Archive for June 8th, 2021

Diary #571

I had my second COVID vaccine a week ago today, and though I had very few side effects from the first shot a month ago, I’m afraid I can’t say the same for this one.  Long-time readers have probably noticed that I very rarely get sick, but when I do my body tends to go all “HOOOOOOOLD THE BUS!!!” and I get extremely ill for about 24 hours, then almost immediately back to normal.  It’s as though my immune system has only two settings, “standby” and “full throttle”.  So I’m never suprised when I have strong reactions to vaccines, but since the first shot gave me nothing but a sore arm for two days, I expected nothing this time either.  Alas, such was not to be.  I got the Moderna shot about 7:15 Tuesday evening, went to bed with a sore arm, then woke up next morning feeling just slightly icky.  By noon I decided not to get dressed; I had chills and brain fog, was weak as a kitten, and had no appetite at all.  The culprit was obvious so I just took it easy, went to bed early, and was fine by Thursday morning.  I thought that would be that, but then Friday morning the left side of my jaw hurt so badly I could only barely eat cereal, and then only by chewing solely on the right side.  I assumed it was some kind of dental pain and I’m overdue for a checkup anyhow, so I just made an appointment and decided to make soup for dinner.  But by dinnertime the pain had spread up the left side of my face to the temple, and it hurt every time I opened my mouth far enough to admit a spoon; I was also incredibly thirsty all day (which is very unusual for me) and my hearing seemed oddly acute.  A little research pointed to a culprit: a transient condition called “Bell’s palsy” caused by inflammation of one of the facial nerves, which is sometimes a side effect of a number of vaccines (including the COVID vaccine).  Everything I read said it would clear up on its own, so I felt better about that, and Saturday morning the pain had changed into more like numbness and moved up the side of my head, running from my upper teeth to my scalp, leaving me with only minor chewing pain; by dinnertime that, too was mostly gone, though it has returned in spells.  The info I read said this is only experienced by about 25 vaccine recipients in 100,000, so yay me for being so exceptional.  But the experience did remind me of how much I dislike the way the medical community uses “benign” to mean “not fatal” rather than actually benign; by that standard, a truck accidentally dumping 6 tons of horse manure in your driveway would be considered “benign” because it can eventually be cleared away without destroying your house.

Read Full Post »