It was a sunny day in Cebu where I arrived in the vaccination site excited to finally have my first dose. I was vaccinated with Moderna last August 17 in the afternoon. I was completely well prior to receiving my first shot: not febrile, no body malaise, no sore throat, no cough and colds.
Muscular injection is something I never dreaded, and I never had any side effects every time I am vaccinated. However, getting vaccinated for the COVID-19 is different from the regular vaccines that I did in the past — which of course I was fully aware of.
Side Effects Of Moderna Vaccine
I have anticipated some side effects, but nothing has prepared me to know that I got infected with the Delta virus prior to receiving my first dose. It was a complete surprise, and there was nothing I could do.
My arm (site of injection) felt sore. The pain was 5 out of 10 (10 being the highest). After 4-5 hours, it was getting worse to a point where I could not move my arm coz of so much pain. My shoulder down to my lower arm felt really awful — as awful as 10/10.
Apart from the pain and swelling, I also had low-grade fever, chills, extreme tiredness and nausea.
Like any other vaccine, there are short-term side effects that normally go away after a few days, so when I became more and more ill, I knew something was not right.
I have read stories from people around the world talking about their experiences after getting a Moderna vaccine, and I noticed that majority of them experienced similar side effects on their second dose, not the first one — which made me worried since I have a weak immune system. But you know what? Getting vaccinated was worth it! So if you have not been given your first dose, it is time to seek for it. Get it done right now!
I was holding on to the idea that my body can fight against the virus since I was injected with the most trusted vaccine. So it felt like my body was having a war inside: COVID-19 versus the Moderna vaccine. I was confident the vaccine will prevail — and so it did.
It has been 10 days since the day I felt ill, and now I tested negative for COVID-19. Though I have not fully recovered yet, I am grateful to be alive.
Clear Signs And Symptoms Of COVID-19
The next day or within 24 hours from the time I got my first shot, I did a Rapid Antigen Test and found out I was positive. When I saw those two red lines on the kit, I could not believe my eyes. The signs and symptoms like the loss of smell and taste started to make sense. My sense of smell was 100% gone. Sense of taste? It was gone either. This was the reason why it was almost impossible to ingest anything without me throwing up, plus my terrible cough that refused to go away. It was a complete package of symptoms from hell.
My temperature on the day I felt unwell was 37.3 to 38.6 degrees Celsius. During the second day (24 hours after my vaccination), it was pretty much the same except that I felt worse on the second day. I had colds which was expected. I also had cough, sore throat, headache, sneezing, runny nose, and extreme fatigue (you name it).
The highest temperature I had was 39 degree Celsius. To top it off, I also had diarrhea for the entire duration.
Although I had all those awful symptoms, I am grateful I did not experience shortness of breath. Fortunately, I had no signs of respiratory distress despite of the cough I had been suffering the entire time I had COVID-19. Perhaps, it was one thing I dreaded about.
My friends who are nurses advised and monitored my condition, and I could not thank them enough for taking care of me even we are far away from each other. Aside from my family, they were the ones who uplifted my spirit throughout this whole ordeal, and without their help and prayers, I could not recover sooner.
COVID-19 Signs and Symptoms: (based on my experience)
fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache, chills, fatigue or tiredness, diarrhea, loss of smell and taste, no appetite, nausea and vomiting, dizziness
Home Treatment For COVID-19
Since I was just on house arrest and not confined in a hospital, I did whatever I could to alleviate my suffering.
With a combination of medications and home remedies, I was able to treat the symptoms I was experiencing.
For fever, I took Tylenol (Paracetamol). It is an over-the-counter medicine that you can buy in your nearest pharmacy.
The home remedies I did to ease my fever and chills are steam inhalation and hot ginger tea. No cold shower, no drinking of cold beverages, no caffeine and liquor.
For cough and sore throat, I bought Sinecod Forte. I did not really take it every day coz I rely heavily on drinking hot lemon tea and ginger tea. I also gargle with salt and water daily for my throat. I could say that it helped tremendously on my condition.
For diarrhea, I ate 2-3 bananas a day and boiled sweet potatoes. These two can do wonders to our bodies especially when we are feeling ill, and I swear it helps in the recovery. So eat as much bananas and sweet potatoes as you can. Gatorade! Do not forget to drink Gatorade to replace the lost of electrolytes in your body. I drank 1-2 bottles a day to keep myself hydrated. (I recommend the blue bolt.)
For headache, I simply massage my head and in bedtime, I place Salonpas on my forehead to have a menthol feeling or relief while I was trying to sleep. Salonpas is a pain relief patch that is used for temporary relief of minor aches and pains in joints and muscles. I often use it whenever I have fever coz of its relaxing/minty effect.
For loss of appetite, sore throat and runny nose, I treated these symptoms by eating or preparing soups for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Clear hot soups have inflammatory properties, with soothing effects, and also helps clear nasal congestion. When eating or drinking soups, our body produce heat thus allowing us to sweat out and release the toxins from our body. For me, I believe that this helped in my recovery. I also never consumed anything that was oily, spicy, salty, and very sweet. Well, I lost my sense of taste, right? So I could not be choosy with my foods. I just ingested them forcefully to survive.
If I remained stubborn and refused to eat properly, it is likely that I survive. Why? Because without ingesting food to my system, I have no nutrients and substances that I need to breath and function. That is why there are patients who need an Intravenous Infusion or IV therapy.
Since I was just at home, I knew I had to discipline myself and triple my efforts to make progress and regain my health.
What Is The Most Awful Thing When You Have COVID?
There is no such thing as “most awful” coz COVID on its own is beyond awful already, and no one deserves to suffer this kind of sickness. I do not wish anyone to go through this situation.
During the first few days of getting infected with COVID, I had a rollercoaster of emotions but most of the time I was down in the dumps. The feeling was just too much to bear.
Imagine not being able to eat or function properly. The loss of smell and taste was not a joke. It was ridiculous. It was exasperating. The cough is exhausting. All the signs and symptoms were overwhelming, and you would want to give up.
I remember brushing my teeth and feeling so exhausted afterward. When I walk from the bedroom to the kitchen, it felt like I walked for hours. This is not to exaggerate but your body slowly shuts down when you are infected with the virus. It is up to your system to fight it, if you are lucky like me, you will recover in a week and have no breathing issues. This is why it is so important to not take for granted the urgency of getting the vaccine, not tomorrow or next week but NOW. And the vaccine is not just for you, it is for your loved ones and those who are immunocompromised. Do not be selfish.
I was lucky I have a pup that helped me get through the day. Without her, I do not think I have the strength to write this one or even breathe one more time. Now, I am grateful that finally I tested negative for COVID-19. I am excited to get my second dose soon — I hope you too!
If you are currently experiencing these signs and symptoms, please assume it is COVID-19. When you do, you will think that it is contagious and it can be transmitted to others like your family and friends. The first thing you should do is to separate or distant yourself from others, get tested, and seek help immediately. You can treat yourself at home by following some of the things I did (that worked for me) or go to a hospital. You may also do online check-up so that you will be given the right prescription. These days, it is almost impossible to buy an OTC antibiotics, so having a prescription for antibiotics will help your body recover faster.
If you have COVID symptoms and have an underlying condition like asthma or heart problems, it is vital that you seek medical help as early as possible. Make sure there is someone that you can rely to in case you need to buy something outside or if you need to be admitted to a hospital.
My only regret about getting the vaccine is that I did not do it sooner.