When I received my first two Moderna jabs in California, I planned ahead for both. I timed them to line up perfectly with the weekend. In fact, for the second vaccine, I even took an extra day off just in case I had prolonged symptoms. With my booster shot, while I did line it up with the weekend, it was a last-minute decision thrown in with existing plans. Consequently, it took me four days to recover.
When and Where Did I Get My Booster Shot?
I got my booster shot two weeks ago while visiting Arizona. I booked my appointment via the Walmart app the day before. I was not surprised to find several openings. It is Arizona, after all.
I received the shot on a Friday afternoon and still felt unwell when I went to bed the following Monday night. In fact, I barely got any work done. I didn’t feel like myself again until waking up on Tuesday morning.
What Were My Symptoms?
General lethargy was one symptom that followed me throughout my “recovery”. Here are the others:
Day One: I immediately felt a little light-headed and had a pain in the arm I got the jab in. The pain wasn’t unbearable, but it certainly wasn’t the most comfortable two-hour drive back to camp.
Day Two: I woke up with a headache and still had a slight pain in my arm. I also had a swollen lymph node in the armpit on the side I got the vaccine. I didn’t have this symptom for the first two shots. To add to this, I got light-headed in the last half of the day. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until I had already started a three-hour roundtrip to pick up some items in town.
Day Three: I woke up feeling much better than the previous days, but I still had a swollen lymph node and felt a little tired. I went to bed early that night, after driving from Arizona back to Mexico.
Day Four: I was 100% sure I would be fine when I woke up on Monday. At first, I thought I was, but I had a difficult time concentrating and getting any work done. Thankfully, I didn’t need to cancel anything.
Day Five: I woke up with no symptoms and could resume work easily—except for the lymph node under my armpit. That disappeared by the end of the week.
What Do I Think Prolonged My Symptoms?
When I visited Arizona, I did so for one primary reason. The rooftop tent I had bought in February was finally being delivered. One of my neighbours in Mexico had volunteered his friend in Arizona to accept the tent. But, the person messed up the delivery and was not cooperating with me or the freight company. Consequently, I arranged for the company to hold it, so I could pick it up in person that Friday.
The tent cannot fit inside the truck. It’s longer than the full roof. So, another friend picked it up in his truck. We installed it on his ranch that Friday night, by flashlight. We had a tough time because the screws we received were the wrong size. So, instead of going to bed and getting some rest, I was lifting heavy objects, solving tent-mounting problems and getting sleepier by the second.
The following day, when I felt the sleep taking a hold of me again, I decided to fight it. I was worried that if I slept during the day, I’d have a tough time going to bed that night. That seemed like a bad idea when I had to drive back to Mexico the following morning. So, I stayed up.
In short, while my immune system was in overdrive and needed rest to mend itself, I was busy running around. I am 100% sure this is what caused my symptoms to last as long as they did.
As for the swollen lymph node, it’s a common immune response. It’s also a known potential side-effect of the vaccine. Consequently, while it did cause some discomfort, I wasn’t concerned about it.
Have you gotten your booster shot, yet? If yes, did you experience any symptoms? What were they? Were they better or worse than the symptoms you had with your other vaccine(s)? If you haven’t yet gotten your booster shot, be sure to schedule time for rest. Don’t fight it, like I did!