Well, here I am y’all! All vaxxed up and nowhere to go! LOL!
Okay, but seriously, I got my second dose yesterday, and I pretty much cried from the relief and excitement. Perhaps a better way to describe my feelings is that of relief. I have enough trouble managing my chronic conditions; an added virus that takes more time from my healthy days is not easy to handle.
Being a single mother with a chronic condition who is also a student is a bit more complicated than being a mother living in a two-person household. My healthy days of being able to execute all of my tasks efficiently are limited. When I get sick, the house doesn’t shut down, and there is no one to pick up the pieces. Bills still have to be paid, which means money must be earned. The kid and pup still have to eat, get to school, appointments, etc. Because of all of this, Mama doesn’t get to fully rest like she needs to. So tacking on “Getting a virus” on to the agenda is not great. However, now, if I do contract Covid-19, I know that my symptoms will be milder than they would have been having I not received the vaccine.
So what now? How do I feel? Honestly, it’s not too bad. My arm is incredibly sore, and I feel heavy. Very tired and weighted down. However, nothing else. I mean, I fell asleep early and on top of my laptop while doing some homework last night, but nothing I was worried about. I have no nausea or chills. I can eat and drink. No headache. I’m just sore and fatigued. But for IBD patients, this is normal. However, it’s turned up a notch right now. Where on the IBD sore and fatigue scale do I fall between a 1-10? I’d say a 7. I’m not completely drained, but I do feel like I’ve run a marathon while carrying two five-year-olds. A little OTC Tylenol and Topricin have helped with that a lot.
It’s important to know that symptoms may vary, so being prepared for the next day is so important. I didn’t do anything different than what I would typically do when I have an outpatient procedure. Or even what I would likely do if I could predict a flare. Here are five ways you can help you and your family prepare for your vaccination.
Five Tips For The Vaxxed IBDMama
1. Organize Childcare or Pet Care
Suppose you are an IBDMom who is a caregiver. In that case, it’s so hard being sick because, more often than not, that person depending on you needs you more than the other people depending on you. And quite often for help with basic needs. So, it’s just as crucial for you as it is for a mom with a chronic condition to depend on assistance with childcare. If you are podding with a family or help with childcare from vaccinated people, please schedule them to help with your childcare & pet care needs.
2. Take The Next Day Off
If you can, try to schedule the next day off so you can rest and recoup. I may not be suffering from significant symptoms, but I have nodded off twice while typing this blog. Lol. So, yea, taking the day off is essential.
3. Meal Prep
Order groceries ahead of time. Make meals ahead of time and refrigerate. Make it’s a frozen pizza night! Make it easy on yourself. Purchase lots of rehydration solutions or drinks with electrolytes and plenty of snacks. Make sure they are easily accessible for your tweens and young ones.
Seriously. Hydrate. Before and after. Hydrate. That is all.
5. Pull Out The Flare-up Fun Box
If you haven’t restocked your kid’s flare-up fun box, do it before taking your second shot. Here are some things I kept in mine when Hippo was little.
Disposable Plastic or Paper Floor Mat
Blocks or Duplo
Kitchen Play Items
We had one box that was full of activities and one full of snacks. In the snack flare-up fun box, we had:
Individually Wrapped Crackers or Chips
Individually Wrapped Dried Fruit
Dry Sippy Cups
Individual Shelf Milk
With an older child, I like to take the opportunity to spend some time watching a movie or reading together. Sometimes I even break out a deck of cards or the chessboard. Blankets and warm drinks are often involved.
Be Gentle With Yourself
Listen, motherhood is tough. But taking steps to help prevent a more disastrous situation is a great mommy move. Don’t feel guilty for having to take an extra day outside the average IBD sick days to take care of yourself post-vaccine. Take the time to rest. Track your symptoms and when things feel off, share them with your physician. Just think, we are taking the first step toward a better tomorrow and possibly a real summer season. Remember to continue practicing social distancing, wearing your mask, washing your hands, and testing for Covid. The vaccine is not a cure but a treatment plan & necessary steps toward a Covid free future.