Conspicuous By Its Absence…

I had Covid in January, thankfully just a mild infection (as in not hospitalised) but I certainly felt pretty crappy for a good couple of weeks – and OMG for months afterwards the ongoing tiredness and breathlessness and residual cough just would not go away.

I kept waiting in vain for everything to get back to normal but sadly for me the stubborn straggler symptoms of Long Covid seemed to be here to stay. Although my absent sense of smell returned relatively quickly, disappointingly my sense of taste didn’t improve much beyond the basic blunt-instrument differentiation between salty/ sweet/ spicy/ sour – sigh!

I’d read somewhere that for some people, having the Covid jab kick-started their system into a return to normal, so I had my first vaccine dose with high hopes of a similar response but although the grotty side effects certainly passed within a day or two, my Long Covid symptoms did not improve much. So I settled down to accepting (grudgingly) that health-wise I was likely to be in it for the long haul, and began to adjust my long-term thinking accordingly.

Last week I had my second vaccine dose, and this time around didn’t expect so much from it. However I was very pleased to find I had far fewer side effects this time – just a couple of days of extra tiredness, aching limbs and a thumping headache, but lots of rest and a few rounds of painkillers did the job. And to my surprise and delight now those minor irritations have passed I find I can actually breathe properly again, and day by day my sense of taste is subtly improving.

It may of course be total coincidence that things have started to return to normal for me at exactly the same time as I had my second vaccine shot – I mean it’s been five months since I first caught Covid, and ordinarily I would expect any post-viral fatigue to be naturally on the wane by this point.

All I know is that after five months of ridiculously laboured breathing after the least amount of exertion, my previous level of breathlessness is now thoroughly conspicuous by its absence and I honestly feel like a weight has been lifted from my chest. For the first time this year I feel like life might actually get back to normal after all, and oh, it feels so good! 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Conspicuous

April A-Z: J is for Jab

Regarding the thorny subject of Covid vaccinations – I’ve been freaking myself out a bit about all the scare-stories surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine and an alleged link to potential blood clots.

I had my first AstraZeneca jab a couple of weeks ago, resulting in a couple of days of even-more pounding headaches and bone-aching chills and an extra level of dogged tiredness, but since then I’ve felt reasonably OK again. I say ‘reasonably OK’ as in feeling pretty much back to the same way I was feeling immediately before, which generally means tired a lot of the time, frequently breathless and headache-y and still a bit post-Covid-yukky, even three months plus down the line. But I am getting there, slowly but surely, so far with every week that passes I feel a little less run down than the week before.

My head tells me that of course there is always inevitably going to be a lengthy list of possible risks and side effects with every vaccine and every medication, and naturally this particular jab is no different. I know that millions of people have had it and are absolutely fine afterwards. I know that science tells me this vaccine is perfectly safe. But my heart reminds me that as a small number of people have died from having it, safety is a relative term. And the simple truth of that fact scares me. Surely I didn’t survive Covid only to risk dying of complications from the vaccine that’s supposed to protect me?

Having said all that, having already had my first AstraZeneca jab, I’ll definitely still go ahead and have my second dose when it is offered, though. How could I not? I just need to feel the fear and do it anyway… 🙂

For this year’s April Blogging from A-Z Challenge I’m aiming for an alphabetical exploration of my personal thoughts and feelings on the continuing Covid 19 pandemic one year on, using a mix of poetry, pics and ponderings…

Note to Self

‘Note to self – be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it’

Since catching Covid in January, I’ve been keen to be offered my Covid vaccine to be as sure as I can be that I won’t get sick with it again. I was lucky at the time to have only developed a ‘mild’ infection (as in feeling bloody awful but thankfully not ill enough to have to be in hospital) but even so many of the symptoms have still not dispersed fully – three months on my sense of smell has returned but not my full sense of taste, I still have ongoing headaches, tiredness, tight-chested breathlessness and continuing aches and pains, and of course I still have that tell-tale cough.

When I finally received a letter the other day inviting me for my vaccination, I was really excited. I’ve heard it said that for those people like me whose symptoms are somewhat slow to depart, sometimes getting the vaccine can kind of kick-start the immune system into re-setting (or whatever), to help get clear of the last lingering dregs of Covid – woo-hoo! Fingers crossed it works for me! So first thing yesterday morning I had my jab, and all went well with no immediate signs of any side effects… Or so I thought.

Except… last night just before going to bed I suddenly got the mega-chills, just like I’d had with Covid. Serious physical bodily shivering and a total inability to get warm at all. My head was thumping, I was dizzy again, and OMG I felt like I ached from every hypersensitive pore. Lovely, I thought, it looks like I’m not escaping the scourge of side-effects after all. So I didn’t get much sleep last night, and although thankfully the chills have now passed, the headache and whole-body-ache remains today.

Hopefully it will all turn out to be a short-lived storm in a tea-cup, and my annoyingly vivid vaccination side effects will dissipate soon enough taking my lagging Covid remnants with them. I had hoped that, having already developed some natural antibodies post-infection I might have got off lightly side-effect-wise, but no such luck. I can’t help but wonder how my second dose will go? Oh well, I suppose at least now I’ll know what to expect… 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Note