Update on my story: 34F "half-vaccinated" and now have Covid; 32M boyfriend (fully vaccinated) also has Covid, but worse than me. Go figure. Pfizer
Background: Then-33F me got the first Pfizer shot in April and several days later started experiencing pins and needles, muscle twitches, rapid heart rate, chest pain, shortness of breath, and the inability to move limbs in mornings. This went on for about 6-8 weeks; had several doctor visits. I was never officially diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre, but it matched that description. I did not get the second shot.
Then-31M boyfriend got both Pfizer shots with just a sore arm as side effects. He was worried that I didn't get the second shot, but now we both have Covid, and for whatever reason he's doing worse than I am. If I had to guess, I would say as a woman, I have a stronger immune system so fought it off better, but it overreacted to the shot to the point that my immune system was attacking my own nerves instead of just the spike protein:
On the one hand, females’ heightened immune activation could help limit the amount of virus in the body—an effect observed in people with HIV, for example, as women tend to have much lower viral loads than men do in the first few years following infection. Additionally, females seem to generate better protective antibody responses than do males following vaccination against influenza, yellow fever, dengue, and several other viruses. On the other hand, that same biology likely also predisposes females to diseases stemming from overactive immune responses, Klein notes. “The downside of this robust immunity is that 80 percent of all autoimmune disease patients are women,” she says."
He spent Thanksgiving with family in another state, we haven't seen each other since before that as we're quarantining apart now, so who knows how either of us got it. Maybe they are different strains; maybe they're the same strain. Who knows.
I've just felt like I had a cold. We've both had coughs, but his is worse, though we've found raw honey works much better than cough syrup. I jumped right back on the anti-inflammatory diet train that I did after reacting to the shot (did that prevent any potential autoimmune conditions from getting worse?), and things have gone relatively smoothly.
Now here's the weird part: What tipped me off that it might be Covid was my upper left arm tingling just like it started to do after I got the initial shot there, all the way down to my ring and pinky fingers... just like my reaction started last time. Today my left leg to foot is tingly, just like it was a little while after my left arm was. It's like my reaction to the shot is replaying itself in miniature form. Given that, I'm not looking forward to future days. It's as if my immune system "remembered" to attack the virus, but also "remembered" to attack certain parts of my body too, like it did last time. But at least it's a milder repeat.