Lupus and My Second Vaccine Dose

Please ask your medical professional if the vaccine is right 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 will 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 all 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 up 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:

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

Speaking with my friends, they affirmed that many of the CDC symptoms appeared in varying degrees post-vaccination and 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 again efficient and quick. We both were in and out in 15minutes.

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 difficult 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. Accompanied with lots of 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 a little more prescription assistance. This flare lasted several days.

By hour 48, fatigue started setting in. It was pretty similar to the first vaccine. Just like chronic fatigue, I would pass out at random during the day. I had no muscular aches or pain. My husband had less intense symptoms, but he 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.

Conclusion

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 definitely been worse. I appreciated the opportunity to receive the vaccines and giving my body a head start on creating antibodies.

I am lucky that 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 absolutely do it again without hesitation.

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