Your Googling has just been fruitful!
If you are like me and suffer from psoriasis and a host of other autoimmune related ailments (fibromyalgia, Hashimotos, neuropathy, interstitial cystitis), you have probably spent the past year scouring the web for information about how COVID-19 will impact your health. And like me, you have probably read plenty of articles about how little is known about the impact on your already miserable condition(s) but that the vaccine is generally safe and to get it as soon as it’s available to you.
You may have spoken with your dermatologist/neurologist/rheumatologist/endocrinologist and your primary care provider and been encouraged to get the vaccine because getting COVID-19 is certainly worse than any impact that the vaccine might incur.
I just got my second dose a week ago and I want to share that you will suffer a flare in your symptoms.
When I learned that I was fortunate enough to qualify for the vaccine because I am a home health care worker I made the choice to go for it and gain whatever protection I could. I have three young autistic kids and no family nearby. I needed to grab that appointment slot and saddle up for whatever bumpy ride might follow.
The first dose, I felt like I had the flu. I was exhausted and had chills. This lasted less than two days. I didn’t feel great after that, but, I never feel great. A week later, I got a stomach bug and that laid me flat for two days. Nothing on the web was saying vomiting and pooping were a side-effect of the vaccine. But now I’m thinking that the two may be linked.
What I had read was that the second dose was what really made you feel ill. Being the Type A, OCD nut job that I am, I prepared my household for Mama to be sick for days. I friggin mopped the floors, got food delivered, and had my bedside table set up with all of the survival supplies one needs for a full body seige of “flu-like symptoms”.
Let me just say that all the parts of my body that like to attack itself because they think they are a foreign entity have been attacking themselves. My hands, where my psoriasis is centered, have freaked out and each finger and both palms are inflamed and scaling. It’s painful and it’s gross.
My fatigue and fibro-fog (can’t think of that word….nope, still can’t think of it) are severe. And my myalgia and joint pain are worse. Let’s talk IC pain. Oooh, no, if you have it, you know what a flare up of that is like.
Was it worth it to get the vaccine? I’m going with “yes”. Am I also experiencing flares up and down my body? Oh, fuck yeah, I am.
These are the early days of vaccination and not a lot of research has been accumulated. Particularly among those with underlying conditions. Let me be the web hit that provides you with that first hand, pun intended and it stays, case study that the vaccine is running amok from my head to my toes. I’m hopeful that these unknown and under discussed side effects will wane over the next couple of weeks.
If I have gained immunity that will protect me and allow me to care for my autistic children, it’s all been worth it.
I know how validating it is to read someone else’s story about illness and chronic pain and feel like,
“Hey, she gets me! It’s not all in my head!”
I get you. It’s a real thing. Please get vaccinated anyway.