I’m a card-carrying member of the Covid Vaccine Club

Two weeks ago, I received my second vaccine against Covid-19.

The vaccine being Moderna, in case you are interested.

Initially I planned on writing something after my first shot, but then I thought, anyone nervous about getting the shot will be more interested in hearing my after-effects. And apparently, there are plenty of nervous people about there.

As a matter of fact, even where I work — a Franciscan convent with about 40 Sisters living on campus over the age of 70 — I learned that when the notice went out to employees the shot was available, only half of the staff signed up to get it.

This, despite most of them being on reduced hours, working from home, or furloughed.

How they thought we’d return to some degree of normalcy, I’ve no idea. But hey, I’m not here to judge.

In any case, when the time came for our booster shot, suddenly several of the other employees decided they’d get the shot after all. Because when those of us who got it the first time didn’t keel over and die, they felt safe.

Gosh. Thanks, guys. Right back atchya.

covid vaccine
At least the Sisters were eager to get vaccinated.

Anyway. I got both shots and lived to tell about it.

In case you’re one of the nervous ones, that first shot is pretty easy. My arm was a little sore the next day, but not near as bad as when I had the flu shot. So that’s cool.

That second shot though….

Maybe you’ve heard that people are more likely to have a reaction to the second shot? There’s a reason for that.

In a nutshell, after you get the second vaccine your immune system says, “hey, we’ve seen this before!” and springs into action.

From what I read, the stronger your immune system is, the more likely you’ll feel like crap after the second shot.

Knowing this, I figure I’ve got one helluva good immune system. The day after the shot, I was… well, shot.

Feverish, fatigued, nauseous, every joint crying out for mama… basically I was on the couch for the day, alternating between sleeping and watching old movies.

The next day I felt… better?

I mean, yeah, I definitely felt better. No worries there. Only I felt… not right.

Then the next day arrived and I still felt a little off. Something was wrong, but I couldn’t label it. Didn’t have a fever, no aches or pains, no fatigue… just a vague sense of unease.

And then for some reason later in the day — still not sure what made me think to do this — I decided to take my blood pressure. (After Husband’s heart attack nearly two years ago, we got a blood pressure cuff so he could monitor it at home.)

Can you guess where this is going?

Yeah. I found out I have high blood pressure. Like, scary high.

Now, just to be clear, getting the vaccine did NOT give me high blood pressure. As much as I would like to blame outside forces, the fact is, high blood pressure is just a thing with my family. Both my parents had it and all my brothers and sisters have it.

I suppose the family dog had it too.

But for many, many years, I was the outlier. The only one in the family with consistently low blood pressure. My readings were so healthy, they were brag-worthy.

And you better believe I bragged.

Until now.

Damn those genetics!

angry cat

So now there’s a pill bottle next to my toothbrush, where there was no pill bottle before.


I’m genuinely unhappy about this, but I also know it’s for the best so I’m trying to be grateful that I found out now, before something serious happened.

You might be wondering that if the vaccine didn’t trigger my high blood pressure, how did I miss all the signs before? How come I only just now became aware?

That’s a very good question. I have a very good answer: I’m a dope.

Were there times before when I couldn’t sleep because it felt like my heart was racing? Most definitely. Also, the weird twitchy eye thing that was happening? Or my sudden inability to focus or stick to a coherent thought?

Where was I? …

Oh yeah! Stress. It could all be attributed to stress.

Of course, I couldn’t think of anything I was stressed about, but still. Stress was a logical answer.

I was also getting lots of headaches, but I figured I was out in the sun too long.

(Please forget the fact I now live in Minnesota.)

Like I said, I’m a dope.

One of the things that might happen after you get the vaccine — I’m not sure if all places do this, but they did here — you are given instructions on how to register for V-Safe with the CDC.

This is where you give your information on what kind of shot you were given, yada-yada, and then you start getting texts from the CDC asking how you’re feeling, what symptoms you have and so forth. The point is to help them gather more information about the vaccines, have your side effects monitored, and they’ll even send you a reminder when it’s time to get your second shot.

I recommend this, especially if you’re a dope like me.

In truth, I credit V-Safe with helping me detect my high blood pressure.

Had it not been for their daily “How are you feeling today?” texts, asking me to choose between a smiling face, neutral face or frowny face, I likely would have ignored my symptoms far longer.

So there you go. That’s my vaccination story.

I am now a proud, card-carrying member of the Covid-19 Vaccination Club.

vaccination card
Membership open to Everyone!

I’m also a member of the Must Take Prescription Pills For the Rest of My Life Club.


54 thoughts on “I’m a card-carrying member of the Covid Vaccine Club

  1. While I’m sorry for your new pill habit, I’m very glad you listened to what your body has been trying to tell you. You’d think it would be an easy thing to recognize when things are changing, but it’s not. Bad health is like the lobster in the pot–if you raise the temperature gradually, it won’t know it’s being cooked until it’s too late. (Or however that expression goes. It just sounds like cooking with cruelty added in as a bonus.) Good luck with the family curse. At least there are no mummies involved.

    1. A lobster in a pot — that is a good analogy to how I was feeling. Just a slow burn, all over. 🥵
      As for the mummies, don’t speak too soon. I’ve got some German uncles who are living an unnaturally long time…

  2. I’ve been on the pills for about 40 years now. There are worse things (no I won’t list them) so just take them. And they are a good way to get out of things you don’t want to do. Someone asks you to do heavy lifting – sorry, high blood pressure can’t. Don’t want to go to the annoying meeting – sorry my BP is real high today think I need to skip.

    and it’s great for doing things you love – doc say I needed a month’s vacation in the tropics to lower my BP. Chocolate is a great stress reliever and even better with a nice red wine. Be creative, you now have a great excuse added to your arsenal.

    My wife got her second shot last Friday and had one bad day and then was fine. Sadly I haven’t been able to get my shot – I’m too young, don’t work anywhere important … all the reasons I retired for are keeping me out of the vaccine line.

    1. Thanks for the tips! Not that I needed more excuses for chocolate and red wine, but it’s good to keep my options open.

      My husband got his first shot this week, hopefully yours will be coming soon. *fingers crossed*

  3. Canada’s federal government ordered lots of vaccine – they just somehow missed out on how to get the vaccines. We’re 45th in the world in doses administered per 100 people because we can’t get enough product. If I was very fearful of the virus, it would be frustrating to watch so many other countries being able to vaccinate much younger and healthier people than our country is. Fortunately, I’m not fearful. Our cases, hospitalizations, etc are dropping like the proverbial stone anyway, so maybe herd immunity is kicking in after a year of the virus going where ever it wanted to go!

    1. I think it’s speeding up now, fortunately. I work in NWT and we are supposed to have all adults vaccinated by the end of this month (those who want it). The population is smaller but we have huge distances to overcome, and that means lots of logistical issues. I (and all my employees, regardless of age) had our second Moderna shots a week ago, so the timetable seems to be working. Fingers crossed for you that your province is getting efficiently on this and you will have your jabs soon.

      1. Interesting to see how access to the shots varies from place to place. Alberta has been very efficient at delivering the shots – when they have the product. In our province, 98.6% of the known cases survived – but it is unknown how many people didn’t know they had it, so that percent is actually closer to well over 99%. The average age of death was 81 and the majority of deaths were in people who had 3 or more serious health issues. I think Alberta has vaccinated those at highest risk now, so it may very well become a moot point if the rest of the population gets the jab or not.

    2. I’ve heard reports too that while there are plenty of vaccines, there were running short of syringes to give the injections! Companies are now scrambling trying to make enough. Hopefully things will smooth out soon. This has been a huge learning curve for everyone!

          1. One last thing – my husband’s step mother is 90 and lives in a seniors independent living apartment complex. Her GP is a Doctor who does house calls and has many patients in the complex.
            I’m not sure if she has had one vaccine jab or two (most of the residents and staff in her complex got the vaccine at the same time.) She just emailed us to say her blood pressure has become quite high (she was already being treated for high blood pressure and was well stabilized.) The doctor told her he is now finding a lot of his patients in the complex with higher blood pressure. She commented that maybe it had something to do with the covid shot – the Doctor would not speculate.
            It will be interesting to see, over time, if higher blood pressure is identified as a side effect – perhaps in certain ages or in patients with certain medical issues.

            1. Interesting! Mine has been on the trajectory up for a couple years now and with my family history, I’m sure I would have wound up in this state anyway. But whether it got some help with the vaccine? Maybe one day we’ll know…

  4. Bummer about the BP and pills. We (hubby and I) take pride in not being on any prescriptions. But you have to take care of those things when they crop up. I’m a week to go for my second dose of Moderna. I do worry a bit about the effects. But I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything, so I’ll just plan on a bed day.

    Thanks for getting vaccinated. It helps us all!

    1. I miss belonging to the no-prescription club, I really do. My husband lost his membership after his heart attack, and now he has to use the dreaded “day of the week” pill container just to keep track of them all. At least I have only the one pill!

      Everyone tells me they had one bad day, then were back on their feet and feeling fine the next. Planning on a bed day is wise and if you want any movie suggestions, I’ve got plenty! 😉

  5. Welcome to the clubs! The vaccine club doesn’t do much after all the excitement for the first couple of weeks, sort of your college alumni association. The pill takes club is a whole different story. They want active participation and they keep raising their dues! Oh but the benefits are pretty good. Stay well!

  6. I got my second Moderna last Thursday and had a very similar reaction. I had a weird, headachy, lightheaded not-right thingy last Dec and had a similar reaction. I have for-life pills now, too. We seem to be on the same page.
    Good thing your BP issue was found, though! Who knew that dealing with coronavirus could be that helpful?

    1. You too? You’re actually the third person I’ve heard from who discovered hidden problems following the vaccine. Isn’t that interesting? Maybe we should form our own club! 😉

  7. Congratulations to having received protection against this deadly Covid-19. Card carrying no less. 😊.
    I have also got a card with only the first line filled in ( Pfizer ) , we have a bigger gap in England.
    Here the uptake of the vaccine is over 90% so no problem getting customers.

    Sorry about the heart problem that seemingly occurred with second shot. Keep taking the tablet and have a scan of your heart.

    1. We’re facing an uptick in the virus where we are too, so hopefully more people will sign up for the vaccine. You’ll have to let us know how it goes with your second Pfizer — everyone I know is getting the Moderna.
      As for the ticker, all is well. They checked it out, did blood tests, had me pee in a cup… *sigh*… but at least I know everything is working well, it’s just the BP. Thanks for the concern. 🙂

      1. Thanks Christi, I will tell you. Hope it is as eventfree as the first. I do so hope your heart settles down.
        Maybe it got a bit in panic. So you let me know, please. The big one here now is Astra-Zeneca.

  8. So happy you got the vaccination done with but sorry about having to get on the RX train. I’ve been on daily pills (thyroid) for over ten years (that bad gene thang). Much more of a pain are all the vitamins / supplements I take daily to keep allergies, IBS and arthritis at bay. Along with exercise and watching what I eat (which I’ve been doing for 4 decades now).

    Anyway, turns out moving during a pandemic has other negative consequences. We moved from a large county (Pima) into a smaller rural county (Pinal) just over the line like by a half mile. The good news is that our property taxes are half what they were. The bad news is the vaccines are slow to come to Pinal County. So although Arizona has approved vaccines for my age group (55 – 64), there is no place within the county to sign up yet if you’re not 65+. So here I am waiting once again.

    Totally unrelated, thanks for the Etsy shop purchase. I have the Sell on Etsy app on my phone so I got a “cash register” sound when you purchased and then a notice that you already gave me a 5 star review. I really appreciate your kindness.

    1. Sorry about the negative moving result, but good news on the tax front! Odd you have a wait on your hands for the vaccine. My sister lives in Apache County (Springerville) and she had her vaccine before my siblings in Phoenix.

      Kindness, shmindness, I seriously love the ring! You deserved every one of the five stars! 🙂

      1. Now I really feel left out – Springerville! I may just sign up in Pima County and use my old address. This is ridiculous.

      2. Right after I commented to your comment, I checked my link to the state site, entered my zip, put in Tucson as city and it automatically used Pima County for county. So I reserved a drive up at U of A for me in a week. Then I went to reserve one for my husband (since apparently this is one of many things he can’t do for himself). By the time I got his information put it, the only appts available were inside walk ins. So I’ll be driving, dropping him off, then figuring out where I sit in line in the car. Hopefully we’ll be done around the same time so I don’t have to go through the madness of finding parking on campus. Unfortunately it will be a two dose but hopefully by the second dose, scheduling will be less competitive.

        On the subject of other things my husband cannot do, why do I always have to make the phone calls (to relatives, to utility companies, to people working on our house)? I really do hate chatting on the phone, despite what society has told me all my life about it being a very female gender thing to do.

        1. Hate to admit this, but my husband does your role within our marriage. I hate talking on the phone! Like, really and truly!
          Maybe you and my husband should start a support group. 😉

          1. Amazingly, yesterday the opportunity came up to drive up to Florence (just under an hour) to get the J&J vaccine today. So we’re leaving in just a little bit. It’s snowing so it should be an interesting southern Arizona drive through the desert. I’d much rather drive a little further for a one shot solution. Since I’ve already had C-19 and know how exhausting it is, I think aftereffects should be manageable. I’ve cleared my schedule for the rest of the day and night.

            1. I didn’t realize you had the covid – glad you made it through! (I see you left a comment below regarding your J&J vaccine; I’ll catch up with you there)

  9. Interesting. Glad you got your vaccine and sorry about the high bp issue. Thank God for modern medicine though, right? I should hear pretty soon when I can get vaccinated.

    1. It really is SUCH a relief to have the vaccine over and done with. I still wear a mask, of course, when I go into stores and such, but I feel much less anxiety and worry. (Though that may be just the BP pills talking.) 😉

  10. I get my second shot on the 24th, and I am fully prepared for a day or two in bed, watching comforting old movies and finally getting to read a book about the great libraries of the world (with photos!) that has been languishing on my Kindle for a bit now.

    When my doctor first prescribed blood pressure pills for me (roughly two years ago? somewhere in there), I really didn’t want to take them. I was already taking daily pills for anxiety and cholesterol, and I was not in the mood for a third installment. Plus, I was concerned that he was prescribing them as a “precautionary”, low-dosage measure, in that I was borderline and not in any imminent jeopardy. What if taking them now would somehow mitigate the effectiveness of stronger doses should I need them further down the road.

    I carried the little bottle around for a week, not-taking and contemplating.

    Then I joined some good friends for happy hour, and TWO of them let me know that they were on BP pills (I had no idea!). Both of them advised me to quit yappin’ and start shovin’ those pills in my mouth. I’d feel SO much better.

    So I did. And I did. Little biological things that had mildly bothered me either diminished or disappeared over time.

    This whole ramble is to say that, even if you’re a little blue about joining the club, the benefits of doing so are real and worth it.

    By the way, I’m in the Valsartan/Diovan sub-club, 160mg a day. You?

    1. I put off filling the prescription for a few days, such was the state of my denial. But now after six days of taking them, I can say I’m already starting to feel better. My eye no longer does that weird twitchy thing that made me look like I was about to snap and go in full-on Karen. Plus, that unsettled anxious feeling is gone, which is most gratifying.

      My sub-club is 5 mg of lisinopril, and I recently learned 3 of my 4 siblings also take it, though at higher doses. I’m in the baby stages and beings how I’m the youngest, that seems fitting.

      Best part? The generic version got me a three-month supply for $2.35. Oh, that all medicine was so affordable!

  11. Bummer about the daily dose but helping things along with the comfort cure of chocolate and red wine is kind of a bonus. (Silver linings anyone?) I plan to get jabbed as soon as possible but given my country and demographic I’m probably looking at the autumn — of 2025. cheers

    1. At this point of my life, an uninterrupted night of sleep wins out over chocolate/wine any day… but just barely!
      And hey, just planning on getting a vaccine is half the battle, no matter the year. 😉

      1. A little wine, a little chocolate and you’ll sleep like an English meadow fairy tucked up in primrose. Oh, and, I plan on getting jabbed one minute after they tell me I can. cheers

  12. The pill thing is a bear. But knowing you can deal with it is a blessing. Honestly, my friend, we’re all dopes–nobody likes thinking they’re needy, especially of drugs that we take because we’re told to. I’ve gotten both my shots–I’m grateful I’m still standing. Humor does get you through a lot of dull, dreary, and dopey, though. Keep up the smiles, my friend. You definitely make me smile!

    1. Aw, thanks!
      It feels great having the shots over and done with, doesn’t it? I’m still wearing the mask because it’s required and I’m not a jerk, but I feel so much more secure, less anxious. One day of feeling like crap and laying on the couch was a small price to pay — no regrets!

  13. Congratulations on the vaccine and on catching your high blood pressure before it turned into something ugly! Both my parents were diagnosed with it, so I expect to join that club before too long. But I’d MUCH rather join the vaccination club. It’s coming…every time I hear about someone who got it, I feel a little more hopeful. Thanks for doing your part to keep the rest of us safe!

    1. Given my family history, I kept telling myself “one day you’ll have high blood pressure, too”… but I’m not sure I honestly believed it. Oh well. At least it’s getting taken care of.
      As for the vaccine club, we eagerly await you joining. The benefits are huge! 😉

  14. Congratulations on getting your vaccine and thank you for being a good example to the resistant Sisters and your reluctant co-workers. Fortunately, the medical and pharmaceutical sciences have made it possible to defeat this deadly virus and live with health issues such as high blood pressure and in my case, high cholesterol. Tomorrow, I am excited to be receiving my single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Like you, I am proud to be part of the solution to this terrible pandemic problem.

    1. Actually, the Sisters were at 98 percent compliance (they took that vow of obedience, dontcha know), the employees were 52 percent, which is shameful no matter how they to spin it. ( My opinion, of course.)

      Ooh, you’re getting the J&J?! Lucky dog! I hope you let us know how it goes!

      1. Thanks, Christi. It is interesting to see that the Sisters were nearly unanimous in their acceptance of the vaccine. I am heartened that they are also believers in the miracles of science. I am ecstatic to have successfully received the J&J one-and-done vaccine this afternoon. Six hours after my jab, I feel great! I have to give full credit to my wife Esther, who has been doggedly searching on-line for vaccine availability in our home town.

        1. Hope your good report remains… or wait, maybe I don’t hope that, since feeling yucky is a sign your immune system is top-notch.
          Let’s try this: May all your aftereffects be bearable. 😉

  15. I get my 2nd Pfizer dose on the 28th. When they dropped the age restriction down to 55 years, I immediately asked my Oncologist if I could get it and was online making the appt the same day. I hadn’t planned on taking time off, but having read through all the comments above, I think I’ll go ahead and take that next day off from work.

    PS, like your hubby Christi, I also use the daily pill container to keep track of all my meds. I also carry a printout with the list that I can just give to whatever medical person asks. It’s just too many to try to remember anymore.. 😕😕

    1. Good idea to take some time off. I had my shot (J&J) shot Tuesday at 11:30am and felt pretty good until symptoms started about 6pm. They lasted pretty much 24 hours. I had a horrid headache (equal in intensity to what I had with C-19 which was off the charts), body aches, dizziness, and exhaustion with insomnia. I am psyched that it’s over now – I feel ready to take on the world!

    2. I think hubby gets his second Moderna the same day as you. You’re vaccine buddies! Not to mention spreadsheet buddies — he takes a printout of meds to the doctor as well. 😀

  16. WooHoo, Christi! Congratulations on getting your second shot! Now, we’re both members of the second vaccine club. Glad you wrote this post. I got the Pfizer shots and that second shot…wow. My arm was fevered for several days and I didn’t feel well the day after. After reading your post, I know why. I wonder what’s going to happen if we have to get a booster in a year? Anyway, I’m glad this led you to finding out about your blood pressure, too. 🙂 Mona

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