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WPTV senior reporter Michelle Quesada documents her reaction to second dose of Pfizer vaccine

Reporter shares experience for 32 hours
Michelle Quesada COVID vaccine second dose blog
Posted at 1:46 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 13:49:03-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — I don't even remember her name. She was extremely nice and appreciated that I told her I'm left-handed when I sat down at the CVS vaccine area.

The pharmacy employee who administered my second dose of the Pfizer was quick too. I didn't even feel the needle.

RELATED: Vaccine recipients document 24 hours after second dose

She told me I'd have to wait 15 minutes, which is the normal procedure for observation, just like after I got my first dose three weeks prior.

So, I walked around the store moving my right arm around hoping that would alleviate future soreness.

I recorded my first video diary at 1:01 p.m. explaining I felt a little tightness around the injection site, which is to be expected. For the next 24 hours, or so, I thought it would be 24, I tracked my reactions to the vaccine.

About 7.5 hours after my shot at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 30, I was feeling good. My arm was sore, but other than that I was actually a bit optimistic that I wouldn't feel any symptoms.

Well, that took a turn.

My husband and I have a routine every night. At around 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. some nights, we take the dogs out for their last walk before bed.

I usually take Duchess, our 1-year-old German Shepherd puppy, and Mike takes Duke, our male 5-year-old German Shepherd.

We take them separately for now because I am still working on training Duchess, so it's much easier to have her focus on me when she’s not distracted trying to walk ahead of Duke.

It was nothing out of the ordinary, we walked our usual route. I did some training with her in our driveway. When I got back home, about 25 minutes later, oh boy!

I walked up our stairs at home and I felt the back of my legs and my lower back aching badly. It felt like I had gone hard at the gym on leg day. I decided to take some Tylenol, shower and call it an early night.

I tried to fall asleep around 10:30 p.m. and was wide awake. I started to feel more and more tired just scrolling on my phone and reading. Finally, close to 11 p.m., I fell asleep. But before that, I already started feeling really cold.

Throughout the night and into the morning hours I was SO cold! I was like, 'Yup, definitely have a fever.'

I was shivering and didn't want to move to grab the thermometer.

Around 4 a.m., I said, "OK, I NEED to know what my body temperature is right now, and maybe it's time for some more Tylenol."

I had a 101 fever! I wasn’t too surprised though because I felt like hell. Chills, dizziness and I was so weak. I got up to go to the bathroom and felt like I was going to pass out.

Over the next few hours, this would continue. I kept checking my temperature and it would bounce from 101 to 100.9 to 100.6 and sometimes back to 99.

I slept all morning Saturday, May 1. It wasn't until 12:30 p.m. that I said, "OK, it's been 24 hours and I still feel terrible. I need to record another video diary."

At the time of that video, my temperature was at 100.6. Basically, I felt like I had the flu. I've only had the flu one other time, and it was a few years ago, and I remember feeling just like that.

Thirty-two hours after my shot at around 8:30 p.m., I started to feel better. My temperature was back down to 98.2, but that was not the end of it.

Right before bed, the chills kicked in again. I can tell you I didn’t really feel better until Sunday morning.

My husband and I got brave, and I said let’s go to the beach! I felt like I had wasted the whole weekend in bed.

We were at the beach for maybe an hour, and I got extremely nauseous and told him we had to go.

Now, I know people who didn’t experience any symptoms with Pfizer’s second dose and if they did, they were pretty mild. That was not the case for me.

Even when I was feeling better, for the next day or so, I still had this overwhelming exhaustion, nausea that would come and go, and brain fog.

Don't get me wrong, I am extremely grateful that this was the worst of it, and I am also grateful that I have never been sick with COVID-19 either. Would I do this again in 6 months if I had to get a booster shot that made me feel the same reactions?

Ehhh, I'm not sure. Once a year would be worth it if it meant I am protected against COVID-19.

Also just for background, my husband received the Moderna doses a while back and also got really ill, but it was really short-lived. He bounced back just fine the next day. Maybe my immune system is an overachiever? Ha, I hope so.

In closing, I’d like to say that getting the vaccine does not mean I don't understand the real and valid concerns others have for not getting it.

I am not advocating for it or dissuading anyone from getting the vaccine. This is completely a personal choice and everyone has their right to make it.