Did I say I felt “a little tired” on Thursday afternoon? Ha! Little did I know that within hours I’d have the dubious pleasure of checking off pretty much every common vaccine side effect:

  • Fatigue. Oh, yeah. Ian had this with his second shot, too — the kind of fatigue I associate with pneumonia, where it takes real effort to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. Only, for Ian it abated within 24 hours. For me, more than 48 hours later, it still lingers.
  • Fever. Yep, around 100 with Tylenol, or 102 without. That went away after about 36 hours.
  • Aches. Oh my word! I never experienced anything like it. My entire body felt… I guess the best way is to say it felt like I needed to stretch. Everything hurt, with or without drugs. That lasted about 36 hours, too.
  • Headache. Why differentiate that? When everything aches, it’s pretty safe to assume the head does, too. That, along with fatigue, continue hanging around today.
  • Nausea. I haven’t heard anecdotal stories of people I know having nausea, but I sure did. With a vengeance. I spent a deeply unpleasant night with my body retching up bile, since I had nothing left in my stomach. That was probably the worst part. Thank goodness it abated on Friday night and let me resume eating yogurt and applesauce.
  • Pain in the arm. Like the first shot, the ol’ injection site hurt a lot. Like for everyone. Guess that’s why they don’t give you that shot in your butt.

So, I admit that even though medical professionals and the CDC describe these as “common” side effects of the vaccine, I still really expected to have maybe a low-grade fever and feel a little tired. I took Friday off work as a precaution, but thought I’d hop back on to do some stuff that was due at 3:00 pm. I absolutely planned to do my regular long Saturday bike ride.

I thought all that because very few people I’ve talked to have mentioned feeling hit by a truck after the second shot. Maybe that’s shows how unreliable anecdotal evidence is: Who wants to talk about the excruciating two days spent aching, feverish, and nauseated in bed? But all the people who bounced right back report, perkily, “It wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected!”

In any case, I seem to at least be following the timeline of recovering with “a few” days. Not, perhaps, the 24 hours many of my minimal-symptom friends report, but I have a reasonable expectation of doing a weekend bike ride tomorrow. I have given up the hope of riding today, and it was a good thing I took Friday off. The most I accomplished was watching nearly all of Season 2 of The Mandalorian and reading about half of Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America.

It’s all worth it, of course. I won’t say I have endured this level of misery gladly, but I have done so thankfully. I am thankful to have the opportunity to get this vaccine so that, on May 27, the adults in our family will be fully vaccinated and ready to start spending time with people in person again.

2 thoughts on “COVID Vaccine #2 Symptom Unpleasantness

    1. Hopefully not! Most people seem less miserable than this, but do expect a certain amount of misery.

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