I Survived the Vax

I see a lot of discussion on social media about the COVID vaccine and whether or not it is appropriate for people with Fibro. Well, folks, here is my experience.

I qualified in early stages of the vaccine roll-out on two fronts: One, as a health care worker, and two, as one of three caregivers for my elderly mom. One of my sisters works in a hospital, and she was vaccinated in December. She had no adverse reactions. I was never really worried about how I would feel, because at this point, “how I feel” is not the most important operative. There is so much suffering and loss in the world right now. This vaccine is the only way out of the situation we are in. I just kept thinking about all of the lives lost and touched forever by this virus, and wondering what I can do to help.

I was excited to get the first shot. My sister (also one of the caregivers) and my mom and I got an appointment at a local center. Snow was predicted, and sure enough, it was coming down pretty hard by the time we were ready to leave. I went out to shovel so my mom wouldn’t slip walking to the car. I was praying the whole time that they would not cancel. That the nurses would show up. That the store would not close. That my sister would be able to get here. That we would be able to drive there and back safely. It was a lot of praying.

It all went well. We got there, we got our shots, we bought extra toilet paper, and we got home safely. No one reacted to the shot. I felt I could now exhale half-way, knowing that very soon I could stop worrying about killing my mother by accident. Or anyone else. Or my kids exposing me. Truthfully, over the last year I probably should have worried more about my health than I did. I have mild asthma, and could face complications from COVID. Two of my (adult) kids had it, though neither had any lasting effects. They were more worried about me than I was.

Was I worried about COVID with Fibro? Not at all. Fibro is not an autoimmune disorder, though many people with Fibro ALSO have an autoimmune disorder like RA. I do not. While the severity of COVID varies considerably from one person to another, there is no medical evidence that suggests someone with Fibro is more vulnerable to COVID or would suffer more than any other person of comparable age. Anyway, back to the vax.

The second shot went just as smoothly; though my sister had some side effects, I felt pretty good. My mom did great. Now, nearly a week past the second shot, I’m thinking about getting my nails done next week, maybe going to a bookstore. In a mask, of course. For the first time in a year, I can feel the fear diminishing. I can breathe. Almost. I still grieve for all of the dear ones we have lost to the pandemic, but now, I am grateful to be part of the solution, instead of the problem.

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