Quick takeaway: I have adrenal insufficiency (one adrenal was removed with my kidney due to cancer, steroid-dependent (post-Cushing’s Disease), growth hormone insufficiency, panhypopituitary. I had some issues after my first COVID-19 injection (Moderna) but not too bad. My second injection was March 15, 2021. This time I was smart and updosed on my Cortef (hydrocortisone) right after the shot. My main side effects this time were chills, extreme thirst, fatigue…and a craving for salad(!)
Earlier in March, CVS sent out an email with a few questions to answer before confirming my March 15 appointment. On March 14, they sent me a text and when I clicked on the link, it said I had answered all the questions already. YAY
I got this information again from CVS:
On the day of your appointment:
•Please arrive early enough to check in before your scheduled appointment. Arriving late for your appointment may result in an extended wait time.
•Bring your ID and insurance card, voucher or other coverage
•Don’t forget a face covering—wearing it throughout your visit is required
•When you arrive, please check in at the pharmacy area inside the store or follow the signs for the COVID-19 vaccine
CVS tips for vaccine shots:
•Wearing short sleeves makes getting a shot easier and faster
•If you must wear long sleeves, dress in layers with the short sleeves underneath
What to do if you feel sick or have COVID-19 symptoms:
•Contact your health care provider immediately
•If your provider recommends it, get tested for COVID-19
• Cancel your appointment
•Don’t come to the pharmacy
•Schedule a new appointment when you’re well
After your vaccine:
•Be prepared to stay for 15 to 30 minutes after the COVID-19 vaccination so you can be observed for side effects.
•If you experience side effects from your COVID-19 vaccine dose, you may find some guidance at Coronavirus: Vaccine, Prevention Tips & FAQs
•The CDC has created a way for you to report how you feel after the COVID-19 vaccination through a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to check in with you. Learn about v-safe and sign up today.
Monday, March 15, 2021: When I got to CVS, I found that everything was very well run like before.
I got a text from CVS asking me to click a link when I arrived at 3:30 and it gave me directions on where to go.
This time I wasn’t met by anyone at door but I knew from before where to walk following arrows on floor. Then I was met by so someone who checked my name and he asked if I had done the texting thing (yes!).
There were 2 people ahead of me that I could see. It went very fast. I was in the little partitioned off area within less than 10 minutes.
The nurse asked if left arm was ok to use.
The shot was not quite as fast – I felt it a little but I am used to giving myself daily injections so this was no biggie..
The nurse said if I get a headache, take Tylenol only. She also said to stay hydrated.
I sat in the waiting area for 15 minutes to be sure there were no problems There were about 10 or so people sitting around the store that I could see at various stages of their 15 minutes.
This time I was smart – right after leaving the CVS I took a stress dose of Cortef (hydrocortisone).
Around 7 pm i noticed I had what I used to call a “lightning bolt headache”. There is pain in one spot of my head and it moves quickly down, through my brain and out. I used to get these long ago and I didn’t even know they were a thing until I just looked them andy they are called “Thunderclap Headaches”:
Severe headaches that appear suddenly like a lightning bolt are a cause for concern. This isn’t a sharp pain that goes away as suddenly as it began, but a pain that comes on like a light switch or feels as if someone has hit you in the head with a hammer.
Who knew – I thought I’d made them up. I hope this was the only one.
I could not believe how thirsty I was for the first couple days. My mouth felt like a desert so I drank lots of ice water which meant I needed to run to the bathroom a lot. Sometimes, I didn’t quite make it.
I was so tired, I skipped my growth hormone injection.
About 10 pm I started being very cold. I don’t know if that’s a symptom but I noted that on February 17, also.
My arm seems like it is more sore than last time.
About 3 am, I got up needing to get a drink of water and I was still so cold. I was under 3 blankets, wearing a hoodie and a very warm knit cap. I didn’t have the death dreams like last time but some that were work-related and all jumbled up. This has to get done before that can, but then, this other thing happens, type thing. I just got up, got a little hydrated and checked my emails.
As soon as I typed this sentence, I put my mittens back on.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021: My arm was sorer than Monday and I was still feeling cold, sleeping off and on. Still very thirsty.
I skipped my growth hormone injection again.
I had trouble sleeping, especially if I tried to roll over.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021: We didn’t go to water exercise. I planned that this time, based on my reaction to the first shot.
I had a little headache, dizzy, congested, very tired, lots of brain fog, thirsty. I slept more until about 1 pm and I cancelled piano lessons for the day.
After cancelling lessons, I went back to sleep. I was feeling cold but I don’t know if it was chills or really a cold.
At that point, I realized I hadn’t eaten for 2 days or had any coffee!.
For reasons that are very strange to me, I started craving tossed salad, specifically one from a certain local restaurant. I have never in my life craved salad.
I had some dinner (I was surprised that I could eat any) at 9:25 and did my growth hormone injection.
I went to bed at 11 pm. Tossed and turned all night.
Thursday, March 18, 2021: I’m a little more tired than usual but ok. I spent time napping and working alternated through the day. My boss called and he’d just had his Johnson and Johnson shot on Tuesday. The call was pretty funny because we both were brain foggy and trying to think of words. His vaccine is the one-dose type – he was glad to get it but found it weird that he could actually feel the medicine going in. That sounds to me more like it was injected into a vein than a muscle.
My DH went out to Domino’s and got some dinner – and finally, I got that salad!
Friday, March 19, 2021: Just the normal tiredness. Hooray! We went back to water exercise. I took off my bandage for the first time and noticed that the site had bled a little. Oh well. While I was in the pool, I had another of those lightning headaches but didn’t get out of the pool for Tylenol because I knew it was quick.
Saturday, March 20, 2021: DH gets his second shot!
In 14 days, I’ll be considered to be vaccinated. April 8, we will go visit our new grandson in NYC without quarantining or testing.
Info below from https://medshadow.org/covid19-vaccine-side-effects/ I’ve had the bold ones so far after the second injection.
Moderna started Phase III clinical trials for its vaccine candidate in July. In earlier trials, nearly half of patients experienced common adverse effects like injection site pain, rash, headaches, muscle soreness, nausea and fevers after the second injection. These effects generally subsided within two days. CNBC spoke to a few individuals, some participating in Moderna’s trial and some in Pfizer’s trial who said much the same thing: the side effects were intense and included a high fever, body aches, bad headaches and exhaustion, but were worth it for protection from Covid-19.
In the FDA report published in December, the most common side effects were pain at injection site (91.6% of patients), fatigue (68.5%), headache (63.0%), muscle pain (59.6%), joint pain (44.8%), and chills (43.4%). Three patients experienced Bell’s Palsy, a sudden, and usually temporary, weakening or paralysis of the facial muscles.
A few patients with facial fillers experienced swelling after receiving the vaccine. They were treated with antihistamines and steroids. In California, officials halted the use of one particular batch of Moderna vaccines (lot 41L20A) after a small cluster (fewer than 10) of patients at one particular site experienced allergic reactions that required medical attention.
Out of the first 7.5 million doses administered from Dec 14- Jan 18, 19 cases of anaphylaxis were reported to VAERS after the Moderna vaccine. No patients have died from anaphylaxis. Patients are now being monitored for 15-30 minutes after receiving the vaccine to watch for signs of anaphylaxis.
Many patients are reporting injection site reactions that show up shortly after the injection or up to a week later. These reactions — which are characterized by swelling, redness, itching, rashes, heat and pain — are expected to last a day to a week. Physicians emphasize that while these effects can be scary, they are not dangerous and should not prevent someone from getting the second shot. So far, doctors do not report seeing these reactions after the second shot, however so few have been given so far that scientists are not sure how common it will be on round two.
The CDC reports that 11% of patients experienced swollen lymph nodes after the first shot. That raised to 16% after the second shot.
A study posted on Feb 1 showed that patients who received the vaccine after having been previously infected with COVID-19 showed greater immune response to the first shot and more intense side effects that are associated with strong immune responses like fever and muscle aches. The study included patients who received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Some scientists believe these patients may only need a single shot to provide sufficient immunity, but more research is needed.
Moderna has announced that it will begin testing its vaccine in children and adolescents, who they believe may have stronger immune responses, leading to more intense side effects.
This page has information about the other brands of vaccine: https://fairfaxcountyemergency.wpcomstaging.com/2021/02/16/what-you-need-to-know-when-you-get-vaccinated-and-after-you-get-vaccinated/
A really good article – Coronavirus Life: What To Expect When You Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19