My feelings about accepting the COVID-19 vaccine were twofold. Even after experiencing what has been called “Covid Arm” after the first dose (a raised, red, intensely itchy rash at the injection site that appeared nine days afterward), I still felt that this was one of those decisions in which the benefit clearly outweighed the risks. Also, I felt a responsibility to get vaccinated – a sort of civic duty, if you will.
On April 1st, I received my second dose. I felt fine all day but by early evening, the flu-like symptoms began to appear. These were not unexpected. I took a Tylenol for my fever before going to bed. At 1:00 a.m., I awoke with my heart racing and my jaw hurting. My husband used his oximeter to check my pulse rate. It was 155 beats per minute. After calling the advice line of our health care provider, we were off to the emergency room.
My pulse was still in the 140s when we arrived. I was quickly hooked up to a monitor, an IV was started, blood was drawn, and an electrocardiogram was performed. I remember laying on the gurney mentally checking off those members of my family who have had heart disease of one form or another.
The cardiologist on duty reviewed the test results with my husband and I. Thankfully, a heart attack was ruled out, but my pulse rate remained elevated. The doctor said he wanted to perform a maneuver. He asked me to lift my chin up and he began to massage the side of my neck in the area of the carotid artery. I remember the gentle pressure of his warm hand. His eyes were on the monitor. “There,” he said as the pulse rate suddenly dropped by 40 points.
My husband later said it was like watching a “laying on of hands.” The doctor told us his effort to “reset” the rhythm would likely have only a temporary effect. My pulse rate began to rise again a short while later. The next line of defense was pharmaceutical. I was given a Heparin drip for 24 hours under observation.
I’m home now and feeling well. Glad to know I’ll be following up with that cardiologist next week for one more test. Was this an inflammatory response to the vaccine? Maybe. In any case, it was a reminder of the power of human touch.
3 replies on “A Shot in the Arm – Part 2”
A shot in the arm and a jolt in the dark. Your mind must’ve been full of so many scenarios as you headed to the emergency room and were being treated. Life surprises us sometimes. Often, actually. And pandemics surprise us always. I love the way you wrote this. So glad that you are feeling better and will touch bases with the cardiologist next week. He sounds like a keeper.
To your health.
WOW!!! Quite a journey. Was there a Shot in the Arm Part 1, and I missed it?
I love that cardiologist! So rare to find any doctors with the alternative mind body / natural connection as a consciousness. Can you give me his name?
I continue to make a plodding, slow return to my normal low since my vaccination. I took it for the herd, tho really likely should not have taken it at all. I continue to write, in two groups each meeting alternating weeks, that are revelatory and dynamic. Last night two hours sharing our homework from prompts and then forging on to write together online and read.
As always, your personal sharing and perceptions touch and fuel me. With Love & Gratitude, Jackie
Thanks, Jackie. Brenda, I just read your blog post; oh no!! How scary. I’m glad you are ok.Sending love to you all,Judy