Covid Vaccine Pt. 1–My Story

My decision to get vaccinated was an incredibly private, well thought out, well researched, and planned event. That said my decision to tell how it went is here for everyone to see. My story is 100% mine and my decisions were 100% for myself, my husband, and for the people living in my community/country (in that order). I’m not telling my story to shame, or convince others, or judge, or ridicule, or manipulate anyone, anywhere, into anything. Do or don’t do what is/isn’t right for you. One of the things I would have liked to read in my research was another human beings experience getting the vaccine. I couldn’t find one. I could find healthcare workers (essential workers) getting vaccinated—which of course are human beings, but no non-healthcare workers stories. Mine is neither religiously or politically motivated in any way. Some background : I worked in healthcare nearly 20 years. By nature I believe in holistic medicine. I am striving in my personal life to be 100% chemical free–clean makeup, clean cleaning products, no aerosols, no toxic paint, no perfumes, no dyes, clean 100% whole food (no preservatives, additives, or natural flavors). And so much more–we’ve been working on this for almost 17 years and are about 60% there. For myself personally–I am wary of doctors and have several recent year stories that would make you wary of them too. But, in my life I have known some good doctors and I absolutely love my dentist of 20 years..

I’m healthy, 57, active, but do have arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and fibromyalgia. The only medication I’ve ever taken for any of these issues is Tylenol, ibuprofen, and glucosamine.

My husband and I may have or may not have had Covid in February of 2020. He brought something home from a sick co-worker and I got it in less than 24 hours and he in about 36 hours. We were down for the count for 3 days–the first time we’ve ever been sick together and actually “down for the count” and the first time I’d been sick in 16 years. Yes, I said it == 16 years with no colds, no flu, no sickness of any kind.

At day 4 I was up and besides a hoarse voice and fatigue, I was back to work and also full-time housework. By day 6, I was at almost 100% recovery. During whatever this was I truly felt like I had something that might kill me. I had never felt as tired as I felt, and the shortness of breath was scary as I’d never experienced that before. The hoarse raspy voice and hyper sense of smell made the whole ordeal for me very surreal. My husband was better around week two with neither one of us seeking medical treatment, because as you might remember –Covid didn’t hit the news in this country until mid-March 2020. I wasn’t able to take anything while ill for 3 days because my hyper sense of smell caused me to gag at the smell of Vicks, Nyquil, and Robitussin. I drank copious amounts of orange juice and rested to get better within 3 miraculous days. Since that time we have been well–always wearing masks and generally doing all we did before Covid–shopping, haircuts, and travel into nature. Things were different and often times hard for us, but not nearly as hard as those who lost someone or whose whole life changed with the lock-downs/business closings etc.

I’m not the least bothered by masks –I know it’s a barrier between me and someone else and even if it isn’t 100%, even if it’s only 25%–that’s good enough for me. Both in healthcare and travel we have worn masks in public before the pandemic. Sometimes I’ve had a hard time breathing in my mask and if I do then I stay home. I don’t judge others for not wearing them, but then I expect those people to steer clear of me and mine. It’s a two way street and always has been.

I don’t follow mainstream news. I haven’t had cable television for almost 20 years. I don’t follow news people except, I might be following, on some format, a war correspondent or two? I don’t subscribe to newspapers anymore. I get all my news from Reuters or the AP. I get all my medical information from Harvard, Johns Hopkins University, or Cornell University, or NIH, NIMH, or the New England Journal of Medicine. I also have friends that are both doctors and scientists–some Western and some Eastern medicine and a whole shelf of medical journals at my disposal. I also got straight A’s in science and biology in high school.Once I was done researching Covid, the pandemic, and the vaccine, I made my decision to go ahead and get the Moderna vaccine. I could have chosen any of the vaccines offered as they are all available around here, but chose Moderna because that is the one I spent the most time researching and also more importantly both of the other vaccines had an ingredient in them that I’m allergic to.

I mention all of the most personal things about me to give you the reader the full scope of details about me as I looked at the science and facts that I most rely upon that eventually helped me make my decision to receive the Covid 19 vaccine.

There was a notice online locally to sign up through the health department to receive your vaccine. This notice went up when everyone 16 and older was now able to get the vaccine in our county and I believe entire state. Though my husband and I were both on the list last year as essential workers, neither of us were able to get the vaccine until now when the rest of the general public became eligible. Within 10 minutes I made an appointment for my husband and I and that was that. Two days before I made sure we concentrated on staying hydrated and then some–as we are generally hydrated, but just to be certain. We also ate really healthy super nutritious fruits and veggies –double the amounts for 4 meals, and made sure we stayed stress free and rested. We lowered our sugar intakes–both natural sugars and processed sugars and I stopped taking ibuprofen and glucosamine for 3 days. All of these things are in the instructions/information when you look up vaccines on the CDC site. Hydrate, rest, and no anti-inflammatory drugs day of vaccine.

The day of we woke up, as my husband did not have overtime on this day, and we went about our day. We printed off our consent forms and headed to Baraboo to get our vaccines. As with my making my decision, my husband made his own for his own reasons. He does after all work in a facility were no one wears a mask/believes in them/and many don’t believe in Covid at all–but surprisingly most have now received the full vaccine even before he was eligible. So, his workplace/co-workers and who he comes into contact with on a daily basis were big factors for him. Not getting sick and not bringing something home to me again was also a big factor in his decision. Neither one of us needed the other to sign on in order for us to go ahead and get vaccinated. That said we were given the first shot this past Friday and will return in 28 days for the second shot. I have not been vaccinated since I was a kid in grade school and though I have had my blood taken and even IV’s in, I hate being given a shot. We do not get the annual flu vaccines for a couple of reasons–one our annual physical is just before the annual flu vaccine and our physician usually supports our decision based on how great our immune systems appear to be working, and two (see above), before 2020 I hadn’t been sick in 16 years (8 of which was while I was in college + work and 8 working/volunteering). I know personally I don’t plan on ever getting the flu shot.

Everything went very smoothly once we arrived at the building the vaccines were being given–we handed our consent forms to a young man in the National Guard and within seconds were called to a booth and vaccinated. We then sat for 20 minutes in a quiet room to make sure we were not going to have an allergic reaction. Instructions online stated no id required–basically no hassles. The vaccine was free. I believe at this time all Covid 19 vaccines in this country are free. After 20 minutes we left, grabbed lunch, and drove to Madison WI. We then proceeded to grocery shop, visit Trader Joe’s—yay!!, pickup bakery items and flowers and fresh vegetables and garden plants at Whole Foods. Seven hours later we were home, unpacking, and feeding our cat. We both had tenderness around 11 p.m. or so–I would say mine was a 1.5 on a scale of 1-10 for pain/unpleasantness. I couldn’t even see where the shot had been given though there was a slight bump where it was tender. When I got the shot, I felt quite the poke. Ouch! But nothing that brought tears or was long-lasting. My husband felt nothing, but his tenderness was a 3. After we got the shot I told him to move his arm around, massage the area, and do things with that arm. We lifted groceries, unpacked, etc. and I know I continued to use my arm and move it around. By early evening the next day my tenderness was gone and my husband’s was at a 2.

Sunday–everything was fine. So far no reactions, tenderness is gone, and we feel fine.

I’d be lying if I finished this post without saying how nervous I was about getting the vaccine, about having a reaction to it, about something happening to me down the road because I got it. I’ve seen all the posts online with misinformation, scare tactics, conspiracy theories, and fake news. I may not subscribe to it, but I’m not blind.

Yes, reading stuff like that does run through your mind before making a decision, while making one, and afterwards. The one thing you personally have to remember is –this decision is yours and it’s about your body and your health. There isn’t a single person on earth including my doctor who can make a decision or influence me to make one about my body or my health without me signing on to it 100%.

So, this is part 1 of my vaccine story. Again, my story and my personal reasons. No reflections or judgments on anyone for making a decision that is different than mine.

Thanks for stopping!

Photo credit: West Elm