I have been having my flu jab for years now, so when both Mr Myasthenia Kid and I got text messages asking us to book our flu jabs in, we did. I have always laughed at people who have said that they have “got the flu” or “been really poorly” after having the flu jab. After all the flu vaccination is an injection of dead virus so it can’t multiply within the body and become anything. However it can provoke an immune response which can make you feel ill (for more info ) but it isn’t the flu. For years I haven’t had any response at all to this injection, yet yesterday within hours of having it I felt bloody awful. I had to laugh for it served me right for not believing other people when they told me it made them ill.
This years flu jab was done in a completely different way from last year when we all queued up in the surgery and went into what ever room became free when we got to the head of the queue. Due to Covid-19 this kind of mass vaccination system just wasn’t possible, social distancing and disinfecting in between each patient, plus changing scrubs etc would mean that it would take much longer to vaccinate much fewer people. So in my small town all the doctors surgeries got together and put on several drive through clinics.
In a car park near the seafront they had installed some all weather marquees, inside which they kept their supplies . The car park had stewards that were all volunteers from the community who were all kitted out in wet weather. The day before the weather had been utterly hideous, torrential rain and windy, so they most definitely needed the wet weather gear. As you pull into the car park you tell the steward what Doctors practice you belong to and they then tell you which area you have to go to. It is all clearly marked with people signalling to you where to go. Everyone was super polite and helpful and I can’t thank them enough for giving up their time at the weekend to ensure our towns population who needed a flu jab got one.
We were directed to station 8, where we were greeted by two members of staff, we had paper work sent to us a few days prior that we filled in, so we passed that to them. The injection itself didn’t hurt in fact I didn’t even realise it had been done. It is the first time I have had the flu jab and it not be painful in any way. When I say painful I don’t mean rolling around in agony but you know the normal feeling you can get when you have an injection into the muscle. I felt nothing I just heard the gushing noise of the liquid in the vial. Even Mr Myasthenia Kid was brave and barely noticed it. Just like that it was all done and we made our way home.
I felt a bit strange on the way home in the car, a bit under the weather . I just thought it was psychosomatic and ignored it. A few hours later though I was feeling distinctly unwell, the glands in my armpits were aching and my legs felt really shaky every time I went to stand up. I felt like I was coming down with the flu ( obviously I wasn’t this was an immune response to the injection ). An hour or so later everything was aching, if I had the energy I would have cried. I was worried more that I had got Covid rather than a reaction to the flu jab. I like a lot of people when feeling rougher than normal are immediately panicking about Covid-19. My rational brain kicked in and realised that it was the flu jab and quite a common reaction to it.
I was struggling to stand and walk my legs felt so unsteady and moving my arms hurt. I felt the sickest I have felt in a very long time but bizarrely had no temperature. I didn’t feel cold or flushed, I just felt really drained and sore. It got to the point where I knew that this was just stupid trying to ignore it and not admit that I was feeling like I had the flu starting. I can only describe it like that because that is exactly how it felt minus the temperature which I didn’t have. I kept asking Jay how he felt but he kept saying he was fine and had no side effects at all.
I was so tired that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. By 6pm I decided I had to go to bed and by 6.30pm I was asleep. I was so exhausted that I slept for 12 or so hours with only waking twice. The strength of the reaction surprised me and I can understand why people think they have contracted the flu after having the vaccination. The next morning I felt ok until after I had a shower and then I felt very tired again. By 4pm I was feeling like a zombie and again I was in bed really early. By Tuesday the reaction had subsided significantly, I was left feeling a little achy and out of sorts.
I mentioned on social media that I had reacted to this years flu vaccination for the first time ever and several friends responded saying that after years of having the flu jab and having no side effects, they too had reacted to this one. No conspiracy theories here, just obviously some of my friends reacted many others who also had this years jab didn’t react. Would it put me off having the flu vaccination again? no it wouldn’t. Having had the flu twice in the last ten years and both of us being stuck in bed for 5 days I know how bloody awful it is. What I felt on Sunday despite it being quite awful was still hundreds of times better than I have felt when I have had the flu. So a few days of feeling under the weather compared to feeling awful, ( some times I have wished for death fleetingly when really bad with the flu ) and being stuck in bed for a week, are worth it as far as I am concerned.
It is now Wednesday, the muscle aches have gone, my arm is still a little sore at the injection site. I am still crazy tired, this has been an ongoing issue for a while which I am trying to get to the bottom of. I have started taking a few supplements to see if they help at all. It has been quite a long time since I have felt this tired continually. I am going to try very hard over the next few days to remember to take my medication for increasing my blood pressure ( I am useless at taking medication throughout the day I just forget). I am hoping taking that might solve the mystery of why I am constantly exhausted at the moment. Fingers crossed.