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Lindsey Cullen, Healthcare Worker

First Dose of Johnson & Johnson on 10/05/21

Hampton, Virginia

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

My life was good. Mom to 2 amazing teens, wife, full time healthcare worker. I loved spending time with my kids and my husband. Dinner and drinks with friends, just hanging out and living life. I had no health issues outside of GERD. My only medication was omeprazole for acid reflux and daily vitamins. I was never sick through this entire pandemic, even while working on a Covid unit.

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

I got the shot at 5:30 pm on 10/5/21. I immediately had a strong metallic taste and felt very anxious. I questioned the pharmacist if that was normal. She just said no, told me to wait 10 minutes and left. I just dismissed the anxiety that night and figured I was upset because I did not want to get the shot in the first place. It was mandated by my employer in order to keep my job. My exemption request was denied. On 10/6/21, I woke up at 3:30 am with the worst headache/pressure and neck pain I have ever had. I felt bad in general and just assumed it was just a typical immune response to the shot. I decided to go to work. By the middle of the day, I could not handle it any more. I had cold sweats, dizziness, aches. The headache and pressure and neck pain continued from there. 2 weeks later I finally saw my PCP. I was given IM toradol and high dose steroids. They did nothing. Nothing took the pain away. I ended up in the ER and was basically dismissed as soon as I said this was from the Covid shot. IV pain meds and steroids did nothing, but my head CT was normal so they sent me home. I have since developed tachycardia, shortness of breath, joint pain, muscle pain, chest pain, fatigue, insomnia, numbness and tingling all over my body, excessive thirst, itchiness, rashes/skin discoloration, hair breakage and falling out. Symptoms change from day to day and seem to be cyclical in nature. I see Neurology, Rheumatology, Cardiology, and my PCP. I have elevated inflammatory markers and positive ANA'S now. I've had a normal echocardiogram and a holter monitor that was relatively normal except heart rate ranging from 54-168 BPM. I can't do anything without my HR between 130s-160s. I have tried topomax for the headaches unsuccessfully. I have just start Qulipta and Ubrelvy in hopes of relief. I've started metoprolol to try to control my HR.

Q: What is your life like now, after getting the vaccine?

In one word...miserable. Life is nothing like it was 2 months ago. I am now out of work for the time being. I barely leave my house. I am in pain every single day and the fatigue is indescribable. I feel like I'm failing as a mom and wife every day.

Q: Share your experience with any medical care and any diagnoses you have received:

I am very grateful that my PCP has fully acknowledged this has all happened from the shot. And most of my specialists fully acknowledge it as well. However, nobody knows what to do or how to help. The ER Drs are a whole different story. They have been completely dismissive, rude, or just gaslighted me. It's scary.

Q: Was your reaction reported, and what was the response?

Reported to VAERS and Johnson & Johnson with absolutely no response. I'm working on letters to local and state representatives, as well as other advocates I can find. It is a slow process for me. Brain fog is also something I'm struggling with and it takes a very long time to do all of this.

Q: Is there anything that has helped, and have your symptoms improved?

I haven't found anything to help yet. I have started taking NAC, Quercetin, B Complex, Curcumin in addition to Vitamins C, D3, and zinc.

Q: What do you wish others knew?

I wish others knew the truth. These reactions are happening, and far more often than people think. I hope we can all continue to come together to bring awareness because we are real, not rare.


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15. jul. 2022

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