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Michelle Johnson

First Dose of Moderna on 01/13/21 Lot #012L20A


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

Prior to vaccination I was a healthy 48 year old wife and mother of two active teenagers. I worked out daily in the months preceding my first vaccine and held a full time job. I gladly signed up to do my part and help my county by getting the shot in the first wave. I trusted science and our government.

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

My left arm immediately tried to push the needle out as the vaccine entered my body. The first few days were "normal" reactions, but about 5 days later I went to the walk in clinic for a HR of 170. Within about a month I had lost over 15 pounds due to elevated HR and BP and I was subsequently hospitalized due to heart issues on Valentines Day. Four months later, as my heart was slowly adjusting, my symptoms moved to intense pain, numbness, tingling, and electrical current through the left side of my body. I was told I was in menopause by the orthopedic surgeon and was placed in physical therapy. Since that time I have developed a severe rash on my mid section and am currently dealing with gastrointestinal issues which has now left me with a 40 pound weight loss (86.4 was lowest weight logged and I was 126 at Christmas last year).

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

I had to take a medical leave from my school district last year due vaccine related issues. I started this school year off and was only able to work less than two weeks before I was completely bed ridden yet again. I am no longer the wife, mom nor employee I once was. My life has been stripped from me and I continue to ask the medical community for help and assistance, yet no one knows what to do.

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

I now have a cardiologist, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, rheumatologist, physical therapist, psychiatrist, gastroenterologist, restorative neurology, ophthalmologist, allergist, dermatologist, internal medicine doctor as well as my PCP. I have been hospitalized once to, been to the walk in clinic, the ER and doctors offices more times than I can count. Most all test results have been normal.

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

Initially I was diagnosed with serotonin syndrome in the hospital in February because they could not believe this was vaccine related (was reduced from 60 mg Cymbalta to 30 mg when heart issues began as per my amazing psychiatrist at the end of January, so serotonin syndrome was obviously not the issue). Cleveland clinic wrote a letter I can no longer receive Covid vaccines unfortunately as I want protection. Fast forward to Cleveland clinic Thanksgiving week I was diagnosed with a severe adverse reaction to vaccine and have had more testing and go back in December for more assessments.

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

Things that have helped: Time, sleep, stress management, fisher Wallace brain stimulation, freespira breathing program, NAC, my husband and children, and more importantly people like us connecting and supporting one another.

Q: What do you wish others knew?

Although I was first in the family to get vaccinated and have issues, my husband and teenagers are all fully vaccinated with no issues known. My son also contracted Covid last month and we pushed through. I know we are the minority, but I shudder to think what boosters could bring to my precious children and their future.

#WeWantToBeHeard #RealNotRare