Lupus and My Second COVID Vaccine Dose
Last updated: January 2023
Please ask your medical professional if the Covid vaccine is suitable for you. The following is my experience under the care of my physician.
Just like my first vaccine, I found myself contemplating how the second vaccine shot would go. I was comforted by the fact that, although there were side effects to the first vaccine shot, they were not horrible or much different than my chronic fatigue days with lupus. But as most of you know, there is some hesitance lying in the unknown when it comes to changing anything with lupus.
My homework on the vaccine
Just like the first vaccine shot, I did my homework. I read what the CDC stated. I listened when friends and family shared symptoms regarding the side effects weeks after their doses were administered. People’s bodies and genetics are different. However, gathering this information helped me gain an understanding of the aftereffects. It has been stated by the CDC that symptoms from the second dose are worse than the first. People were experiencing increased body symptoms of1:
- Muscle pain
Speaking with my friends, they affirmed that many of the CDC symptoms appeared in varying degrees post-vaccination, some not at all. Many of them had these symptoms for 2-4 days. My friends had also stated their arms were sorer than the first vaccine, many got rashes on the vaccine site, and others developed rashes on other parts of their bodies. Many people felt tired with aches/pains. Overall, they felt under the weather.
My second COVID vaccine
The 3 weeks flew by, and the day came. My husband and I were at CVS Pharmacy once again, and the process was efficient and quick. We both were in and out in 15 minutes.
Once the dose was administered, it took several hours for my arm to become sore. My family rode bikes at the skatepark for a few hours after the vaccination, and I was still feeling well. My husband didn’t feel much, either. Strangely neither of us had those weird headaches we experienced with the first dose.
By the end of the day, soreness in our arms progressed. At this time, it was getting physically challenging to raise my arm. My deltoid was throbbing, and the pain seemed to spread a little from the injection site. My husband was suffering the same arm effects.
Post 36 hours, my body’s immune response hit me. I suffered from a flare in the joints of my hands, feet, and knees. It was accompanied by swelling, redness, and pain. I found that I had a considerable amount of systemic itching too. Benadryl seemed to do the trick and stop the itching. Sadly, as hour 48 came about, my flare needed more prescription assistance. This flare lasted several days.
By hour 48, fatigue started setting in. It was pretty similar to the first vaccine. Like chronic fatigue, I would pass out randomly during the day. I had no muscular aches or pain. My husband had less intense symptoms but stated that he felt like he was walking in mud.
Hours 72-96, we both had a considerable amount of fatigue, the difference was that my husband could still be functional, and I was wiped out. The upside was my flare started to dissipate while the fatigue stayed steady. My fatigue lingered around for a week, as did my husband's.
I would get the vaccine again
Overall, I do not feel that the vaccines were a horrible experience. The nurses and facilities were fast, clean, and informative. The onset of side effects could have been worse. I appreciated receiving the vaccines and giving my body a head start on creating antibodies.
I am lucky I did not encounter COVID without a vaccine; that thought scares me more than any side effects from the vaccination. If I had a choice to repeat the process, I would do it again without hesitation.
How are you most likely to respond when someone offers you unsolicited advice about your lupus?