I was quite surprised when I received the text to book my second vaccination as it was only 8 weeks since I’d had the first. Most people here, have a 12-week gap between their two doses. Another inconvenient anomaly was that I was only offered appointments on the following day. Usually this would not be a problem as it was for a Saturday and I rarely book clients in on the weekend, but it didn’t give me an opportunity for pre-emptive rest. Unfortunately, earlier in the week, I’d made a conscious decision to allow myself to do a little too much on the Thursday and the Friday with two consecutive (albeit relatively short) garden visits with friends. I wouldn’t usually arrange visit two days on a row either, but there was only a short window of good weather and it was my first opportunity to socialise since lockdown restrictions allowed it. So I’d decided to make hay while the sun shines and deal with the consequences over the weekend. I didn’t get the text to book my jab until after my friend had left on the Friday, which left me in the difficult position of attending the appointment already in a depleted state.
In between the jabs
But before I get to the whole experience, I’d like to just share my experience since my first post about the first jab. When I last wrote it seemed that I was pretty much back to normal after about 4 days. Unfortunately, that didn’t last, I had a couple of unexplainable setbacks in the intervening 8 weeks and never really got back to my previous baseline. I also notice that my hot flushes (which had been a lot calmer for the last 18 months or so) became much more frequent and severe, having an impact on the quality of my sleep.
However, I can’t be sure that this was vaccination related. There was another variable involved. The time coincided with moving into full-blown allergy season, and although I’ve found a protocol that helps minimise my symptoms, I couldn’t be sure that the setbacks and hot flushes weren’t a direct result of the allergies, or a side effect of the protocol.
To be honest I didn’t do much to prepare, except rest as much as possible from the moment I booked the vaccination, until I left the house for the centre. (about 24 hours) Although I did so some of Saturday evening meal prep in the morning, so it would be easy to put together later.
Having the vaccination (Pfizer)
It all went smoothly at the centre. I once again asked for somewhere quiet to wait out the 15 minutes you have to stay to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction. The place I was directed to wasn’t really that quiet though, so I didn’t really get to rest properly during that time.
The after effects
Before I even left the vaccination centre, I had a new sore throat. I didn’t notice much else that day though. My body was a little heavier and I had a few muscle twinges in various parts of my body. I rested a lot and didn’t feel too bad.
I felt it more the following day (Sunday). In addition to the sore throat, I had a mild headache, a heavy body, fatigue and brain fog, and the same on Monday. Then, despite cutting back on just about everything I could think of for those two days, on Tuesday I experienced a full-on crash, with even less energy, feeling very achy and very grumpy. I know from experience that this grumpy/ flat feeling is a brain chemistry response to crashing and is probably to do with how the inflammatory response affects dopamine. In addition to this I was having clammy hot flushes, regularly all-day, and ended up quite dehydrated. This all continued for a couple of days.
On Friday I seemed to be feeling slightly better and thought I was coming out of the woods, I tried to catch up on a little bit of work, pacing really well and being very careful, but on Saturday I crashed again.
11 days after the vaccination, I still felt pretty rubbish. Even though I no longer felt as though I was in a full-on crash, I had to adjust to a much lower baseline of what I could (or rather couldn’t) do. I felt like I was in that in between stage, where I didn’t feel so awful that I knew I’d got to do nothing, but I didn’t really have enough energy to invest in healing either.
However, a friend recommended a free energy medicine course offered by Prune Harris to help your body deal effectively with the vaccine. I signed up and practised the routine for after the vaccine, which was really easy to do, and very relaxing. I felt quite a bit lighter afterwards and have now done it 4 consecutive days and I’m starting to feel more hopeful. When I try to do things, there is still too much effort involved, so I know the energy isn’t there yet, but I’m feeling much better in myself. There is also a pre-vaccine routine, so if this approach appeals to you check it out at least 10 days before your vaccine if you can.
Was it worth it?
Taking a good look at things, my baseline at the moment isn’t any higher that after my nasty virus last year. Which after 9 months had improved but still hadn’t got back to pre-virus levels. The protection has come at a nasty cost and only time will tell how great that cost is, how many months of functioning will it steal? Paradoxically, one of the ways it will protect me from contracting the virus is by making me so unwell I’m unlikely to have much interaction with society and unlikely to actually need the vaccine!
I’m not really sure that Covid would kill me, so I have to consider whether the protection the vaccine is offering me is really worth the cost. Right now, I would call it a close call. One of the reasons I chose to have the vaccine is that I was hoping my health would improve enough that I could visit my friends in Spain when things settle. After the vaccine though, I’m much further away from that being a physical possibility for me. If I regain my pre-vaccine baseline in the next couple of weeks and being able to interact in society again becomes more of a possibility, then maybe the vaccine will be worth it, not only for my own protection, but for that of others. If I don’t, and continue more or less housebound, then it’s unlikely I’ll have the vaccine again. The whole issue of being protected and protecting others will become less relevant.
The extra supplements I chose to take
Following recommendations from ME/CFS experts from this article, I’d intended to start taking extra supplements for a couple of days before the jab. Unfortunately, I didn’t get enough notice and then I completely forgot until after I’d had it. I basically used what I had to hand with the intention of upping antioxidants and boosting my immune system. The following list is what I took in addition to my normal supplement routine.
The evening after the jab
An extra 1g of Vitamin C on top of my normal 1g morning dose
An extra 250g mg CoQ10 Ubiquinone on top of my normal 250mg morning dose
An extra 250g mg L-Glutathione on top of my normal 250mg morning dose
An extra 20mg PQQ on top of my normal 20mg morning dose
20mg extra of nicotinamide (B3)
6mg extra of calcium pantothenate (B5)
Every day for the following week:
2g of Vitamin C instead of my normal 1g
500 mg CoQ10 Ubiquinone instead of my normal 250mg
500 mg L-Glutathione instead of my normal 250g
40g mg PQQ instead of my normal 20g
Every day for the next 4 days
2g of Vitamin C instead of my normal 1g
100mg extra Ubiquinol (bioavailable Co Q10)
On day 13 to present:
2g of Vitamin C instead of my normal 1g
Image courtesy of JCStock at Yayimages.com
10 thoughts on “My experience of the 2nd Covid Vaccine”
Wishing you good luck and improved health asap Julie. I also hope the vaccinations are worth it, having been housebound since late February, and way below my baseline. I am considering getting my immunity level tested before having a further booster. Thinking of you – and sending grateful thanks for all that you do for PwME xx
Thank you Angela. I hope things pick up for you soon too!
Thinking of you, Julie, and sending lots of virtual hugs and healing thoughts to you. So sorry to hear about your experience with the second vaccine. I appreciate the effort you’ve made in sharing your experience. I sincerely hope you will feel a bit better soon. Hang in there!
Thank you Sharon, I’m definitely starting to feel a little better now.
Glad you’re starting to feel better. I also had the Pfizer second shot 8 weeks to the day. That was the norm in our area. I had a week of being really dragged out and three days of a sore arm. But this was really worth it as we were able to fly to AS to see my husband’s kim who has been alone for the entire last year.
So glad you got you got to benefit Katie! I’m feeling a little more hopeful now as I’m starting to come out of the crash.
My heart sank when I saw this post, Julie. I’m so sorry you’ve crashed from the vaccine so far.
Interesting the different way things are being done in different places – we can make our own appointments for the 2nd shot, whenever it is convenient for us, even putting it off for weeks if we need to (as a local friend with ME/CFS just had to). And, in fact, most places here now aren’t even requiring appointments. I got my first Moderna shot in the grocery store while I was doing my shopping! Just walked up to the pharmacy and only waited 10 min.
As you know, you and I were in the same boat last year, both relapsed pretty badly. I was lucky enough to be able to wait for my vaccine until I was totally out of my relapse – it lasted 15 months, but I was in very good shape for 3 weeks before my shot. And I was even luckier to have NO reaction at all after the first one! Of course, I spent 5 months preparing for it, with new treatments to improve my immune function, immune testing, several consultations with my specialists, and, like you, I added some new supplements – liposomal vitamin C plus extra selenium (was already taking all the others recommended). So, maybe all that helped? Hard to say.
Well, I hope that you will improve over time. I’ve seen many people in the vaccine group say they returned to normal baseline 2, 3, 4, or more weeks after their 2nd shot. I hope it’s on the lower side for you!!
Thanks you for sharing your experiences – you are helping others to be better prepared. I’m thinking of you –
Live with ME/CFS
Thank you Sue! It’s 3 weeks now and I’m starting to come out of crash. Not back to baseline yet but improving and hopeful. Hope your second shot goes as well as the first!
Thank you for sharing your experiences Julie, it was interesting to read. I’m sorry it put you back so much! It is difficult to make the decision to take the vaccine or not, but especially if you expect vaccinations to have been the possible cause of your ME!
I hope you recover well from it and can visit your friends again.
Thank you Alma, I do seem to be improving now, just rather slowly! But I’m keeping faith!