My vaccine experience

27 January 2021

Carl, who lives with a stoma and Colitis, knew that he would say yes when offered the COVID-19 vaccine but didn't know when this would be. He told us about going for his first jab, as he waits for news about receiving his second.

I was not concerned about the vaccine

Living with Colitis and a stoma

I had ostomy surgery in July 2019 due to medications no longer managing my condition, but the disease is still active in remaining parts of the bowel and I take mesalazine. Throughout 2020 I was in a flare with daily bleeding and nothing could calm it down. I was waiting on surgery to remove the rest of my bowel but that has unfortunately been postponed. Last year, I stayed working in the office from March - December, but as cases rose this year I asked to work from home. I have been staying at home since the 4th of January and the guidance here in Wales is now that everyone works from home where possible.

I have had numerous different medications in my life, and you have to trust the experts.

I haven’t studied medicine - but if someone who has, and then excelled in their field, tells me the vaccine is safe then I trust them. For my Colitis, I have taken infliximab, azathioprine, mercaptopurine and mesalazine, all without knowing much about them and just trusting the medical professionals. I don’t see the vaccine as any different.

I was excited going for the vaccine. The process was very organised and slick, with staggered arrivals and temperature checks before the injection. Once I’d had it, I was given a card to bring to my second vaccine session and I left again. It was all within fifteen minutes and ten minutes of that was the observation period after the jab. The whole process felt like a wave of relief, you could hear how happy the doctor and nurses were and you could sense that it was the start of normal life returning.

I feel much safer now the vaccine is getting circulated. Although we still have to follow the restrictions to keep virus levels low, it seems it’s only a matter of time before normal life resumes.

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