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Patty Grabow, Registered Nurse

First dose of Pfizer 1/7/21 Lot #EL3246

Second Dose of Pfizer 1/29/21 Lot #EL3248

Sacramento, California


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

Prior to the vaccine I was a busy 57y.o. Wife, Mom, Mimi and Nurse. I worked as an RN in a covid Urgent Care 3 days a week and never contracted covid. I used to walk my dogs daily and had just started my 5th thirty-day yoga challenge in January when I got the vaccine. I would go to the gym, work in the yard and read 1-2 books per week.


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

After the first dose I had headaches, fatigue, and nausea so I was nervous to get the second dose. I consulted with my PCP and the Docs I work with and all agreed because of my asthma (my only health issue prior to this) that I should go ahead and get the second dose. The day after my second dose, along with the previous symptoms I also developed shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, my body was ‘buzzing’, I felt shaky, my heart was racing, my limbs were heavy, my brain was fogged and I was exhausted.


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

The first few months I would only be able to fold a load of laundry, go rest, put the laundry away and go lie down for the rest of the day because of the shortness of breath, racing heart and limb heaviness. I still can’t drive myself anywhere that is more than 15-20 minutes away and if I do I have to sit in my car for ten minutes to rest before going in for an appointment or before driving myself home. Even showering has become an extreme sport on bad days with rest periods between the shower and getting dressed. The brain fog makes my sentences sound jumbled at times because I can’t find the right word, my thoughts seem off, my creativity is a bit stunted. I’m unable to walk my dogs, run errands on my own, or vacuum two rooms in a row. I have 3-4 days a week where my breathing is rough and I just sit or lie around huffing and puffing with only minimal activities. Nothing helps and movement or walking makes the breathing worse. Insomnia makes it hard to sleep at nite and I have difficulty napping so true rest is difficult to find. Day by day I don’t know what to expect and have been unable to return to work.


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

I was seen by my PCP who thankfully believed that my symptoms were caused by the vaccine. I had to go to the Urgent Care I work at a couple of times to be seen and of course they believed me because they know how I was prior to the vaccine. All of my labs, X-rays, EKG’s, and CT’s have come back normal. In June I was seen by a Cardiologist who said all of the tests and monitoring he had done were normal but that I did have some POTS symptoms and we discussed how to deal with those. I saw a Pulmonologist that was of no help, but all the tests he ordered were normal as well, he just didn’t know how to help me and wasn’t interested in what was going on with me.


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

VAERS reports have been done and I’ve heard from them once. I did the V-Safe and someone called to check on me twice. For the first 7 months or so I called Pfizer monthly to report that I was still having symptoms, I have filled our paperwork for the several times describing my symptoms. The last call in September I talked to 3 different departments asking if they were doing a study on those of us with adverse effect and no one knew of any follow up or how to help me, they just told me to see my Doctor.


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

Only rest seems to help. I take several supplements but haven’t really noticed a difference whether I take them or not. Nine months out from the vaccine … some symptoms have improved and some remain the same. I have a few good days a week where I can shower, drive myself to the grocery, come home and unload and put the food away… but then I’m done for the day. My concentration is improving and on good days I can read a chapter a day - way different for me than a book a week. On good days I can ride the exercise bike or do yoga for 15 minutes but not both on the same day or two days in a row as I am exhausted the next day with body aches.


Q: What do you wish others knew?

I wish people knew that these adverse effects are real. Nobody is talking about the side effects and yet everyone is talking about them. Social media needs to stop the ‘fact-checking’ and the government needs to stop the mandates. More research needs to be done before boosters or vaccinating children. They won’t know how to help the children because they don’t know how to help us.


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Thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you a complete recovery.

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