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Brittany Boudreau

First Dose of Moderna on 08/18/2021

Rhode Island

29 yrs old

Brittany has opted-in to be contactable by the public and other vaccine injured. No hateful emails, or you will be banned. Please send her messages through Instagram (Msflarefighter) or Facebook Page (Britt's Journey with MS)

Q: What was your life like before you got the vaccine?

I was a healthy 29 year old with no health issues, except PCOS and an under active thyroid. At the time, I was a 7 year veteran of a police department in RI. I worked out and ran daily. I had a 5 year and 10 year plan, and now I can no longer do my job. I was preparing at the time for promotional tests to upgrade to a higher position in my career field. However, due to the stress, the study load and the competitiveness of the promotional tests, I would never be able to get through six weeks of studying, 1,000+ pages of memorizing, when I struggle with fatigue and memory problems from the medication I’m on.

Q: Would you like to share your reason(s) for getting the vaccine?

City of Providence mandate for employment

Q: What was your reaction, symptoms, & timeline?

I received my first vaccine on 8/18/21. Three days later, my hands and feet were tingling and felt like I had pins and needles in them. The fourth day, I experienced lightheadedness with numb hands and feet. The fifth day, while driving into my work, I lost vision in my left eye. I had extreme pressure behind both my eyes. I had vertigo so bad, I could barely stand. I had pain in the back of my head and neck. My limbs had started going numb one by one, and I had a weird squeezing feeling in my ribs. I managed to get into my work with the help of a coworker, told a superior what was going on and that I needed to go to the hospital. The hospital couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me after 10 hours and sent me home with instructions to follow up with my primary and a neurologist. The next day, I went to my primary who started me on oral steroids and gabapentin. He referred me to a neurologist and scheduled me for MRI’s. The neurologist did some in office tests, and at one point I was scared, because I couldn’t feel a vibrating tool he was holding on one part of my back. I then got the results of my brain MRI’s from my primary who told me that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I had two lesions on my brain and one active lesion showing highlighted on the base of my head/neck. I then went for my spine MRI’s and had a second lesion in my neck. The rest of my spine was clear. I went back to my neurologist who stated he wanted me to go see a MS specialist a state over, and while waiting, he wanted me to do a 5 day round of IV steroids to try and make the two active lesions on my neck inactive, since it was now October. During the waiting time until my appointment, my symptoms got worse. I had gotten the Lhermitte’s sign, while the MS hug did go away most of my other symptoms still remained. I met my MS neurologist and was officially diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS. I picked Ocrevus as my treatment and, after two denials from insurance, I was finally approved the week before Christmas to start in the new year. In January, I had my first two half doses of Ocrevus without any issues.

Fast forward a few months, I was diagnosed with Erythromelalgia, a burning skin condition triggered by heat and use of those limbs, by my primary and a dermatologist. It is also labeled as a side effect of the vaccine and started flaring in my hands days after the vaccine. I then was sent to a Rheumatologist, where I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis through X-rays in my hands, and not long after, diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in my lumbar spine.

I have now been out of work for 20 months on a paid sick leave. I cannot continue to be a police officer. I still struggle daily with fatigue, brain fog, issues with my hands, pain in my lower back. I constantly have doctors appointments or tests to try and help manage my pain better. I haven’t yet perfected the perfect “cocktail” of medication yet. My life now is trying to stay as positive as I can. I work out every day. Every morning, I still get up at 6:30am and do a workout, even though I can’t run. I do yoga, light walks, ride my peloton and strength training. I have a small window of time each day where I have energy to do a few things around the house, then that’s it.

Q: Tell us about any tests, diagnoses, and/or Medical Care received:

MRI’s, nerve tests, x-rays, blood work.

Diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, Erythromelalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis in my hands and Osteoarthritis in my lower back.

Q: Where has your reaction been reported, and what was the response?

I reported to my employer who has placed me on a covid sick leave. Both my Neurologist and I filled out VAERS reports with no response from the website.

Q: Are there any treatments that have helped or hurt your health?

I’m on Ocrevus for my MS. I am on a lot of medication daily for the MS, RA and Erythromelalgia. I receive Botox injections in my neck, head and face for headaches and trigger point neck pain from my lesions. The nerves in my back have also created lower back pain with the Osteo pressing on the nerves, and I have had to undergo Diagnostic Medical Nerve Blocks. I have one more to do before an ablation of those lower back nerves. Physical therapy made my back pain worse.

Q: Have you had Covid before?

Yes. November 2020 and again in August of 2022. November 2020 it was a lot worse. I had trouble breathing, always felt out of breath, body aches, fever, common cold symptoms, and it took longer than the 14 days they recommended for my symptoms to go away. The second time in 2022 was nothing more than a cold.

Q: What do you wish others knew?

Never let someone control your decisions about your health. I went against my strong feelings of not wanting to get the vaccine in fear of losing my job. Looking back now at what I know and what happened, I would’ve never put my job over my health. Now I have neither, and I do not know what the future holds for my health or a career.

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