How I Almost Died After My 1st Vaccine Jab For COVID

I had a serious, life threatening reaction to the 1st jab of Covishield, and I'm thankful just to be alive and recovering, though I'm still wondering...


I had a serious, life threatening reaction to the 1st jab of Covishield, and I’m thankful just to be alive and recovering, though I’m still wondering…

Sounds unbelievable dosen’t it? Well that is exactly what happened to me. After I got my first shot of the vaccine earlier this year.

One day in mid April, my spouse and I went to the local government hospital located at a stone’s throw from our housing estate. After the jab we lingered there for half an hour, and as no reaction/symptom was seen, we came back home.

The rest of the day was uneventful. However, two days later things went on a downslide. I began to feel giddy, feverish, weak. I also developed a cough and nausea. I saw a doctor, who prescribed a few medicines.

Meanwhile my appetite was gone. I simply could not bring myself to eat whatever was  laboriously cooked and served by my husband and our daughter. This vexed them no end. We tried takeaway meals, bread and soup,… but it was futile, I could not eat any of that fare. A colossal wastage of food that was unpardonable.

Collapsing completely

On the fourth day things grew worse. I cannot recollect what exactly took place. I can faintly remember loitering in the bedroom with a bottle of mineral water and a half drunk bottle of coke… and thereafter I passed out completely.

Soon after, my family members discovered me in a pool of urine mingled with water and soft drink—- resulting in an enormous puddle, stinking and obnoxious. The clothes I wore were in disarray, my flip-flops lying haywire. Honestly it was a scene lifted out of a Bollywood potboiler, depicting the homecoming of a sloshed, inebriated heroine from a party following an altercation with her love interest.

The doctor who examined me opined that there was not much to be done except total bed rest, seclusion, and a diet comprising fruits coupled with regular administration of ORS.

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Over the next three weeks I lay in stupor, a semi-conscious, trance like state. I had blurred vision of my sole caregiver – the partner – feeding me and cleaning me up at intervals. Days passed… mornings gave way to nights.

Bizarre dreams

The severe reaction to the vaccine must have adversely affected my brain too. Night after night I had bizarre dreams, seen myself jetting from one place to another, Kolkata – Kanpur – Dhaka – Colombo  – Singapore mingling with P.I.O’s and diaspora living there. (What in the name of heavens was the connection between the places and people I am unable to decipher even today). It was mind boggling. Occasionally I dreamt of my dear departed father sitting by my bed side, caressing me affectionately. I would wake up tearful and heart broken.

By mid-May I could recognize faces. I was able to sit up but not for long; after a while I would feel dizzy and weak.

On the way to recovery, slowly

When my birthday arrived at the end of May I savoured my first proper, grown-up meal in weeks! My daughter excelled herself dishing up my favourite biriyani and spicy kabuli chana (chick peas) for the occasion. I could not thank her enough.

Owing to tossing and turning and constant friction with the pillow and bed sheet, my hair got into a horrid mess. It was so matted, tangled… that it was near impossible to run a comb through. In sheer desperation I called in my hairdresser and managed to chop off the matted locks. So, instead of my usual wavy  step-cut hairdo, I now sport the so called ‘boy cut’. It looks grotesque to me, but I have no option, and am fervently waiting for my normal hair to grow back.

Total inactivity for several weeks had weakened my leg muscles so much that I was unable to even stand up, forget about walking. Fortunately my daughter, a practicing physiotherapist, stepped in and took charge.

Following a strict regimen of exercising, monitoring and manual therapy, I have begun to walk a bit, albeit with wobbly legs. She says it will take a few weeks more for complete recovery.

All my life I have been plump, and rather overweight. Now, I weigh 58 kgs, down from the 75 kgs before the Covishield shot. I feel this is a blessing in disguise, though I need to add a few more kilograms and overcome my weakness as well.

Anyway ‘let the dead past carry its dead’, as the saying goes. I am blissfully happy to be alive after the ordeal. My loved ones feel I have had a ‘hair’s breadth escape from death’.

All in all, I am seriously mulling the question: to take or not to take the next jab?

Image source: YouTube

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About the Author


Am a trained and experienced features writer with 30 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...

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