"In this sticky web that we're all in, behaving decently is no small task." -- Novelist Stacey D'Erasmo

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Oh Man, I Don't Feel So Well

     Yesterday I got my second shingles shot. And today I don't feel very good.

     The same thing happened after my first shot, back in May. I didn't get a cough or a sore throat; didn't have a headache. Well, maybe today I have a little headache. I also have a low-grade temperature. But mostly I just feel tired. I slept in this morning until 8:30, got up for a while, thought I was okay, then found myself flopping onto the couch and napping from 9:45 to 10:30. Now I'm awake again. Had a bite to eat. Feeling a bit better.

     Last May. the symptoms lasted throughout the day. Then the next day, I was fine.

     For those of you who don't know, the shingles vaccine is yet another shot, recommended for people over age 50. I got the original shingles shot back in 2015. That was the old vaccine called Zostavax, which was used in the early 2000s, up until 2020. It required just one dose.

     The new shingles vaccine, called Shingrix, requires two doses, given a few months apart. Presumably it is more effective; plus, the preventative effects of that original vaccine do wear off over time. So we should get the two Shingrix shots even if we've previously gotten the Zostavax vaccine.

     I don't know if any of you have gotten shingles. But it's a nasty disease that comes from reactivated chicken pox.
     My dad got it the last year of his life in 2001-2002. He suffered a painful red rash up and down his abdomen, with blisters that broke open and leaked puss. He described it as a severe burning sensation. It never went away. He suffered with it until the end.

     My brother-in-law has shingles now. He was going to get the vaccine, but he put it off, didn't get around to it, and then he got shingles on his face. This was about two years ago, and it still plagues him, even affecting the vision in one eye. He's gotten some treatments, which he says have alleviated the pain to some extent, but it still hurts enough to sometimes keep him up at night.

     So the Shingrix vaccine is another shot to add to your regimen. It's a pain, I know, getting all these jabs. But it's better than the alternative.

     This fall I already got the regular flu shot, on Oct. 24. Now I'm scheduled to get the Covid vaccine booster in a couple of weeks. I got the last one at the beginning of June. I think we're supposed to wait six months until the next booster. But meantime, I got Covid itself at the beginning of September -- and I credit the vaccine for keeping it to a mild case. 

     Now I'm supposed to wait two months after Covid to get the vaccine. So the timing works out. I want to get the booster before the holidays when, undoubtedly, I'll be more at risk for exposure.

     I have a friend in my golf group who's an anti-vaccer. The Covid vaccine wasn't thoroughly tested, he says. It doesn't work anyway. You still get Covid. The vaccine can cause heart problems. It's all a scam by the drug companies to make more money.

     Look, I know there are no guarantees. But I took statistics in college. Perhaps more to the point, I play poker. I know a little bit about odds. I bet when the numbers are in my favor, and I'm betting on the vaccines -- even if my arm does look like a pin cushion.

     Now . . . I think it's time for another nap!


Kay said...

Phew! I thought I only had 1 of the Shingrix shots but no, I just checked and see that I did get 2 of them. I DEFINITELY wanted to be protected because my mother had shingles for several months many years ago and really suffered. She hasn't been able to wear a bra since because it still feels irritated. I had a friend in Illinois who got it also and suffered for several months. No siree.. I do not want to get shingles. We will be getting our COVID and flu shots this week also.

Kay said...

I also have another friend (sigh) who believed the anti-vaxxers and instead ordered ivermectin from Canada.

ApacheDug said...

Tom, I am pretty sure I know exactly how you feel--I blogged about this a couple years ago when my sister (who is a year younger than me) developed shingles down her arm & back. She said the pain was excruciating. I called my doctor about the Shingrix shots I'd seen on tv, he told me I could get them at my pharmacy but warned me "not to make any plans after getting one". That first one had me flat on my back for a day, I remember almost crawling to the kitchen from my bed to get some juice. I do know I recovered fast, and the second one was almost as bad 2 months later! Hope you're back on your feet by tomorrow!

Rian said...

I too feel like a continual pin cushion, Tom... what with the original 2 Covids, the 2 boosters, then the first Shingles, then the flu shot yesterday, and both the new Covid, the 2nd Shingles, and more B-12 injections coming up. Oh, and the doctor asked if I wanted to get my pneumonia vaccine yesterday when I got my flu shot... I yelled No! rather quickly and he laughed. Said it could wait. (And because of my BC - all must be given in my left arm - it feels abused)
But I'm not surprised that you feel unwell with the 2nd Shingles. My BIL and SIL felt the same... felt bad for 24 hours. I didn't feel bad with my first Shingles in September, but my arm was hot, red, and swollen for almost a week.
And I also agree with you about the need for the vaccines. No, they aren't a guarantee, but they are our best bet. I too had the first Shingles vaccine back in 2014 - and had a very mild case of Shingles in 2019. I believe the vaccine kept it mild. And I too know of many who have really suffered with bad cases of Shingles. No, we don't want that if there's a vaccine to either prevent or help.

Arkansas Patti said...

Sure hope these symptoms don't last more than a day. Still it beats the fire out of the disease. I had shingles before and it is not fun. It really hurts so you are smart to get the vaccine. I probably should for it is possible to get it more than once. Will think about it after I get my last Covid booster next week. Got my flu shot last week. Like Rian, I feel a bit pincushion like but it is necessary.

Terra said...

I got the older shingles vax and recently the Shingrix, now I will check to see if I got two shots of it. Shingles is a dreadful disease. There are now lots of adverse events from the Covid vax being collated and released, sad to learn about.

Celia said...

Sorry you feel out of it, but good on you for taking care of yourself. Hope you are alright tomorrow.

Suemn said...

Hi Tom, I hope you feel better soon. I felt bad after my first shingrix shot but felt really really really bad after my second shingrix shot. I know some people who felt fine following both their first and second shingrix shot. I just had my flu shot this week and will schedule the next covid booster shot in a week or two. Then I'm all done with shots for the year. Yay!

Tabor said...

You are correct that the odds are in your favor with the vaccines. I have not gotten the shingles, and perhaps should talk to my doctor about that. Since I had COVID I have to wait until early December to get the next booster. So sorry that your reaction is tiring. But there is nothing wrong with pushing fluids and sleeping the day away!!

Tom said...

Thanks to all for your concern. It looks like most of us are familiar with shingles. I took a another nap, and now this evening am feeling better. I don't think my reaction to this second Shingles shot is as bad as the first one. Still, Tabor, I like your advice. So I've got nothing planned for tomorrow.

Red said...

the decisions about vaccines is so easy. why do people find all kinds of excuses not to get vaccinated.

Miss Merry said...

I had shingles in my late 50's. I thought I was too young for the vaccine. I wasn't. I was "lucky" it went from my left hip down my leg. It was the most excruciating pain you could imagine. I still have nerve damage ten years later. But lucky, because a classmate got it on her face, it went into her eye and she lost vision. I am a big promoter of all vaccines including shingles.

Anvilcloud said...

Something on my back didn't feel right one day. Sue looked at it and immediately realized it was shingles. I got to the doc tout de suite, and got a shot. So fortunately, my case never developed. Sill, I was told to wait a year for the actual, Shingrix, shot. I paid $200 for it before it was added to our standard medical coverage. That happened almost immediately afterward. Oh well.

Even with my mild case, for the next two years I seemed to feel, mildly, the shingles where they occurred around the time of year that I had contracted them. That hasn't really re-occurred since then but sometimes I think I almost feel a faint shadow there.

I didn't react to either shingles shot, nor the five COVID shots, nor the recent flu shot.

Sorry that I don't do baseball. I once did and was a Tigers and Expos fan. I suppose that I am now a very distant Blue Jays fan although fan would be rather overstating it.

Hope Springs said...

Well, I hope today is better. I had the latest Covid booster and a 65+ flu shot this week and spent a day on the couch feeling flu-ish and sleeping and another just feeling tired. Now I'm fine and it's worth it to me to feel a bit more protected. DH and I both got the Shingrex two shot earlier this year and felt yucky for a bit, too. But our old neighbor got shingles and it migrated into his eye. After seeing that, we both made sure to get the new doses, even though it cost us a fair bit out of pocket.

Sharon Tucker said...

DH (70) has felt like a pin cushion lately: he got the Covid bivalent booster, the next week the Flu shot, the next week the Pneumonia vaccine, and finally last week he got his 2nd Shingles shot - Whew! He didn't have reactions to any of them except the 2nd shingles shot. The area on his arm where he got the shot swelled up a little and was very, very warm to the touch for about 2 days. He felt like he might be getting sick too but never did. After two days, all was back to normal.

I'm with you, the odds are in favor of getting the vaccines so I'll lean that way 😉

Tom said...

I forgot to mention that you do have to pay for Shingrix, or at least some of us do. I'm on Medicare. Had to pay $200+ for the first shot, but only $40-something for the second. But worth the price if you ask me. The flu and the Covid are free ... or more precisely, paid for by Medicare.

gigi-hawaii said...

I guess I'll get the Shingrix, too, after reading your post. I got the Zostavax years ago, so maybe I should get an update. Thanks for the reminder.

Olga said...

Exactly what Gigi said! I have heard it is pure torture.

Linda Myers said...

We've had all the vaxes and so far only had mild cases of Covid. Usually I don't react to vaccines. The first four Covid shots I was tired the next day. The last one, though, I had absolutely no symptoms. I wondered if maybe I just got a placebo!

Wisewebwoman said...

Having observed the horror of shingles in others (and so sad about your poor Dad) I got the two shots several years ago. I have no idea how long Shindrix protection lasts so must look it up.
I have no time for anti-vaxxers and children are particularly vulnerable and yes, measles, etc are on the rise due to the stupidity of their parents.
Covid is another story entirely and people are so irresponsible and contemptuous of the safety precautions of others.
I had a moment when an anti-vax married couple with five small children who were highly visible and vocal protesters, died within days of each other in ICU from the disease. But then thought of the orphans they left behind.

wtmrph said...

As a result of recent legislation Shingrix and most other vaccines will covered by Medicare.https://www.forbes.com/sites/dianeomdahl/2022/10/13/you-wont-pay-for-medicare-vaccines-in-2023/?sh=55c86df221be

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

Mum had shingles last month and had quite a bit of pain with it. Here in the UK they tend to gives shots when you reach 70, but what with covid etc Mum seems to have been missed.

Friko said...

I too have a friend who uses exactly the same arguments as your friend. What idiots!
I no longer argue with her, she's had Covid twice, not very seriously but bad enough.
I must ask my surgery if I've had shingles vacs at some point, I know I've had singles as an adult and chicken pox as a child.
I am firmly in the vaccer camp.
Show me a shot, flu or whatever, and I'll have it, thanks.

Unknown said...

Man I hope you're feeling better now. I was discussing the vaccine with my doctor a couple weeks ago. I will probably get it at my next visit, I will do something nurse MIL told me about shots like the flu. Within 20 minutes of getting a shot, take 1 full strength aspirin to ward away the "ickies". I have been doing this for decades and never felt anything from it afterwards except a sore arm.
When I got the C-19 vaccines I did research and back then the CDC website recommended Ibuprofen for the "ickies." I take ibuprofen for pain anyway so I timed it with my shots and never ever did I feel bad after those. Going to do the same thing with the shingles vaccine when I get. My doctor says that's a tough shot and a lot of people get the "ickies" so he's thinking this is a good idea. People come at me and say your vaccine won't be as affective then. Yes it will, no over the counter pain reliever will affect the shot working, they are not anti-biotics that could potentially break down some shots.
Hope you're feeling better soon. Try this next time after discussing it with your doctor. It may work for you too.

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