First Dose of Pfizer on 04/04/21 Lot #EW0151
Brooklyn, New York
41 yrs old
Q: What was your life like before you got the vaccine?
My life before the vaccine was perfectly normal. I have a wonderful family. Just before the start of the pandemic, we had moved from LA to NYC because I had just started my dream job with a dream company. Aside from life being thrown upside down from the pandemic (like everyone), we’re a happy and healthy family. Before the pandemic, and my injury, we were pretty active. We love to travel and explore, especially in nature, food, and all things historical. Typical weekends were spent outdoors and visiting with friends. Lots of time at the beach, weekend trips to nearby towns and with friends to sporting events and BBQs.
Q: Would you like to share your reasons for getting vaccinated?
I got the vaccine because I thought it was the right thing to do. We were terrified of COVID and had been avoiding friends and family, outings, and all of the things we enjoy. I thought that this was how we were going to get our lives back.
Q: What was your reaction, symptoms, & timeline?
Within an hour of getting my first shot, my face went numb and I had a weird tingling/cooling feeling in my left arm. 5 days later, at the lunch table, I completely crashed. It was like being hit by a truck full of symptoms. I was extremely nauseous, dizzy, ringing in my head and ears, sweating, chills, brain fog, fatigue, weakness in my limbs (I couldn’t walk without my husband holding me up), the feeling of pins and needles in my arms and legs, insomnia, loss of appetite, heart palpitations and PVC, increased blood pressure, and massive headache. This went on, nonstop, with no relief, for months. Around 6 months I started to feel some relief and some symptoms started to go away. Over the last year I’ve had ups and downs. Times where I’ve felt nearly healed, and then “relapses” that feel like I’m back to beginning. Tomorrow is my one year anniversary. I’m hopeful that this year will bring me (and my family) healing and back to being our perfectly normal selves.
Q: What is your life like now, after getting the vaccine?
My life now is unpredictable and full of anxiety. I never know if I’m going to have a good day/week/month. I feel like I can’t plan ahead for anything. I feel like I’m letting my family down because they’re all fully vaccinated and in theory should be able to do all the things vaccinated people can do. Like travel, eat at restaurants, visit friends and family, go to games, shows, concerts, etc. I haven’t been able to do these things because of mandates and also I’m scared. I’m still scared of getting COVID, I don’t want it. I don’t want to find out if I’ll have long COVID or worse. My family doesn’t want to leave me behind, so they skip doing fun things to be with me.
I can’t travel for work, which I pray won’t become a problem. But I realize it could and I worry that I could lose my job. I’m the only one who works currently and I don’t know what we would do with no income.
My life feels unpredictable.
Q: Share your experience with any medical care and any diagnoses you have received:
Medical care has been a challenge. I’m lucky because most of my doctors believe that my issues are a result of the vaccine. Especially because I’ve done every test imaginable and all of my results have come back clear. I’ve tried everything that the doctors have recommended (vestibular therapy, supplements, acupuncture, testing - so much testing!).
Without a clear diagnosis, the doctors don’t know how to treat me. It’s a “wait and see” approach because “it’s so new.”
Q: Was your reaction reported, and what was the response?
I reported to VAERS in May of 2021. I’ve called and emailed to follow up but have not heard from them.
Q: Is there anything that has helped, and have your symptoms improved?
Initially I thought that the supplements were helpful, but then I “relapsed.” Then I thought that the PT was helpful, but I then relapsed. Same with acupuncture.
Time I guess. Maybe the wait and see is the right approach?
Q: Have you had Covid before?
I have not had COVID.
Q: What do you wish others knew?
I wish for others to have or find a great support network. Because through all of this, feeling heard and having your symptoms validated help. I can keep going because of my family’s love and support. Because my doctors don’t dismiss me or make me feel like it’s all in my head.
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