First Dose of Pfizer in 05/2021
Second Dose of Moderna in 06/2021
33 yrs old
Q: What was your life like before you got the vaccine?
Busy stay at home mom to a 5 year old girl. and also work from home (I have my own home daycare). I was actively running, training for a marathon, working in my yard and house. Loved my job and the kids I looked after. I was always on the go, hauling my daughter somewhere on playdates, ballet class, school movie nights etc.
Q: Would you like to share your reasons for getting vaccinated?
Really, in the start it was to protect my parents and to be able to see my husbands family that lives in another province, I myself was never worried about catching covid cause I knew I was strong and healthy enough to fight it off.
Q: What was your reaction, symptoms, & timeline?
My first vaccine I had a sore arm for a couple days and went about my life. June 30 2021 my husband and I both went for our second dose. We were told that there was a Pfizer shortage and after being originally told NOT to mix the vaccines, the health representatives in our district assured everyone that was but a myth and all was fine. Anyways, got my 2nd dose, the woman who did it stabbed the needle right into a nerve in my arm(needle wasn't aspirated) as I felt this insanely weird tingling in my left foot, I even at the time told my husband, 'Whoa, something isn't right here, I shouldn't have felt that'. Went home and woke up the next morning feeling like I had been out on a binge the night before. Body aches, that hungover feeling but oh the body aches were something! I wrapped myself in our giant duvet from our bed, put on a podcast in my head phones and laid on the couch. I don't remember this as I was in and out of consciousness but my daughter said I was moaning loudly, likely from the pain my body was feeling. I remember finally falling asleep, waking after a few hours. I took down an entire bag of ruffles chips and a huge Gatorade and felt better. That was the end of it, or so I thought.
A couple days later my period started, totally normal, totally fine this period, stopped briefly after 5 days for about a day and then flared her ugly self back up for another 50 straight days. Yup a 50 DAY MENSTRUAL CYCLE!! The walk in doctor that I saw about it said it was likely my contraceptive reacting to the vaccine and I shouldn't worry, I got used to it and just let it run its course even while we were on holidays. After the cycle quit I got two more normal cycles and now nothing. Just nothing. My cycle has now evaporated, I have the symptoms of PMS.. but nothing happening.
Fast forward from the summer to October which is when I started noticing some real strange and painful changes. One evening on our way home from a football game I noticed this strange stiffness in my hands, and my thumbs were trying to text a friend the score but wouldn't actually stay steady on the phone. I had bouncing thumbs. I chalked this up to maybe too much sugar at the game? Or too much time between meals that day? But as time progressed these symptoms started to get much worse. I was vacuuming the stairs one day and my arms kept cramping, like a carpal tunnel feeling, I was writing a cheque for my daughter for school, my hand painfully cramped up and by Halloween my arms, hands, fingers, feet, toes, and legs from the knee down were swollen and painful to use. I barely made it on my feet trick or treating with my daughter. With some nudging from my family I went to a walk in doc the next day, he said it was a 'bit of swelling' and sent me off with water pills. 3 weeks of water pills brought no change. The painful swelling continued and I couldn't even bend my toes. I spent many of those nights staring up at the ceiling in our bedroom silently crying in pain cause there was nothing that was helping.
Fast forward to December of this past year, I had been referred to an internist who I thought would be the answer to all my problems. Prior to our visit I had given up on the old walk in doc and started seeing my dads physician who is welsh and well, he's been a lifesaver ever since. He took me off the water pills the minute I sat in his office, and proceeded to prescribe me a small dose of prednisone to help with the swelling. Two days later I was back to my old self. Cleaning, getting ready for the holidays, chasing my daughter, I felt renewed and confident this was the answer. Sadly it wasn't. After a couple more visits with him (and a disaster of a meeting with the doc of internal medicine who suggested I had lyme disease as vaccine injury isn't 'real') my current doc said to disregard whatever the internist said and we were moving forward on our own to treat this as an auto immune problem caused by the Moderna jab. After hearing my story and the symptoms staying the same he was convinced of injury from the jab and assured me that I was not the first, nor was I the last. He prescribed me HCQ (hydroxychloroquine) to start taking, this has been known to lessen some of the effects of things such as lupus or RA. I started that a few weeks ago along with a thyroid to treat hyperthyroid and B12 pills to help that too. I have never been on so many prescription meds in my entire 33 years on this earth. Throughout all this i've had 5 different rounds of blood and urine tests, all of which come back with a mixed bag of results. More recently, elevated hormone levels, which can also be linked to problems with the pituitary gland and hashimotos disease. I continue to remain a medical mystery and am now awaiting an MRI, a follow up with the internist(oh goody..) a follow up from an echocardiogram(cardiologist) and a VERY long wait to see a Rhumatologist. I have also developed chronic hives, which apparently instead of getting better with creams and dr prescribed ointments are getting worse. Overall I am remaining positive and optimistic that we are getting closer to finding out what this actually is and moving into the correct form of treatment. I am terrified of what could possibly happen next. The swelling continues in my arms, legs(knees down) and feet. The pain is mostly still in the joints of my hands. I have to lay down and rest many times during the day due to rapid heart beat and generally feeling lethargic, which is not good given my profession.
Q: What is your life like now, after getting the vaccine?
My life is very different. Everyday is a surprise. Some days (like today) i feel great and ready to tackle everything in my house and run up a toboggan hill with my daughter. Other days, a small trip to the grocery store or walking my daycare kids to school turns into me needing a nap for many hours. I can no longer sit on the floor for an extended period of time to play with my daughter. Sitting at a restaurant table , movie theater seat or a seat in a car for longer than about an hour becomes excruciating and uncomfortable. Some days(most actually) I battle extreme bouts of depression and worry, crying and panicking at what is to come next. I can no longer lift my 20lb dumb bells, do my workout programs or go for my beloved runs that I was doing earlier. My job has become more difficult. I have to physically bend all the way down to pickup the 3 year old i look after and put her in a chair for lunch. I had to upgrade my sled and wagon in order to better handle the pressure on my arms and legs. I dont sleep through the night very often anymore. More recently two nights of 11-5am sleeps in a row have been a major victory. Otherwise I am jarred awake with pain and burning in my arms and hands, getting up and putting on my brace, taking a tylenol and curling back up with a heating pad around my arms for some relief. Eventually i dose off but at that point, its time to get my day started. Everyday tasks, like shoveling snow or unloading heavy groceries just can't be done without me needing ice, heat and a high dose of drugs. It's become unpredictable although most days now manageable.
Q: Share your experience with any medical care and any diagnoses you have received:
Walk in Dr 1: Water Pills, started treating for Edema. This went on for awhile. Referred me to internal medicine specialist.
Walk in Dr 2: Took me off the water pills as they appeared to not be working and increased my potassium levels way higher than normal. Prescribed 2 rounds of low dose prednisone.
Internist: Listened intently, suggested I have lyme disease, yet was never in contact or bit by a tick, and should not be on prednisone, re prescribed another round of water pills.. Follow up with this clown to come later in February.
Back to visit Walk in Doc 2: Presented with more swelling, more off the wall blood results including whacko hormone counts. Prescribed HCQ and sent for more blood work. Taking HCQ 2 times a week for now until the condition is officially diagnosed. Haven't seen any huge differences but was told this could take a couple weeks. After new round of blood work, I presented with an out of whack thyroid, potassium levels out of the roof, high level of growth hormones, and b12 incredibly low. Walk in doc followed up with prescription for thyroid meds and B12 pills, suggested this was the best course since he refused to 'inject' anything into my body in fear of more reaction. Presented with chronic hives last week, right calf, left foot and ankle, this has now moved onto the left arm, a steroid cream was sent my way but I don't see much use for it as its not really helping. Have been taking Allegra in the mornings when i get up and Benadryl before bed to help with the itching, otherwise i would be scratching all the time.
Will follow up with Walk in Doc 2 when he returns from holidays in Feb. We continue to remain puzzled by the growth hormone, father in law is a doctor and said it can be due to the prednisone which I have only been off of for a month or the pituitary gland, which is what we are waiting on the MRI for.
Q: Was your reaction reported, and what was the response?
Nowhere. Here in Manitoba/Canada. Any report of this sort of stuff makes you portrayed as a terrible person, anti vaxxer and will turn most of the population against you.
Q: Is there anything that has helped, and have your symptoms improved?
No improvement aside from the pain in the feet and toes subsiding. Everything else stays the same, nothing getting worse.
Elevating my legs does help a bit but otherwise not much. I wear a brace on my arm to help with the pain and cramping that occurs and the burning sensation in my hand.
Q: What do you wish others knew?
You are not alone. We all tried to do what we thought was best, what our governments, medical officials etc told us we needed to do in order to end it all.. We did it and now we are suffering the grave consequences. I am thankful everyday for Doc #2, my father in law who is also an MD and has been guiding myself and my husband through this incredibly strange period of our lives. I have found people who are supportive, who understand my story and have been advocating for the fight that I am about to embark on. I am thankful that I can still have use of my arms and legs, although limited and tiring, for this I am truly blessed. My heart breaks at all these stories of vaccine injury, adults, children, seniors... It is nice to know that I am not alone on this journey into a new season that is now my life.
I am grateful for the love of my husband, daughter, parents, and brother who are constantly supporting whatever decision I make and are always there to hear all the details, however gross and gory they may be. 'Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars'-Khalil Gibran
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