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My Not Terrible Experience with the 2nd Shot of Moderna

24 hours after my 2nd Moderna shot and so far the entire experience has been pretty mild. I think I can attribute the mild side effects mostly to dumb luck, but here's everything I did if it can maybe demystify things for anyone feeling anxious about it.

And hopefully, this can give some of you a game plan, which itself can be comforting. But also, I'm no doctor and I'm justing winging it here. And an even further disclaimer, I recognize that I have the luxury of being my own boss and I can organize my day however I want.

Many of you don't have that luxury. Hopefully, some of this can help regardless. So, with one final caveat that I have no idea what helped and didn't, here's what I did to try to minimize side effects and anxiety:

I stopped drinking any alcohol whatsoever 2 days prior to the vaccine up until now (and probably for a few days more).

(I realize as I'm writing this, a lot of what I did draws on experience with monthly challenges that I did. This is a coincidence... or is it?)

I started minimizing coffee intake. Reduced to less than a cup. This was to reduce anxiousness about the whole thing, which I discovered actually works because of our month of no coffee experiment.

A day before I started paying attention to how much water I was drinking and tried to drink a lot.

A few hours before my shot at 10AM yesterday I was feeling pretty anxious, so I returned to my old yoga friend Adrienne (I don't actually know her) from my month of Yoga & did this yoga routine. It made a noticeable difference.

(However, if you're not very flexible or have lost flexibility, as I discovered I had, don't feel like you have to do this exactly as she did. Do what's comfortable as you follow along.)

For breakfast, I had oatmeal with banana because I figured it was easy on my stomach. I got a little nauseous with the first shot and I wanted to minimize that. I also had like a half cup of coffee.

Then I walked several blocks to Walgreens because I have found that walking also reduces my stress.

Sat down for my shot. This time I got it in the other arm because I realized from the first shot which arm I sleep on the most.

I asked the guy giving the shot if he had his 2nd dose. He told me he got it in the evening and then the next day felt very hungover the whole day & even got hives at one point. He seemed very down on the whole experience. Did not try to sugarcoat it. Good ol' Wisconsin honesty.

I barely felt the shot and then got up and searched for coconut water (for the electrolytes). Bought a 4 pack and then wandered outside the Walgreens for 15 minutes as the guy told me to. Then started walking home.

Halfway home as I drank a coconut water I started to feel a little nauseous. This happened with the first shot, too.

I got home, made tea, filled my big water bottle, parked on the couch with a heat blanket, and watched Kong Skull Island. Getting up to pee many times.

I periodically drank tea, water, coconut water, a little ginger ale, and tried to eat food that was easy on the stomach all day.

I felt a little nauseous and fatigued all day.

Occasionally I felt hot and occasionally I felt a little cool but the heat blanket really helped.

Occasionally I felt hungry and occasionally I felt nauseous.

I think around 3 or 4 I started to feel a little pain in the side of my head. I immediately took one ibuprofen and it didn't bother me the rest of the day. Chyna told me it will be a lot easier to get rid of the pain if you do it early. I took another one before bed.

I also moved on to Godzilla vs Kong eventually. It was a superior film, though I wish John C. Reilly came back (though that wouldn't make sense).

Besides oatmeal, throughout the day I ate (if I can remember):

-apple and peanut butter (I have this every day)

-toast and peanut butter (much later)

-2 eggs over easy

-lentil soup my mom made

-saltine crackers


-Salmon, broccoli, and plain sweet potato from Texas Roadhouse (and some rolls)

Towards the end of the day I had a little pain where I think some lymph nodes are under my arms. And some pain in my upper abdomen which I think might have to do with acid build-up from the nausea. This actually happens to me during non-vacciney times, too, occasionally.

For a bit of time the pain went up in the center of my chest as well. These pains were uncomfortable but pretty mild.

I was mostly concerned about taking it very easy to not disturb my stomach and it worked out just fine.

I went to sleep at 10ish and woke up several times throughout the night, but that's not abnormal for me. I would call my sleep average.

Woke up at 6 with a very mild headache and a slightly more sore arm. Took one more Ibuprofen and now at 10am I have no headache.

I still feel mild nausea but it has improved.

Maybe slight fatigue.

No headache.

Who knows? Could get worse but I think I might be in the clear. I know this won't be the case for everybody, but this has been much easier than I was expecting.

So if you need a game plan, I think mine was a pretty good one.

Also, you probably don't NEED to watch Kong Skull Island to enjoy Godzilla vs Kong. But also know that both are pretty much exactly what you'd expect.

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Virginia Belinot
Virginia Belinot
Apr 21, 2021

Thanks for sharing the experience, Craig. But I have to disagree with you. Godzilla vs Kong was just ok..


Thank you for the updates. I loved seeing your food for the day, too. After my second Moderna, I felt dizzy at around the the 4 hour-ish mark. Had to sit back down. I work a very strange schedule, so my sleep is also a mess of sorts. After eating some ice cream, I went to bed early and woke up a every three hours very sore, like I had the flu. Had the chills, and then warm, had the chills, and then warm. Just very sleepy. Can't remember what I ate, but made some tea at some point. Wish I had some salmon now. :) (at work). Have a good evening.


Charles Minetree
Charles Minetree
Apr 20, 2021

I get my second shot of the Pfizer on Thursday (April 22).  I have jokingly said that when they start giving the vaccine to 64-year-olds, I would be 65. I was off by a month (my 65th birthday will be on Friday, April 30). Oh, in California they started giving out the vaccine to people over 50 on April 1, and people over 16 on April 15. Charles AKA Charlie Tuba Charles Forrest Minetree (I live in a forest of mini-trees)


My take away is that I should get back into apples and peanut butter.

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