarly in the at-risk group as well as being in my age-group, are also “not fine”.
I, being the healthiest in the group, probably had the most staunch immune reaction as a result of that “health”. (Please note however: that correlation I drew is only speculation at this time.)
I’m quantifying this, mind you – for transparency. I am not complaining!
I’m presently keeping an eye on the fever, and doing my best to stay hydrated. I opted also to skip attempting to work out today. This included opting out of my daily walk on the treadmill. It makes no sense adding to the systemic inflammation and stress.
Oh… Hi… The chills are here too. Fever and Chills. Fitful sleep. I’m honestly concerned! I can’t lie.
• 31 hours after being administered the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine:
My temperature is 38.5°.
I’m basically running on cocodamol… But I’m on my feet again. Definitely feeling more like myself. I still haven’t resumed exercising. Stretching, as per my virtual classes, has been pretty well tolerated. Joints feel crunchy and connective tissue feels sore.
• 72 hours after being administered the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine:
Most of the adverse reactions have resolved. My joints and connective tissue are still inflamed however.
I’ve heard that the reactions to the second shot are worse than the first.
So, while I will for sure take my 2nd shot (and any follow up boosters), I’m honestly not looking forward it.
My takeaways from the experience thus far:
• everybody’s reactions will be different. With that said:
• make sure you have appropriate and well-tolerated NSAIDs on hand.
• be sure to take the day following the shot off from work or anything intense… Focusing on low-stress, recuperative activities during that time.
That’s about it.
Commonly asked questions:
• Would I have, had I known how unpleasant my reaction would be, still undertaken getting vaccinated?
Yes. I do have my concerns (- and really that’s a whole ‘nother article unto itself). But, I honestly feel like the need outweighed my concerns.
• Do I, post-vaccination, feel the sense of relief or security others mention?
Hell no. We are years away from either. This has always been my honest opinion. It hasn’t changed.
We each have a responsibility to do what we can do, to make the situation liveable for ourselves and our families. The end.
Do continue to practice proper distancing, sanitising, mask wearing, and general wellness behaviours as well.
Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados