Well, the first jab is done and as expected it hit me rather hard. I had to go off of my immune suppressing drugs before, so that probably didn't help me feel any better. Still, I'd MUCH rather have a few days feeling poorly than Covid. The second dose will probably be worse, but I now know what to expect. That will be in a few weeks.
The clinic was much different from the set-up Dan went to in Iowa. Rather than being part of the pharmacy set-up, mine was in a mass vaccination clinic in a building that used to be a supermarket but has sat empty for years. We queued outside around the building, then entered and were directed where to go by county health department employees, and National Guard soldiers. I believe having the Guard there really did keep the grumbling about the shambolic vaccine system to a minimum because who is going to complain about being inconvenienced to someone that gets sent into disaster areas and wars for a living?! Got my jab, waited 15 minutes, scheduled my second dose, and was on my way.
I had been scheduled for the J&J vaccine when I got an email from the health department the night before indicating they would be changing to the Pfizer vaccine instead. Dan thought that sounded fishy so he texted his "contact" at the county health department see what was up, and got texted back at 9 PM on a Thursday by his "Contact" that all hell was breaking loose though at the time it sounded more like a supply issue than a side effects issue. I guess both were happening at the same time. Lucky.
Okay. I'm not sure what's more surprising, that he has a contact at the health department, or that he got an answer in the middle of a crisis. Apparently the contact is aware that Dan is a student journalist and doesn't have a problem with it. To me, that's kind of mind boggling. To date, he's also managed to get interviews with the infectious disease expert at the Med Center, and the governor. Anyway, I was one day away from being shot full of a vaccine that has the potential to cause blood clots which isn't an issue for most people, except people with a history of blood clotting problems (hellooooooo, it ME!) so I'm feeling incredibly lucky right now. Even if it went fine (which it almost certainly would have as evidenced by all the people that didn't get blood clots) I would be driving myself mad with worry.
The reaction I had to the vaccine was strange, though mild and nothing that antihistamines didn't resolve. I developed a rash on both hands, and my toes turned bright red and swollen. Headache from hell, and I slept all of Saturday and most of Sunday, but really it could have been worse. I'm thankful I didn't have to go into a workplace, or take care of a small child. They boys made their own dinners, I slept, and appreciated how lucky I am. It was like a three day hangover.
My autoimmune diseases have been doing their respective things of late, so I've just been going along knowing it will subside eventually. I have a rheumatologist's appointment at the start of May, which I've only just noticed it has been two years since I've gone for an exam. The last time I tried refilling my Rx they said I needed an appointment but I suppose after two years, that's fair. Like taking an automobile to the mechanic for maintenance. I fully expect a course of steroid medications to knock this current bout back, and fingers crossed that ought to do the trick. In the middle of all this, I managed to tear a muscle in my shoulder but at this point, all I can do is laugh about it (because I can't shrug-that would hurt). I did insist on getting the jab in that arm because it already hurt from the rhomboid muscle and a bad case of tennis elbow. No point injuring my left side too.
Coming back to the vaccine for a moment, I want to stress that at this point, pausing a vaccine to investigate the issues doesn't mean it is a bad vaccine. If it were the only thing available I'd still take it and then monitor for symptoms. Your risk of getting Covid is much greater. All drugs carry some scary side effects-I think birth control pills are rather notorious for causing blood clots as well. Because it is a new vaccine that was rushed through it is sensible to be concerned, but the media is also doing a very good job of whipping up fear when there's already so much vaccine hesitancy in the US. To my mind, that's irresponsible. It needs to be kept in perspective. I'd rather take something with a one-in-a-million chance of making me sick than the much, much more likely odds of getting a virus that can permanently incapacitate or kill me. OK, lecture over, I just wanted to be clear about that.
Everything is bursting into bloom in Omaha though are nights are still quite cool. Even my houseplants seem happy and the final bud on my Easter Lily has started to open. They're so gorgeous, though the scent can overwhelm a small room. I don't mind lilies indoors but forced bulbs of paperwhites or hyacinths quickly become too much for me.