I got a Covid vaccine last month, AstraZeneca, since that’s the one that’s most used round here. I could have waited for Pfizer, which I would have preferred, but my husband works in a small classroom all day with people in their twenties, and when he’s not in the classroom, he’s working out in a gym. We also have a child who really struggles controlling their asthma, so we don’t want to risk anything where they’re concerned. I thought for ages about it, and searched online for weeks before deciding that the best thing would be to just go for it.

When we moved here, I contacted the GP and argued my case for having the vaccine due to the amount of evidence there is online that ME/CFS people tend to crash badly and struggle to pick up again if they get C-19. She took a bit of persuading but she agreed to put me on the list and I was contacted about a month later. I thought I’d just write this to let you know how it affected me.

So before I got AZ’d, I was at a decent level of activity. I was walking about 30 minutes a day, I could cook every meal, I could drive to the nearest town (about 3 miles), I didn’t need a nap at all during the day but still had my hour’s meditation. I had been on a few trips and one hike and had no PEM (Post Exertional Malaise) at all after them which was so exciting, I felt like I could have popped.

I was extremely apprehensive the day I went to get it. I’d read a few reports on one of the groups I’m in of people crashing badly and not recovering from the jab, and it was in the MIDDLE of all the hoo-ha about blood clots so right up until I walked into the room I felt like cancelling it. My husband had received one the week before and he’s a fit, active military man, the next day he felt horrendous and his arm was sore for weeks so as soon as I left the surgery, I windmilled my arm for the 15 min walk home (I was always told that after a vaccine you should keep your arm moving so I did). The rest of that day and evening I felt totally fine, no different to usual and I went to bed at my normal time having taken paracetamol just in case.

I woke up at 4am with a pounding headache and aching all over, took some painkillers and went back to sleep. In the morning I felt like I was in the worst crash I’ve been in for about a year. My head was splitting, I was freezing cold, I had a fever of 102F, all my joints were burning, my muscles were actually sore to touch, I couldn’t think straight, my heart was skipping beats and my eyes wouldn’t focus. I gave the molies the day off school and just lay in bed feeling wretched and trying not to cry. Funnily enough my arm wasn’t vaccine sore, just fibro/flu sore. So that day was a write-off. When my husband came back from work I asked him to go and buy me soup because I just couldn’t face eating anything else (he brought tulips, blueberries and raspberries as well – he’s a keeper!)

Photo by Alesia Kozik on

After an early night, I woke up on the Thursday with a migraine and aura that lasted all day, paracetamol and ibuprofen kind of took the edge off but only so I wasn’t crying, not so I could bend down to put my own socks on or anything. I slept a lot of that day.

And that was the worst of it really, the following days I had to go back to napping every day, and I’m still doing that now, 4 weeks on. I don’t feel I can manage a full day without a nap yet, although for the first 2 weeks I was sleeping a full 2 hours, yesterday I woke up after 30 minutes feeling a lot fresher so hope is on the horizon.

I don’t feel like I’m back to where I was before the vaccine yet, but I’m a lot closer. I also muddied the waters (standard) by starting up some short circuit sessions so how much I’m tired because I’m actually working out, and how much is hang up from the jab, I can’t tell. I know that’s incredibly unhelpful but I like exercise and I can finally do a tiny bit without PEM, so happy days!

I hope that helps someone, it wasn’t as bad as I thought but it has set me back a bit.

Here’s a helpful link if your GP isn’t willing to offer you the vaccine.


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