My Second Vaccine (and I Feel Fine)

by Myranda — May 6, 2021
A syringe stabbed into a ball with pins made to look like a coronavirus molecule; second vaccine, defeat the virus!

Time for her second vaccine, & combating her needle phobia, afterwards this empress felt a little bit different than most people describe.

Over the past couple of months, my social feeds have been flooded with talk of different reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine. Much of this talk has centred around how the side effects of the second shot were amplified from the first.

I’ve been afraid of needles for a long time. Still, I’ve made a practice of getting any vaccine offered. At the flu clinics each year, I push past anxiety to get my shot, to help keep myself and others safe. It doesn’t help when there’s often one or several screaming children there, too. It makes trying to relax a herculean task. But still, I go.

Getting my Covid vaccine, I expected the experience to be similar. I would be afraid, but I would tell the nurse and they would help me manage my fear. I would still end up with a sore arm the next day or so from the inevitable tension.

I was also expecting more side effects. I’d heard of the fatigue. The possibility of fever. The aches. I was prepared. What did those matter, if it meant I could help flatten the curve? It’s not like I haven’t felt unwell before.

This vaccine experience, however, was different. For one, since children are not yet eligible, there was no palpable fear in the air. Instead, it was quiet. Efficient, even. As for the effects? Well, I must admit mine were different than any I’d heard about.

An image of two pins showing that someone has received the Covid vaccine, one in English and one in French.

My first vaccine shot was fairly normal. My arm hurt. The area itched a little, then went away, then came back and went again. The second vaccine however? I felt fine. Great, even.

Here’s the thing: I was ready for aches and pains, but I often have aches and pains. Since cannabis is now legal in Canada, I’ve begun exploring managing some of this with CBD products. So far, while it helps me feel a little more chill before bed, it really hasn’t made a huge difference in terms of tension or stress. On the other hand? I wish that the products I’m using made me feel like I did after my second COVID poke, to borrow a phrase from my niece.

I felt relaxed…

A soporific, slightly euphoric relaxation. I felt incredible. Essentially, my thoughts were “THIS. This is what I thought CBD would feel like.” And lest you think it might have been a mental relief response, this wasn’t something I felt the same day. It wasn’t until the next afternoon that it crept up like having taken a little too strong of cold medication, and lasted until I went to bed early and slept like a log.

I know this hasn’t been everyone’s experience. My brother coached my nephew’s hockey tournament fighting a fever, aches, and exhaustion. I walked to watch a game (two days after the vaccine), then went to take pictures of owls with my dad at night.

If you’re worried about getting your vaccine, please know, it’s okay. Needles are scary. They aren’t usually fun, and I’d be the first to tell you that. But I hope you will. Even in the face of fatigue. Of fever. Of aches and all the other terrible reactions. Because even if we all end up needing a booster shot, and my next go is decidedly less pleasant?

I’d do it again. As many times as needed to make the world a little safer. I hope everyone who can will do the same.

Main image by Ivan Diaz, on Unsplash.

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