Personal Stories

COVID Chronicles: Bivalent Booster Knocks Me For a Loop

Photo by Gustavo Fring on

My first COVID vaccine was pretty early because of my son’s immune system. I felt bad the next day and rested, but nothing too crazy. The follow-up a month later showed few side effects, as did the next two boosters. Since I tested positive for COVID at the end of August, it was recommended that I wait three months to get a booster. Couple that with scheduling my son’s immunization in between his infusions of Remicaide and other immunizations, and this past Sunday was the day the entire family received the bivalent booster. My husband and son survived just fine.

Me, not so much.

It started Sunday night when I felt very tired. That’s nothing new. However, in the middle of the night, I woke up freezing. Even in the coldest weather, I’m rarely cold. I knew then I was going to be feeling some side effects. I did have chills with the first vaccine, but that was it. These chills were really bad. I didn’t even want to get out from under the blankets to go to the bathroom. Eventually, I did, but it took a lot of self-convincing. My teeth were chattering as I made my way back to the bed and put another blanket on. I got back to sleep, but in the morning I woke up to sweats. I hadn’t experienced that since I was in the hospital with my appendix complications earlier this year.

Monday morning was bad. I took one sip of coffee before taking my son to work and didn’t know if I was going to make it home without puking. I was also going to the bathroom excessively. I couldn’t take the idea of putting anything in my stomach, not even water. I was worried about dehydration, but I also was pretty sure anything I put in was going to come back up. I spent a lot of time in bed, resting.

Finally, Monday night, I started sipping on water. My stomach didn’t get upset, so I focused on that and not being dehydrated. I managed to get some liquid into me. The body aches were bad and were keeping me from sleeping, so I wanted to take Advil. I was afraid to take it without putting something in my stomach first, so my husband made me some pastina (a staple for when we’re sick in the house) and I ate about half of it before deciding I was done and taking the Advil.

I slept good last night but woke up with the sweats again this morning. Still, I felt better than I had since Sunday, so that was a good thing. I had a cup of coffee and didn’t feel bad so tempted fate with a donut. That might have been a bit of overkill, as when I took my son to work and stopped at the grocery store, I started feeling a little unsteady. I came home, took a shower, and I’m resting for the remainder of the day.

This was by far the worst reaction any of us had to any of the COVID vaccines. My son had an achy arm and felt tired. My husband only had a sore arm. Me, flat on my back for one day and still trying to fight it off. I’d still get the vaccinations, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll be better prepared the next time.

13 replies »

  1. It’s funny how different the effects are on different people as well as from time to time. I never had any side effects from the covid-19 vaccine. My wife had no side effects except for one time when she got really sick. It sounds like you are feeling better now.

  2. I’m sorry you had such a miserable reaction. I’m glad you’re on the mend, but ICK. The worst reaction I had was the first booster (third injection) of Moderna. I just felt crummy and resorted to my usual cure of hot chocolate, a blanket and an Agatha Christie mystery. It lasted for about six hours. Yours was much worse. The only thing after that was a sore arm from the Bivalent booster. Hope you’re well soon.