Scar Wars: The Immune System Strikes Back

Not one for confrontation, I was appalled last week when my immune system decided to pick a fight with me.  Sure, we’ve had our fair share of rough and tumble over the years, but usually I can accept some accountability.  For example, if I insist on going mad on the housework, I expect to suffer a few punches here and there, likewise if I take the kids to the park I shouldn’t be at all surprised when my body retaliates.  This time, however, I refuse to accept the blame.

You see, I was lucky enough to receive my first Covid jab at the weekend; something I am so thankful for.  Unfortunately, my immune system was not impressed and launched an all-out attack on me later in the day.  When you have a condition like MS you’ll often find that previous damage can be reawakened and long lost symptoms can come back to bite you at the drop of the hat or, in this case, the jab of a needle.  Which is precisely what happened to me.  My left leg, which remains severely weakened from a relapse I had in 2019, started to fail on me.  During the night I was left paralysed on that side, jolting spasms shooting through my body as I tried, and failed, to move.  I’ve been there before and it’s one of the scariest experiences I’ve had with MS, you never quite know how well you’ll recover from these attacks, if, indeed, you ever will; is the damage permanent? 

In this case, I’ve made a ‘full’ recovery and am back to dragging my half dead leg around – phew! 

I’ll admit that while I was lying in bed, unable to move and in severe pain, I felt a bit panicked.  My husband had brought up my phone so that I could call him if I needed help, but what use was that when he couldn’t hear it ring over the din of the radio, the television and the screams and giggles emanating from my tearaway children?  I was left literally screaming for help when my calls weren’t answered, and by the time help arrived in the shape of my husband and a couple of bewildered looking kids, I was a sobbing wreck.  Eventually, I was helped painfully down the stairs (oh, to have a bungalow!) and led to the sofa, where I remained for the rest of the day.

It wasn’t all bad, however, my parents heroically whisked the kids away and I treated myself to a triple bill of Sandra Bullock films; what better company could you ask for when you are feeling unwell?! 

NOTE: I am incredibly grateful to have been given the vaccination and I certainly do not want to put anyone off from having it themselves.  From what I have seen and read, most people, with or without MS, do not experience any side effects.  It is important that as many people as possible are vaccinated to protect the more vulnerable and to ensure that some form of normality can resume as soon as possible.  I shall look forward to my second dose and perhaps another triple bill of Bullock.

7 thoughts on “Scar Wars: The Immune System Strikes Back

  1. I must admit I was a bit worried about what effects I would have following the jab but actually had no side effects. I had it about 3 weeks ago now but I have been having problems with increased spasms and pains in my legs but may have nothing to do with the COVID. I will wait and see what happens after the second to hold judgement. I’m glad you have a supportive family to help you when you need it xx


    1. Glad you were ok after jab, most people are I think. Good luck with the 2nd dose!


  2. Emily, you appear to have managed to write a 500+ word piece on vaccine reactions without ever mentioning what type you got!

    I was lucky on that front the AZ gave me 24-48 of fluey feeling a bit rubbish, but still did my daily 12k step (I do count my blessings every day as far as my health goes.) but when you hear of a most common reaction that’s clearly an immune response, it’s a gamble. The IM pain lasted a week, but I’m starting to think it’s more to do with the gauge of the needle and the touch of the inoculator.

    I did get the impression the Pfizer crowd tended to get stronger reactions, but that’s on an n barely reaching the double digits.


    1. You’re right, I failed to mention which jab I had. It was Astra Zeneca, in case anyone wants to know.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Emily, You are not alone.😘 Sending warmth and a virtual hug. Pleased to hear you have a loving and supportive family & have recovered well. I too had the AstraZeneca jab and had side effects the following day. My legs felt like they were made of lead, fatigue was through the roof and generally felt I had been run over by an artic lorry! After 24 hrs these feelings passed, Thank you for continuing to share your story x x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. vivienne Tuckwell March 14, 2021 — 9:04 am

    Well done for getting through it! Yes, it was a challenge but definitely necessary! I had astra jab too, thankfully less side effects but I’ve never been so spaced out before! I guess I now know what it’s like in space?!? Take care and keep on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just watched the film, ‘Gravity’ – couldn’t help likening some of it to the sensation of having MS at times – particularly when Sandra Bullock tries to walk on the beach when she gets back to Earth!


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