On Wednesday afternoon, I received the second dose of my Moderna vaccine. It has been over 50 hours and I am still recovering.
I tried to prepare the best I could, as a mother of four, knowing that I might go down, as I have heard many have after their second doses. I got all the pressing work at my desk done, Miles caught up on his school work, food in the house (even Ginger Ale at a friend's suggestion). But you can never truly prepare to go down as hard as I did.
I received the vaccine at 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon and made it about 3-4 hours before the side effects started to descend upon me. We were all upstairs getting ready for bed when I started to decline rapidly. Sweet Catherine went downstairs to get me a cup of water and bottle of Tylenol so that I would be armed and ready for whatever the dark of night brought.
I may have been armed, but I certainly was not ready. I awoke around midnight with severe body aches and chills. An hour or so later, I started to develop a severe headache. I took the two measly Tylenol tablets that I was allowed and hoped for the best. They did nothing to ease my symptoms.
Things just continued to worsen as I lay awake all night. Yesterday was no better. It was hard to tell if my symptoms worsened or just stayed the same. When you're that sick, there seems to be little differentiation.
The last time I was that sick was in February 2020. I was convinced I had that "weird COVID virus," that we had been hearing about on the news. I had visited Universal Studios just four days before. The park had been filled with what seemed to be travelers from Asia, all wearing masks (something very foreign to our existence at that time). I was so scared that night, when I first fell ill, that I called my mom and asked her if she would stay on the phone with me. The kids were all asleep so she stayed on the phone for hours to make sure I was okay. I was not okay for quite close to a week.
When I awoke this morning, about 40 hours after the shot ,I was so grateful to have the body aches, chills and headache finally wearing off. All that remained was extreme exhaustion and fatigue.
However, do not despair over my plight. There was a silver lining in this, as there is many a trying situations. That silver lining was my beloved children. It is difficult to put into words the help, support, love and affection they have showered me with over these past 50-plus hours. They showed constant concern for my well-being, always asking how I was feeling and if there was anything they could get me. They brought me cozy blankets to keep me warm when I was shivering, pillows on which to prop my head, Lucky Bunny to snuggle with, drinks to keep me hydrated, and food to keep me nourished. I got more kisses, hugs and snuggles from Catherine and Miles than I knew what to do with. Garin sat and kept me company during all his breaks from online school yesterday and again today when he arrived home from school at noon. Graham, on the other hand, finished a 550 page book in two days and I had to remind him that I was sick and might have appreciated a kiss or hug. As an "addict of reading," as Miles refers to him, I was not surprised. The world could be coming to an end around Graham, but if he was reading a book, he wouldn't notice. At my behest, he finally put his book down, came over and hugged me with a tear running down his cheek. I forgave him, of course and was very appreciative of his gentle hug.
I feel deep gratitude to my children for getting me through these difficult days. As mothers, especially of younger children, we are so accustomed to taking care of our kids, unceasingly. It is rare that we are in a situation so dire that we need them to care for us. But what a magnificent revelation to see them rise to the occasion. Not only rise to the occasion, but exceed every expectation.
So although I did not have my mother here this time, for the first time in my life, as I faced this challenge, I have no doubt about how proud she would be of her "stand ins."
Note: I could not have made it through the last few days without the generosity of my friends. Thank you to all who continuously texted to check on me. A special thank you to Barbara and Russ Lipkin for taking all of my kids to two different schools, on different schedules, over the past two days. I would never have managed without your help. Thank also to the Dahlberg family for your generosity and kindness in sending us the yummiest Chinese takeout buffet tonight, so I would not have to cook.
The prick in my arm turned out to be the least of my worries.
Miles and Mommy giving two thumbs up for the momentous accomplishment.
Such a little band aid for such a powerful shot.
When the kids weren't tending to me, Fitzy was.
Miles was in charge of hydration, kisses and hugs.
Catherine cuddled with me and showered me with plenty of hugs and kisses too.
Garin ordered a pizza from the computer last night and Catherine made the salad for dinner. They brought me a plate on the couch, but I didn't have much of an appetite.
The whole gang gathered in my. room last night to cuddle and watch a little TV.
Look at this spread! And I finally had my appetite back tonight to enjoy it. Thank you Steve, Stephanie, Alex and Katie!