Covid19 Vaccine-2nd Dose

On Friday afternoon, I had an appointment to receive my second dose of the Covid19 vaccine and it went as smoothly as the first. I signed in, got my card filled out and received the vaccine. After receiving the vaccine, I went to another room to wait out my 15 minutes. I didn’t really expect any reactions as I didn’t have any on the first dose and I was right. After my 15 minutes were up, I went home. Within a couple hours my arm was sore again, completely expected as that happened with the first dose.

On Saturday morning I got up, felt fine except for my arm being super sore and went to work out. I figured the more I can move my arm the better off I will be. I went about my normal business on Saturday, going to the market after workout and coming home to clean. I was pretty excited at about 21 hours post vaccine that I was feeling good. I have heard many people running fevers and generally feeling bad for about 24 hours after the vaccine.

Around 26 hours post vaccine (5pm), I had a slight headache and took my temperature which registered 99.9. I am not much of a medicine taker at all, so I didn’t take anything for it. I knew this was my body’s way of boosting my immune system so I am a firm believer in letting my body do it’s job. I was able to eat normal and truly didn’t feel sick, just a headache. (I did keep taking my temperature every 90 minutes just to be sure it didn’t go higher.) By the time I went to bed around 10pm, my body temperature was back to 98.6 and although my headache was still slight, I felt fine.

On Sunday, I woke up with no elevated temperature and no headache. And I felt fine the entire day. I am happy I was able to receive the vaccine when I could and happy to do my part in helping to stop this dreadful illness. I also felt it was easy decision to make after having Covid19. So if you have any questions about the illness or the vaccine, I am happy to discuss it with you! Stay Safe and Stay Well!


Why I chose to be vaccinated for Covid19.

I am not an expert in vaccinations, nor am I am expert in medicine. But I know many of you look to me for answers regarding your health and wellness. This is my own personal story and I wanted to share why I chose to take the Covid19 vaccination and received my first dose on Friday, January 8th. I did a lot of research before choosing to be vaccinated. As a science person, I went to sources like UPMC, scientific journals, the CDC and spoke with my medical expert friends. What I found out was that the technology behind the mRNA vaccine has been out for 30+ years. Yes, that’s right, more than 3 decades. The difference being it hasn’t been used on a large scale operation like Covid19. (We haven’t had a pandemic in my lifetime until now thank goodness.) Vaccines are created to get your own body to respond when it encounters an antigen. Did you know that measels and mumps are also highly contagious viruses and we developed technology (vaccines) to nearly eradicate them? So if you get a vaccine, (which are never 100% effective) , it creates an immune response in your body. Did you know that the MMR vaccine is only 97% effective and look what it has done to those diseases. This immune response helps to recognize, fight and get rid of any antigen that doesn’t belong in your body. The faster your immune system can respond, the less likely you are to become ill from the antigen. This information about the Covid19 vaccine is directly from the website: “mRNA vaccines contain material from the virus that causes COVID-19 that gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

It is truly fascinating to me that we have the technology to do these things. And the coolest thing that I find incredible is that the whole world has been working on this problem. Scientists and doctors from all over the globe have been working non-stop to create these vaccines. This is why the vaccine was faster than most because we have a collective group of people working on the exact same problem. Vaccine technology has been around for many years, so scientists can use that already existing information to help with new diseases like Covid19.

I chose to be vaccinated because I believe in science. I have seen it work over and over again in my lifetime, for example the vaccinations we receive as children giving us in some cases lifetime immunity against diseases that would otherwise be devastating. I chose to be vaccinated to protect other people that may not be able to get the vaccine. I chose to be vaccinated for my family and friends, so that I can help to protect them now and hopefully in the future. Again, I am not an expert, but I am happy to discuss with anyone the reasons why I chose to be vaccinated.


As most of us head into a much needed break, I wanted to say a heartfelt “Thank You” for all that you do for our students, their families, our schools and coworkers. As I stated in my newsletter in early December we need to remember what we are grateful for every day. Find the small things over break that make you happy. One of my favorite things in the morning is that first sip of hot coffee. I savor the taste and the warmth of the coffee. It’s small, it’s something I could take for granted, but I don’t. Last Wednesday when I left work to drive home and it was snowing I was happy. I love the snow. As I sat working in my living room that afternoon in front of a crackling fire and the snow was coming down, I lived in that moment. It was peaceful and quiet. When I woke up on Thursday it was just beautiful and then later that afternoon watching my 17 year old go out with her friends to build a snowman was incredible. One of her teachers gave them some extra credit to go out and play in the snow and build snowman. (Of course they had to take a picture see below) I thought what an ingenious way to get the kids out and acting like children again. They didn’t just build a snowman and be done. The threw snow at each other, they jumped in snowbanks and laughed. What an incredible thing to watch. (And they weren’t on electronics! Now that was the miracle.)

So your assignment over break is to express gratitude for the little things, laugh and enjoy moments with your families and most of all take time for yourself.

I know I say this a lot because I mean it. When I took this job almost 9 years ago, I wasn’t sure what was in store for me creating a new program and getting to know all of you, but I love doing it. When you find your true purpose in life it’s easy to love what you do and you all make that so.

No matter what you celebrate this holiday season, I wish you all well and look for better and brighter things to come in 2021.



Three things!

Well if any of you read my posts when this quarantine started, you know that we have had some wild adventures in the Terry household. Things calmed down quite a bit over the summer while the kids could get outside and I could go back to my office. The summer was fun and interesting. We have a huge deck on the back of our house and decided to make it the summer fun deck with a 8’x10′ blow up Walmart pool (cost $25), we bought lounge chairs from Wayfair as part of our anniversary gift from our parents and to ourselves ($$$) and we bought a propane glass fireplace ($$) which we have only lit once due to the 90+ weather we have had all summer. We have spent a lot of time on our deck enjoying our little space as a family (Priceless). And being Italian, I decided to buy some tomato plants to grow in pots. At first (not a very green thumb here) I put 4 plants in each huge pot. (I know, insert uncontrollable laughter here) Needless to say I had to transplant the tomatoes into more pots since I unknowingly had too many in one pot. To my defense they were so little when I got them!!! So now I have two in each pot and I have 4 pots and many, many tomatoes. I made homemade pasta fagioli soup with organic turkey sausage over the weekend and I will be making homemade salsa tonite. So I am enjoying my literal fruits of my labor now. Even if it started a little messy. Next year I will know!

I am happy to be back in the office full time and gearing up for this year. My son will be going to college virtually since that is what Loyola University decided to do for the first semester. I am sad for my son, but know that he will be fine doing online school and it will go faster than he thinks! My daughter will be going back 5 days a week starting September 10th and hopefully the school district can continue that way throughout the fall.

I have meant with many clients and talked with a lot of people this summer, some of whom have struggled a lot. So my advice is this: 1. start every day off with a positive thought, what are you going to accomplish, what is good in your life right now, what are you thankful for. Anything that gets your mindset on the right track. 2. What can you control? This is always a loaded question, but it’s so important. I can control my attitude, my lifestyle-such as eating nutritious foods, walking or exercising. I can control what I wear and how I act. I can control if I am kind and respectful. When you focus on the things you CAN control and not on the things you CANNOT, you will be happier and focused! So be flexible!


Stay grounded. Connect with your roots. Turn over a new leaf. Bend before you break. Enjoy your unique natural beauty. Keep growing. -Joanne Raptis

A dog? Really?

So we do not have a dog, although my kids have been asking for a dog for years.  To be honest, I love dogs, but we travel too much to own one and we aren’t home a lot during the times we aren’t traveling.  I certainly wouldn’t want to subject a dog to that lifestyle.  My kids have tried to force this issue for the last 5 weeks, but without success.  I told them it might be possible to foster a dog, but not own one.  So maybe, but then again, not sure how our two cats would feel about that.  We have very good friends that also travel and we actually watch their dog at our house and our cats are fine with it.  But our cats also know Abby.  I have seen neighbor upon neighbor walking by my dining room window and I am pretty sure every one of them owns a dog.  Well at least most of them do and my kids have benefited from the dog sitting jobs over the years, not now of course.  At least my husband is on my side, so we have 2 vs 2.  Thank goodness if it were 3 v 1 that wouldn’t end of good for me as I know who would end up taking care of this dog.  You know that the kids have argued that they would take care of it, but the true question is, who is walking the dog at 6am in the dead of winter and cold-NOT THIS MAMA.  To which my 16 year old daughter said, we can just put up an invisible fence-Really and who is paying for that?  I am going to write a new book called “Questions asked during Quarantine.”

So for all of you who own pets, including dogs, I am sure you are really enjoying yourself having a faithful companion.  Cats-not so much, in fact I think they are annoyed we are all home.  Go figure!



A New Certainty?

So for all of our uncertainty in the last few weeks, what has become certain for you?  It’s an interesting question, I know.  Are you certain of finding cleaning products and toilet paper in the stores and for me, it’s actually been cat food-and those are all uncertain for sure.  And with the Governor’s announcement today, that uncertainty has been moved to certain that we will not be in our school buildings/educational facilities for the rest of this academic year, but the uncertainty about how that will look from now until June is still uncertain.

What I want you to focus on is this-what do you truly know?  We know that our friends and families are still there and that they love us and we love them.  We know that we have been forced into a new reality of spending more time with our families/loved ones and that is actually a good thing.  We know that our lives will change, but what makes this even more valuable and certain is that I believe it’s for the better.  We have unequivocally been spending time creating “busy” whether it’s our activities, our children’s activities or maybe even work, but we now have the chance to “do better”.  As someone who has definitely been party to the schedule of activities, this was my chance to gather my thoughts and focus on the important.  My family is important, my friends are important and yes all of you are important to me too.  When I took this job in 2012, I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, I had lots of ideas and things I wanted to accomplish and this was a brand new position, but over these last 8 years, I believe this was my purpose-to help employees live their best life.  If you think that sounds a little corny, I don’t care, because I have always had a job serving other people-as an athletic trainer, as a health advocate and now as a wellness coordinator and a health and wellness coach.  It is very important to me that others see the value in their lives as I see their value!  You are valuable and important and I know that at this time of uncertainty, I know that for certain.  So take a look around you and find out what you know, what is certain and how you can take that into your future (post-pandemic).  I know many of you have heard me say that I value you and I truly do because being the product of two teachers-one an elementary school music teacher (my mom) and a high school music teacher (my dad), it was not in the cards for me to teach in a school.  I admire you and envy you for all that you do for our schools no matter what position you hold and I admire you for what you are capable of doing especially now!  Keep up the fantastic work you do and know for certain-YOU ARE AMAZING!!

Mexican Train, Genetics and Espresso!

Okay, so in our family game night, it was a marathon two hours of Mexican train that started after dinner, which my daughter and husband tied at the very end of the game, almost unreal that it happened, but they had a winner take all grudge match and my son and I watched and laughed while looking at their dominos to see who would win.  It came down to the last two dominos and my husband won.  So for all of you that don’t know, we have a chalkboard in the kitchen keeping track of all the family game night wins and my husband has been killing it with 6 wins.  We are competitive to say the least!  But that made for a longer night, and then my daughter came in my bedroom at 10pm to ask for help on genetics.  I have a Master’s in Biology and genetics is one of my favorite subjects, so I had a good time helping her solve the problems.  And no I didn’t give her the answers, but helped her problem solve.  So when I actually laid down to go to sleep it was past 10:30.  But I wasn’t going to give up this precious time with my family nor giving up the genetics problems for sleep.  I don’t go to bed very late but every once in a while it’s okay.  So last night was it.

I got up at 5am this morning to work out, so there was a much needed tall cup of Espresso this morning with my name on it.  I usually go to bed early between 9-9:30 at the latest because on a normal day I am up at 4:45am to go to the gym.  Since the gym is now in my basement, I allow myself a little bit longer to sleep.  HA HA!  But today I am a little sleepier than usual, which means tonite should be interesting.  We may have to make game night earlier so I don’t fall asleep a the table.  And hopefully no two hours of whatever game my husband chooses tonite.  And yes, his exact quote last night was, “I am going to pick a word game so I can game some distance on my wins.”  See for yourself below.  But at the end of this third week at home, we have had a great time as a family enjoying each other’s company and being competitive.  Maybe I’ll talk my husband into watching a movie tonite instead and giving up his pick… 🙂

Stay Safe!