First Dose of AstraZeneca on 03/03/21 Lot #PV46669
Caroline has opted-in to be contactable by the public and other vaccine injured. No hateful emails or you will be banned. Her email is email@example.com
Q: What was your life like before you got the vaccine?
I am an award-winning author, entrepreneur, public speaker, and philanthropist. I have been self-employed for 26 years. My life has always been incredibly active, fulfilling, and meaningful. I am not one for sitting around and I have always tried to make the most of every single day, and every single moment. I am one of those annoying overachievers who generally loves life and has a ridiculous amount of energy.
In the year leading up to having the vaccine I was working hard on the launch of my first memoir, which I wrote to coincide with the ten-year anniversary of the 2011 tsunami in Japan (March 11th). I had over twenty speaking engagements lined up in countries throughout the world (via Zoom) for that week, was doing daily readings on my own Facebook page in the month leading up to it, and was spending a fortune on a marketing campaign. I put my heart and soul into that book, which I wrote so the survivors wouldn’t be forgotten — it was incredibly important to me. I had spent at least a month in a little remote fishing community there every year since the disaster, and the people there had become like family to me. I’ve raised £175,000 for them and managed over thirty different projects to help them rebuild. My memoir was my tribute to the people there.
Memoir aside, I was also running my eight-year-old pickle business, and I had started writing another book — to help people rebuild their lives after toxic relationships, which unfortunately was something I had to deal with some years ago. I have a habit of finding meaning out of my own traumatic experiences, by helping other people deal with them. I was also planning a rerelease of one of my other books, and a second edition of another. I had a lot of writing plans for the year.
I was also running 5K almost every day, hiking 10K once a week, and doing yoga or dancing daily. I was also learning to read and write Japanese (while I can speak Japanese I have never actually studied it). I remember being really pleased when January finished, because I had achieved all of my goals for the month, and was so excited about the year ahead.
Q: What was your reaction, symptoms, & timeline?
I was in a little bit of a daze going to get the vaccine — my dog had quite suddenly died four days before, without much time for us (my boyfriend and I) to get used to it. I’d been crying for days. It really knocked me. But I was looking forward to getting the vaccine — because it meant that I’d be able to get back to the tsunami survivors in Japan. Because of travel restrictions, 2020 had been the first year I hadn’t seen them and getting that vaccine meant that I could be on the very first plane back to them. I have to be honest — I wasn’t getting the vaccine because of Covid. Just to get to Japan. I even remember questioning the vaccinator, who called over his supervisor when I asked whether the one they were giving that day was approved in Japan. AstraZeneca wasn’t. They gave me the option to come back another week when they had Pfizer. So I very nearly walked away. But I didn’t. That was at 12:20pm. I didn’t even feel the needle go in.
Nine hours later, I started shaking. Full body shakes. And I was freezing cold. My teeth were chattering. I looked down at my hands to find them violently shaking — I had never seen anything like this before. I got into bed fully clothed and put the electric blanket on full. By 2am I was still shaking and my cognitive functions were no longer working properly. My boyfriend called an ambulance, and the paramedics ascertained that my vitals were at dangerous levels so they took me into A&E, stabilizing me on the way. I had numerous scans and blood tests, none of which gave any clues except for the raised D-Dimers, which the doctor dismissed as having a wide range of explanations. I was one of the earliest people to have the vaccine — I don’t think it would be dismissed now. I was discharged the next day with the diagnosis, “Severe reaction to Covid vaccine.” I actually questioned the diagnosis — I had no idea that vaccines could do this, but neither the paramedics nor the A&E staff were surprised. In fact, one of the paramedics had immediately asked if I’d had a Covid vaccine that day. He said that they had been seeing people like me.
In the days that followed I slept for hours, dreaming vivid, disturbing dreams the likes of which I have never experienced either before nor since. I was constantly exhausted, unable to do little more than shower. My chest was tight and breathing was difficult, and I developed a huge, stinging rash from my genitals all the way up my back, then unexpectedly started menstruating. I’m of an age where my periods are erratic but I still always get a little warning — this came out of the blue. Then the migraines started — daily migraines accompanied by numbness on one side of my face, my tongue, my arm, or my leg, and a complete loss of awareness of where I was or who I was with. Sometimes I hallucinated. They were like having mini-strokes and I should know — I had a stroke age 19 and three more in my thirties but fully recovered from them all. I’d had the cause of those strokes — an undiscovered hole in my heart — fixed in 2007. I was a very low risk for ever having another stroke and felt pretty confident that I wasn’t having them, but it felt exactly the same. Then exactly a week after the vaccine I experienced excruciating head pains that had me in tears, convinced that if I stuck a knife in the side of my head that would somehow relieve the pain. Paracetamol made no difference whatsoever. Another ride in an ambulance resulted in the same diagnosis: “Severe reaction to Covid vaccine.”
I cancelled everything. I just couldn’t function.
In the following weeks I developed a range of weird physical and psychological symptoms. Every single day was different. They included: agoraphobia, excessive yawning, “bubble” sensations going up and down my calves, inability to process written information, dizziness, inability to walk unaided, lightheadedness, and kidney failure. And the head and eye pain — it was relentless. From the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed, I was in constant pain. Everything exhausted me — I couldn’t even talk to anyone for long. I had to rest in bed after sleeping, showering, walking down the stairs, moving from one room to another. Six months prior I had run 16K. I had no idea what was going on; I knew nobody else that this had happened to; and nobody was helping me.
I realized that something major had happened to my body, and more importantly, to my brain, something that I valued more than anything about myself. I couldn’t write yet I was an author, I couldn’t speak yet I was a public speaker, I couldn’t follow a recipe yet I ran a food business, I couldn’t walk let alone run, dance, or do yoga. I did not recognize myself anymore. And as the months went on, more and more symptoms appeared — nerve pain, inexplicable bruising, tinnitus, jaw pain, insomnia, random shooting pains, swollen lymph nodes, bulging veins, loss of sensation in limbs, suicidal thoughts, excessive crying, blocked sinuses, diarrhea, bladder dysfunction, food intolerances.
Q: What is your life like now, after getting the vaccine?
It’s been nine months now. My life has started being recognizable again — I am now able to function in about a third of the way I did pre-vaccine. I was very optimistic when I thought I could focus on recovery for three months and then I’d be back to “normal.” This is my new normal. It took five months of intense, focused recovery before I could start functioning just a little again. I spent every single day of those five months implementing physical, cognitive, and emotional tools in order to heal. Healing was my full-time job. Now it is an integrated part of my life.
I have had to make some major changes to my life in order to accommodate my new limitations and ongoing recovery — I sleep around ten hours a night, I eat a very restrictive diet that I am constantly tweaking to accommodate a range of healing goals as well as avoid any reactions I now have to food, I rarely leave the house, if I need to interact with people then I conserve energy beforehand and plan to rest afterwards because I am not willing to be anything less than myself when out and about in the world. I am able to work in the kitchen again but not on consecutive days, so I spend those alternate days resting on the sofa, but as long as my brain is functioning then I can find ways to be productive and make life meaningful. I am incredibly dependent on my boyfriend, whereas I have always been incredibly Independent — I was very uncomfortable about this at first but I have to be honest: if it wasn’t for him I would have lost both my home and my business.
The longer term impact of what happened to me isn’t confined to what happened DIRECTLY to me. The longer term impact for me is much, much wider than just what has physically affected me. Through this experience I have seen a world that I was completely ignorant of. I have seen a world that I did not want to know existed. I have discovered a dark side to human nature that has deeply distressed me — a lack of compassion, a lack of ability to ask questions for the purpose of gaining understanding, a willingness to condemn, a need for superiority, a desire for power and control, a desire to be RIGHT — and I am not talking about politicians or businesspeople — I am talking about people who used to be our friends, our neighbors, our family. I have learned things that I cannot unlearn, and I do not want to retain these things in my soul. I do not want such ugliness to take up space in my heart. It has taken huge effort on my part to emerge from this experience with MORE compassion than I went in. I felt that I had to make a conscious choice NOT to participate in the ugliness. It wasn’t easy.
There isn’t enough space here to express just how much life has changed — I have had several challenging events in my lifetime that have defined significant shifts; shifts in priorities, passions, or perspective. The vaccine is the most significant event for me, and due to the fact that so many of us are affected by vaccine injuries (I don’t just mean those of us with the injuries — I mean all those other people who have some opinion or another about vaccine injuries) I suspect that it will take quite some time for this particular shift to settle.
Q: Share your experience with any medical care and any diagnoses you have received:
I’m going to break this down into two different categories of medical care: firstly the health care available through the NHS (and I include both the free NHS care as well as fee-paying but NHS-referred care here), and secondly health care available through private practitioners in the full sense of health (holistic therapists, counsellors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, functional practitioners, etc.).
Firstly, the NHS-affiliated professionals: I feel very lucky in that the vast majority of my experience with NHS-affiliated professionals has been positive. There have been a few hiccups and a few downright distressing incidents with doctors who really have no business interacting with sick people, BUT almost everyone I have encountered in A&E, every single paramedic, and my GP have all been as helpful as the government-run healthcare system allows. And have helped me to the best of their ability. And understanding that they have limitations on how they can help is a key part of our interactions with these medical staff — they are restricted on everything, from the time they are allowed to speak to us, whether they can see us face-to-face or not, what drugs they are allowed to prescribe, what departments they are allowed to refer us to. And those departments can decide whether they will see us or not — that’s out of our own doctor’s hands. My respect for my GP has actually increased with every time she has said, “I can’t help with that,” or “I can’t do that,” or “I don’t know.” At least she is being honest, and not being dismissive.
But I need to qualify that by stating that I do not have a conventional attitude toward traditional doctors, and I think this attitude has helped me with this particular health challenge — I do not expect doctors to “fix” me. I do not expect them to have all the answers. I do not expect them to “instruct” me on what to do. I go to them for guidance because they have a certain skillset that might be helpful as I decide what to do next regarding my own health. It might not be helpful. Helpful or not, my health is MY responsibility. Not their’s.
The second category of medical care is the “alternative” practitioners. I started working with a Functional Medicine practitioner after the first month and she has been a life-saver. I cannot recommend it enough for anyone who does not want to use prescription medicine as their main method of dealing with the vaccine injury — there are so many options out there. I have also found acupuncture incredibly helpful for all sorts of pains, for sleep, and for general support. And a counsellor for the first five months was essential. These three women, as well as my GP (who was always respectfully interested in what my other healthcare professionals were advising me and at times deferred to them), formed my support team.
The “alternative” practitioners were never so interested in a diagnosis — their priority was always about the healing, and moving forward. They weren’t interested in labelling anything. The only diagnosis I have received was “Severe reaction to Covid vaccine,” repeatedly, by several different NHS-affiliated staff, and that is what remains on my medical records. There has been no other diagnosis.
(Just a little note about NHS-affiliated vs “alternative” health professionals … I think it is important not to underestimate the hugely beneficial impact of actually spending time with someone who LISTENS with compassion and a desire to help you heal. Even if you feel that alternative therapies might not be for you, I truly believe that there are healing effects from just having your experience listened to and validated as opposed to being rushed through within a seven-minute appointment where you just get sent away with antidepressants or HRT, which is what I know some people are experiencing following vaccine injury.)
Q: Was your reaction reported, and what was the response?
I reported it through the Yellow Card System. I was in regular correspondence with them for a while but haven’t heard anything for months. I did write to my MP and he has been very helpful, and soon after that I was contacted by AstraZeneca claiming to have been trying to reach me for months. They sent me a form to complete about an “Adverse Event of Special Interest” (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome) months ago and neither I nor my GP have heard anything from them since.
Q: Is there anything that has helped, and have your symptoms improved?
I decided very early on — by week three — that I was going to do everything I possibly could to heal myself. I decided to take three months to dedicate all of my time, energy, and money into healing and threw everything I had at it. I started with doing everything I learned from my strokes in order to give my brain the best chance to repair itself — lots of sleep, a very specific “brain-food” diet, and no stimulation (no TV, reading, driving, intense conversations). Sleep remains the most powerful healing tool I use, still now.
My nutrition has changed over the past nine months to accommodate a wide range of issues that seem to have been triggered or exacerbated by the vaccine. It has developed from brain-nurturing, to anti-inflammatory, to immune boosting, to anti-fermentation, to low histamine, to anti-mould, and currently my main priority is anticoagulation and endothelial repair but it still incorporates all of the other elements to some extent. I also take a wide range of supplements, again focusing on each of the aforementioned elements.
I have looked at a wide range of contributing factors — bereavement, historical trauma, strokes, mould exposure, gut health — in order to fully embrace anything that could help (or hinder) the recovery process. And perhaps play a small part in explaining why this happened in the first place? I have not come to any definitive answers but the lessons I have learned and the journey I have gone on through exploring those topics has brought meaning to this experience, and helped me feel empowered. As I began to accept that my recovery was going to take much, much longer than three months, this feeling of empowerment gave me the strength to continue.
But the most surprising thing I tried that dramatically improved my symptoms, was phlebotomy. I discovered quite by accident, after having a lot of blood taken for tests, that I saw an improvement in my symptoms, especially in my cognitive functioning. I enjoyed a few months of feeling like “me” again in my soul, even if not quite in my body, and then the cognitive functions declined again over a period of a month. I hired a private phlebotomist to come to my home. She removed 520ml of blood and I went from being slumped on the sofa, hardly speaking, to sitting upright, animated. I was back at work within two hours when I hadn’t worked at all for a week. Phlebotomy has given me a way of regaining my full cognitive functions. And it has given me hope. At least I have something I can do (no more than once every three months) that can give me quality of life back.
However, discovering that phlebotomy results in such an improvement in symptoms for me, has also lead to the realization that it is highly likely that what I am dealing with is systemic micro-clotting and endothelial damage. Micro-clotting starves your organs and tissues of oxygen — and there isn’t really much of a way forward with that in NHS-affiliated medicine. So I focus on keeping my blood as thin and healthy as possible, and try to repair the endothelia as best I can, through nutrition and aspirin. And if I can manage to get to three months, then I can always have phlebotomy again.
Q: What do you wish others knew?
I can’t bear the thought of anyone going through what I have been through and feeling like they are alone. That is why I have always been so public about what has happened (and is still happening) to me. I write about it regularly on my Facebook page, and monthly on my website. I try to share everything I am learning in case it might help someone else. I have a wonderful support team and not everybody is as lucky. I consider myself in a position of responsibility to share everything that I am learning, and I’m working on a survival guide for us all, where I can share everything in much more detail. As a writer, I feel I must. But I wish I didn’t need to.
I wish that nobody needed to know any of what I’ve learned. I do not want anyone to know any of this. I do not want anyone to know what I know, or to have gone through what I have gone through. The bigger part of me doesn’t wish for others to know anything.
But there is another part of me that wishes that people knew just how hurtful their words can be. I wish people knew how triggering it is to see one friend after another joyfully change their profile picture to show they have had a vaccine. I wish people knew what it is like to hear someone laughingly complaining about how awful they felt for two days after their vaccine. I wish people knew what it was like to have a woman who always used to stop and say hello, now cross the street clutching her children toward her when she sees you. I wish people knew what it is like to receive a fucking Christmas card, like I did just today, with the words written in it, “I’ve been double jabbed. No problem."
And as I acknowledge such negative thoughts but leave them behind, I would like to share something about LIFE.
I was thrilled when I discovered that phlebotomy helped me so much. But then when I thought about the reasons behind WHY it helped me, I had to have a conversation with myself about life. And about death. I have fully accepted that time might be up. And I’m OK with that. The reason I’m OK with that is because I have had an AWESOME life! I’ve done some wild and crazy stuff, and I’ve done some deeply loving and gentle stuff too. If an idea has popped into my head then more often or not it became a reality — whether it was a business project, a book idea, a country I’ve gone to, a sexual encounter, a colour I may have dyed my hair, a costume I may have made, or a sandcastle I’ve built with an adult niece. I have lived every single moment of my life to the fullest.
I am not afraid of death. I am afraid of NOT LIVING. There is a difference.
So please, live whatever moments you have. LIVE THEM. Loosen the grip you have on FEAR. Fear of Covid. Fear of the vaccine. Fear of both. Fear of what is happening in your body. Fear of what is happening in the world. Make your world smaller if it helps — surround yourself with these new warrior men and women who understand what it is like to be dismissed, judged, and hated; yet will greet you with love every single day and teach you how to smile and laugh again. Please, find your way to life again.
Caroline is currently working on two projects in the hope of providing support to people who are living with long-term adverse reactions to the vaccine. One is a Survival Guide she is writing, and the other is a phlebotomy trial she is organizing. To be kept informed about either project, please sign up on her mailing list or keep an eye on her website at www.carolinepover.com.
REAL NOT RARE DISCLAIMER:
Real Not Rare does not diagnose medical conditions, offer treatment advice, treat illnesses, or prescribe medicine or drugs. Anything contained on this website or conveyed in the blog stories or groups, is not substitute for adequate medical care, diagnosis, and/or treatment from a medical doctor. It is strongly recommended that prior to acting upon any information gleaned via Real Not Rare or their representatives, you at all times first consult a physician. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individual being interviewed in each story, and do not necessarily reflect the position of Real, Not Rare as a whole.