Boosters have been approved and recommended by the CDC, the FDA, and my Doctor.
My 82-year-old Mom got her Pfizer booster as soon as they were approved and after a day of the usual side effects, now feels much safer as she joins her girlfriends for lunch out now and then. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson were next up! Moderna was a half dose, so I went with my Doctor’s recommendation and got the Moderna booster. I had more of the side effect reactions with the booster than I did the second initial dose. Fever, chills, reddening of my injection site area, and swelling of the lymph gland under the injected arm. Not fun, but it gave me a tiny glimpse into how debilitating full-blown COVID could have been for me and this is without any lung symptoms!
I have lung damage from chronic bouts of bronchitis, and that was part of what worried me about getting COVID19 personally. I was not sure my lungs would make it through the damage that the virus can cause.
Now I will not worry as much about that.
People ask, “Does this mean you won’t wear a mask anymore?”
In addition to celebrating my first Mother’s Day as a grandmother, I am sobered by the fact that this begins my fourteenth year of Burning Mouth Syndrome.
I never imagined when this journey began that it would last so long and would affect my life so much. Each year at this time, I review and see what I have learned, whether there has been any improvement in my pain, and evaluate how much I have been able to help others who are not as far down this road. I have kept up with the research on the BMS Support website and respond to comments on this blog regularly, and it feels like those are helpful things to do.
2020 was a challenge for everyone. The COVID19 pandemic took the chessboard we usually move around on and tossed it in the air. Sickness, Death, Lockdowns, Masks, Respirators, Ventilators, PPE, Social Distancing, and more, all became a part of the pandemic landscape and our new vocabulary. The folks who dealt with chronic pain and illness had to find a new level of coping skills and count ourselves lucky that it wasn’t worse if we were able to avoid COVID.
2021 started out very hopeful with the advent of incredibly effective vaccines, but the rollout was uneven and slow, frustrating even the most patient of us. Then the variants began popping up around the world, inevitable but scary, and things were made even more chaotic as disinformation spread and vaccine hesitancy became a thing.
I have generally been a strong proponent of vaccines and get my flu shot every year. Knock on wood, flu has not been a visitor at my house for many decades and I would like to keep it that way.
That said, when the vaccines came out, like many of you the first thing I thought was, “What will the COVID vaccine do to my Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)?”
We have all tried so many things to relieve our burning, and some may have helped a bit, but we also discovered additional triggers and things that caused flares, and so we may have become just a little more wary than our neighbors. Not because we don’t trust science, and not because we have hard held beliefs for or against vaccinations, but simply because we don’t want to hurt more.