First Dose of Pfizer on 03/10/21 Lot #EN6204
Second Dose of Pfizer on 03/31/21 Lot #ER8737
53 yrs old
Q: What was your life like before you got the vaccine?
Healthy 53-year-old. Working as a stylist in a location with a 1 hour commute and watching my 1 and 3 year old grandchildren 2 or 3 days per week. Able to keep up with everything and anything I desired to do. Very busy full life.
Q: Would you like to share your reasons for getting vaccinated?
Was going out of the country to a level 4 destination. Our group all got the shot..
Q: What was your reaction, symptoms, & timeline?
March 10, 2020, 8:10 am got first shot. Came home and took Aleve and iced my arm. I worked as a stylist and did not want a sore arm. By 5:00 pm I had pins and needles and tingling in both feet. Within two weeks it had creeped up my legs to my knees. It was like my muscles were going to cramp. I stopped drinking coffee. Very hard to get any sleep. This resolved then March 31 got my second shot. The pins and needles came back and my right hand that holds my scissors could not move. This would last maybe five minutes. This happened sometimes twice a day. Some days my hand was fine all while the pins and needles remained, and I just hoped I could stand up all day. On the 19th of April got out of bed and my right side was weak and dragging my foot and my hand would not move.
Finally, I realized this could be bad and went to the ER on the 20th. They admitted me and the next day my PCP told me I had a stroke. He sent me to physical therapy to correct the issues with my right side. The hospital made an appointment with a neurologist a week and half out. After that appointment off to a cardiologist. Returned to neurologist and something is still wrong with my left leg. I was very sensitive to touch had twitching muscles and pain from the top of my left thigh to my foot. He said we need to order another MRI. He never ordered it. I went back to my PCP doctor, and they made an appointment for a new neurologist. My PCP ordered the MRI. The wait is 3 1/2 months. I was still in a lot of discomfort. I kept the hope until the symptoms got worse.
Heavy on chest/shortness of breath
Hard to swallow (intermittent)
Whenever bend over back of head/lower neck heavy, feels like movement in head
Dizzy and not able to concentrate or focus on what I’m trying to do.
Twitching muscles; from feet up to hips
Started in feet, and slowly started moving up legs
Tendons, ligaments, and muscles very sensitive; painful (level 4-6) from waist down.
Slightly feeling same symptoms in arms, but not as noticeable.
Muscles, bones, and ligaments in butt and hips feel heavy extremely painful when sitting
Burning sensation/pins and needles; does not occur all the time
When foot is on the ground and the weight just sitting there starts the burning sensation, but movement makes it stop.
Skin on legs feels tight; does not occur all the time
Abnormal feeling with muscle; not twitching
Popping; foot (places I didn’t know could pop), knees, shoulder, and hips
The joints are very painful all the time.
Medication seems to be helping
I went to the ER in the bigger town. I was admitted. They did there testing and released me to go to the neurologist appointment I had scheduled 1 1/2 months out. The Friday before my Monday appointment the office called and said they could not see me due to going to the first neurologist they were affiliated with the same hospital. Now I am on my own again. I got an appointment with a stroke neurologist. He has done more testing and offered to refer me to a general neurologist. I have not done that yet.
Q: What is your life like now, after getting the vaccine?
Just crazy. From trying to learn to walk, to the four walls in my house coming in on me, depressed and wondering if I am having more strokes and always wondering if I will be able to make it to the bathroom. My husband has had to do all household chores. My mom has had to drive me to every doctor’s appointment. Have not be able to work or watch my grandchildren. My quality of life is NOT quality. I do physical therapy one hour daily when I don’t have doctor appointments/ test. Now at 10 months into this I am starting to see a little light at the end of the tunnel. Yet, it is like a rollercoaster, with many days worse than others.
Q: Share your experience with any medical care and any diagnoses you have received:
The first ER Doctor said don’t think it has any part of to do with the vaccine. CT with and without contrast. MRI with and without contrast. Chest X-RAY and blood work few times. Released me with taking low dose aspirin. First neurologist more testing EEG and ultrasound of the blood vessels in the brain and 21 more vials of blood. He put me on Plavix. I was told that all tests were fine. Off to a cardiologist. She ordered a an ultrasound of the heart and a TEE and EKG and more blood work. My cholesterol was a little high. She put me on Crestar 10mg also refilled the Plavix. Went to PCP due to not being able to sleep he has given two sleeping pills. In September went to the ER again due to all the symptoms. More blood work and CT of brain and neck. Two days released me and told me to keep appointment with second neurologist and you need an EMG.
I called and got appointment with psychiatrist she put me on Lexapro 10 mg and Clonazepam .5 mg and added another sleeping pill. Second neurologist canceled appointment. Now we are at stroke neurologist at a different facility. More test, MRA of the head and neck MRI of the brain and the EMG, and more blood work. Results: axonal sensory neuropathy leg/feet. Said does anyone in your family have high arches. You got to be kidding me. I have stood on my feet as a stylist for over thirty years. My stroke neurologist said he does not think that is it. I was told that my MRA came back good. MRI just showed the damage on the left side of my brain. The blood work showed high homocysteine, but my vitamin levels are all good. I don’t drink alcohol. My diet is good. I stopped smoking earlier this year. So , he said if you want to try and bring that down take a B multi vitamin. The Stroke Neurologist gave me muscle relaxers for the twitching muscles. That did not work. Then he tried muscle spasm medication. That did not work. Went back to PCP and he has given me another medication to try. I am hopeful that this could help. If it doesn’t, I guess I will have to get referred to another neurologist.
Q: Was your reaction reported, and what was the response?
It looked like only the doctors could report. I called and they where going to call me back after talking to the supervisor. Never heard back.
Q: Is there anything that has helped, and have your symptoms improved?
Steroids help joint pain in hips and shoulders, but it comes right back when you stop. Dealing with this has affected mental health. Meds for that made it better. Insomnia – 2 sleeping pills have made it where I can get good sleep. The physical therapy I do at home is helping. I do 1 hourly daily, 7 days a week. I just tell myself no pain no gain and fight through this.
Q: Have you had Covid before? What was your experience if so?
Not that I am aware of.
Q: What do you wish others knew?
The vaccine might be safe and effective for most, but for me - quality of life has changed. You are on your own after you get it. No one believes you nor do they know how to help you. The medical professionals, the media and the government are not telling everything they know about the vaccine and the terrible reactions some people are having. If I had choice again, I would have taken my chances with being a healthy active person.
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