Breath

This is what it’s like to have an asthma attack…

When you don't have it,
When you can't have it
It's scares you like you're nothing
It bests you and jests you
Until you heave with the effort

Makes you weak
Tests your peak
Until you've fallen with the tiredness
Having nothing but retirement
From the force of life.

It's a ballon, a bafoon
Made entirely in your lungs
Forcing you to stay
In just one position and sway
Lose strength to stay.

Light, yet heavy
In every inner crook and cranny
Short, yet tall
Fallen-in, fallen all
Until the breath comes back
Again
This time to cherish it.


What Is It Like To Get The Covid-19 Vaccine? (Updated!)

This is a compilation of the Covid-19 Vaccine. Read on to find out how I did with it. To be updated soon!

So I am officially fully vaccinated, and as a person who has asthma, I am (was🀞🏼) in the higher risk category (Cohort 7) and it has been a joyride. Read on and let me tell you all about it!

Why did I get the vaccine?

As I mentioned above, I was categorised as a higher risk person when it comes to this virus. I have asthma, and allergies along with it (allergic asthma), which just essentially means I have a good couple of triggers, be it in the air, or in food.

Further than that, I have a major problem in wearing the mask for a prolonged period of time, especially outside when the weather is rainy, humid, or extremely cold as these weather types are a natural trigger for my asthma. So I had a pretty bad time with it, often getting really badly dizzy, even with precautions taken like taking some of my Ventolin before heading out and putting on the mask.

If that wouldn’t be a good enough reason, I was warned by my doctor that I would probably not do well with Covid, so cocooning was the only real way to protect my own and my husband’s health.

The vaccine was an obvious choice for the both of us.

Why Was I In The Cohort 7 And Not 4? 🀨

On a day-to-day, I am very good at managing my asthma, thankfully, so I automatically knew that I wouldn’t be in Cohort 4.

My GP warned me to wear the mask at all times, especially when near other people, and to practice social distancing according to guidelines.

But in general, I am in a relatively good health, I am taking my preventative (brown) Becotide inhaler daily as prescribed and the reliever (blue) Ventolin only when I absolutely need it. Besides the triggers that get me here and there (less and less over the years now as I learn more of them), I am okay.

Cohort 4 is/was for those who had bad symptoms daily with asthma/COPD/other lung diseases and are/were automatically deemed very high risk at doing badly with/or being endangered by Covid. I am lucky not to have been there.

SO I do not/did not qualify for cohort 4.

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What Vaccine Did I Get? πŸ’‰

I got the Pfizer vaccine, which is one of the most recommended for my age, and to be honest, I find it is a bit of luck, considering it is one of the bests out there right now. (Side note: they are ALL the best, as they are designed to teach your immune system to kick the Covid butt. That’s all you need at the end of the day.)

I have received 2 separate doses. After the first, I had to wait 2 weeks before being somewhat protected, and after the second, I had to wait just one week to be 98% protected from Covid-19. I got the 2 doses exactly 4 weeks apart, I even had exactly the same time to go for my appointments.

NEAT! πŸ‘πŸΌ

How long did the process take to get jab?

I expected to be waiting in some nerve-wracking line, but low and behold, my GP practice was rather efficient this time. I was pretty much on time for my appointment and lucky me, the vaccine nurse nipped me right upon arrival both times. (She is a kind soul!)

I had to bring with me a pre-filled form that gave my consent to have both the vaccinations, and which explained to me how the doses will be given, how far apart, what side-effects there may be, along with a signed declaration.

On the day, I got a short reiteration and some jokes, while I got a pinch of pain, then I was on my merry way. Before I got my second vaccine, I was asked if I had any side effects, the pinch again, then I was on my merry way all over again. Easy peasy.

The first time I had to wait out for 15 minutes to make sure I was not getting an adverse reaction, the second time I had to stay only 10 minutes.

The second time around, I could leave after just 10 minutes! It was Phine!

NOTE: This is my personal experience, I know some members of my family had to wait in line and it was indeed nerve-wracking, so I sympathise.

What were my side effects to the Covid-19 Vaccine? πŸ…

After 1st Dose

After I got home, I was pretty fine. Slight pain of my arm (I get yearly flu shots so that I’m used to), some tiredness as the day dragged on. I did have an early night. This tiredness kept up for a good week and a half after I got the jab but that wasn’t anything I didn’t expect, especially after meticulously reading the leaflet I was given with my future appointment and the vaccine info I read up on the HSE website (Link belowπŸ‘‡πŸ»).

I was totally fine for about 2 days after, and I thought I’ll be one of those lucky people who the nurse mentioned had no problem with the first dose.

Well, I was, but not without some symptoms.

I started having flu-like symptoms – muscle ache, breathlessness like I had a milder chest infection. This lasted for about 4-5 days, and started directly after me bragging to my dad how PFine I was… Talking about irony. πŸ˜“

I was exhausted and generally just a bit unwell. I had to be a bit more careful with my asthma and I took paracetamol, I took Lemsip (not at the same time, but depending on whether I needed more medicine to help me out or no).

I played the part of an Eskimo by putting on layers upon layers of clothing on myself and a hat (to keep the heat that seemed to escape me).

Another helpful thing was that I drank a concoction of mine with freshly squeezed lemon, thyme mixed into hot but not boiling water, and some honey. I dare you to use it when you feel sick next. It’s magic!

So as I said, that was pretty general for me. I knew what to do.

Along with that, I lost my sense of smell for a couple days and not from a blocked nose, but once the flu symptoms went away my smell came back and the world started to give me a headache again. (Yay!)

But what was the weirdest thing of all is that I couldn’t eat tomatoes for a couple days! It tasted like acid to the back of my throat and seemed to burn a hole in my stomach. That only went away about 3 days ago, making it the longest-lasting symptom.

After 2nd Dose

So, when I got my 2nd dose, one of the major differences was that I got the Mother of All Sore Arms!

To the slightest touch I cringed for days. Were it was barely noticable and cold to the touch before, it was sore, swollen, hot and bothered now at the sight of the injection I couldn’t lift the arm. Way worse then with the flu vaccine.

The good news was though, that I only got some headaches (one sided migrain for 1 day) to go with it and the standard tiredness for the frist 3-4 days, including the vaccination day.

The tomato became weird again for one day only, and otherwise I was happy out!

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My conclusions

After 1st Dose

I had one or two bad days with the vaccine all in all, especially towards the end of the first week and the beginning of the second. Most symptoms lasted 1-3 days tops. I didn’t have a sore arm from the jab and It didn’t even warm up whatsoever (as I expected based on my yearly flu shots).

If you have asthma, you might want to talk to your GP about what should you do if your asthma gets worse. Mine did but thankfully I knew how to handle it.

Now that the 2 weeks are behind me, I am way less worried about heading out (still doing what must be done), which helps a lot mentally. I felt really caged in and helpless, so I’m pretty glad to show the door to those emotions as you can imagine.

If you’re worried, don’t be. Everything lasts just a couple days, and then you should be peachy. Just keep an eye on yourself, your symptoms, ask for help if and when you need it.

In the end, it’ll be worth it all around.

EASIEST TO DEAL WITH? Tomatoes. πŸ…

WORST TO DEAL WITH? My asthma. 🫁

After 2nd Dose

After having gone through the first doze with some difficulty, the second round seemed like a breeze even though the arm was hurting and i had a headache.

I usually measure these things against whether or not things affect my breathing and that way this was very easy too.

All in all, it’s been goo since. Only if I could ditch the masks too now, I’d be the happiest!! (Pretty please!)

EASIEST TO DEAL WITH? headaches 🀯

WORST TO DEAL WITH? Hurting arm πŸ’ͺ

So…

Would I get the Vaccine again, should a second vaccination or even a yearly vaccination be required? For peace of mind and for my own and my family’s health. Absolutely yes.


Ireland: Latest Information about the Covid-19 Vaccine by HSE

More info on Allergic Asthma

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What to Do When You’re Unemployed and in the High-Risk Category in this Pandemic

This is some friendly advice article for those of us who live in the world of Covid as high risk category person who is unemployed

So I am one of those people who somehow found herself in the proverbial ‘valley of shadows’. There are measures that the Irish Government have been implementing again, not making it easy to socialise, let alone to find a job.

I am trying to find a job in the middle of a world-wide pandemic and I have asthma, which makes my choices limited if I want to protect myself and my household from Covid-19.

Being a high risk category person makes things that much trickier when trying to get employed. t gives me that much less options, because I should not, ideally, go in to some unknown place for an interview. I have to force myself ask for phone or Zoom interviews. I also have to be able to find ways to creatively use my time and make myself employable at the same time. And yes, it is much easier said than done.

However, all hope is not lost, I’m here to give you some tips and tricks to keep your heads high and stuck it out a much as you can, because the repercussions of this pandemic hasn’t even hit yet in its full force. So we must learn to ride this tide too.

Health

What you have to keep in mind is that first of all you must keep healthy, both in body and mind.

You should make sure that you boost your immune system with Vitamin C and D is and according to Healthline there are some vitamin supplements that can help to keep you in top shape.

Going for big walks has just gotten harder in Dublin, as the Covid Restrictions are a bit more on again, but even so, try to find the time when you can go on longer, preferably social distancing walks (or runs – whichever you prefer). The fresh air will lift your mood, and if nothing else it will give you the much needed stretch of your legs. Do this at least once a day. Will make a difference.

Hobbies

Hobbies at this time of uncertainty are a lifesaver. Try something new (like blogging), make sure you use your brain even if your mind is not going to be needed for work right now.

Start a Bullet Journal, do some painting or (if you have access to it you can play some Nintendo games – always handy πŸ˜‰ ).

Alternatively you can always start something creative, like knitting, crochet or write, like I do. It doesn’t have to be fancy, you need only something that constructively fills your time until your opportunities get you back on track with life in general.

One thing I can promise: Whatever you start doing is, as I said, a lifesaver!

The Job-hunt

Of course, the end result, whatever you mean to do in the interim, is to attain indicated job that you aim to find. No play no gain as they say.

  1. Be patient

Be patient with yourself, with the opportunities that are out there. We got to understand, that we’re in a type of recession. There may be a lot of jobs out there, but the competition for each of them has doubled, if not tripled. This means that we must play the numbers game. Apply and apply and do as many (or few) interviews as it takes.

2. Leverage your talents

Believe me, I know you if you feel like me, and you think maybe there is something wrong with your CV or with yourself, to not have found a job yet. Most likely though, that isn’t the case.

While you’re waiting for the right opportunities to come your way, you can either up-skill or try and freelance. Volunteering is just as good with an added bonus, since you can add it to your CV, filling in some blanks. See the some links at the end of this article.

3. Take breaks

The best advice I got was from my husband, and that is to take breaks. Finding the jobs that suit you takes work, takes thinking, and most of all takes resilience. To achieve the latter, you must know your limits and recognise that you can’t do the job-hunt 24/7, however much you feel pushed for it.

You need to keep you sanity too, and so you have to turn another leaf, reacharge and then get to it again. And so we have come to full circle.

Breathe

This is the hardest part. I’m with you. I am there too. But to have fun in-between the worries is important and more, it is essential.

I’ll leave you with a quote by Jodi Picoult:

The human capacity for burden is like bamboo

– far more flexible that you’d ever believe at first glance.

My Sister’s Keeper

May we always have satisfying conversations.

Love,

Szabina


The links I promised:

Volunteer:

I-Vol: https://www.i-vol.ie/

Up-skill for Free:

Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/

EdX: https://www.edx.org/