First Dose of Pfizer on 04/14/2021 Lot #EW0151
Second Dose of Pfizer on 05/04/2021 Lot #EW0150
54 yrs old
Q: What was your life like before you got the vaccine?
My life was good. I was healthy and active. I had a great passion for cooking and baking, it was one of the great joys of my life. Before covid, I enjoyed going out to eat with family & friends and trying new foods. I loved to eat and was able to eat whatever I wanted. I collected cookbooks and loved planning meals for my partner. We had just moved and we finally had a place large enough to invite people over. I was excited to use all my cookbooks and have family and friends over for dinners or lunches.
Q: Would you like to share your reasons for getting vaccinated?
Q: What was your reaction, symptoms, & timeline?
First shot: headache, fatigue and could not lift my injection arm for days. I dropped 2 1/2 pounds within a week and a half of the first injection but did not connect it at the time.
Second shot: This is where it all gradually falls apart. That evening INTENSE fatigue and overall aches and pains. By the end of the week my period came 8 days early and very heavy with some clotting. Within a week I started dropping more weight. I also started getting dizzy, sometimes seeing spots in my eyes like I would faint when I stood up from bending forward. I was frequently tired but was having trouble sleeping, and I had chronic pain in my left shoulder (injection site). I was anxious a lot. Most significantly I started having GI issues that gradually worsened. Between May 4th and the end of July 2021, I lost 18 lbs. unintentionally. I had loss of appetite, reflux, indigestion, coughing, sensation of food stuck in my throat, burning in my stomach. During this time I also started experiencing constant nose running in the mornings. By August I could barely eat. Eating caused pain and terrible fullness a few forkfuls made me feel like I had eaten three thanksgiving dinners. I had bloating and distention of my upper and lower abdomen. I was nauseated frequently. There was a weird shooting pain at times from my chest through to my upper back. My voice also became strained at times. At the end of August I went to the ER with black stool that were occurring for three days. They sent me home because I was anemic and told me to follow up with GI. The labs at that visit showed a delayed prothrombin time, but it was brushed off. After a multitude of medical tests, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, which essentially meant my stomach had become partially paralyzed. I was told it was incurable, and there was not a lot of treatment available. By October I could not tolerate solid food. I went on a liquid diet consisting of mostly Ensure-like nutrition drinks. I was still losing weight at this point. I also developed nerve pain along my upper abdomen. My periods were still heavy, still had sleep disturbance, profuse clear liquid pouring from my nose at times, and shakiness developed as well. I started checking my blood sugar. It was erratic and was really high in the mornings. I started getting stiff joints in both hands and developed a weird, full, clogged sensation in my left ear. Needless to say, I also became incredibly depressed.
Q: What is your life like now, after getting the vaccine?
Radically altered. My great joy in life of cooking and baking was taken from me. Being around food is like torture. I live on a mostly liquid diet of medical nutrition drinks to ensure I get the nutrients and calories I need. I suffered terrible depression for 5 months and was having panic attacks related to constant anxiety about weight loss. I still struggle to maintain my weight. I'm slowly adjusting to the idea I may never be able to eat again. I have found ways to cope with the abdominal pain, but I am not the person I used to be. Because I can only ingest small volumes of liquid at a time, I am on a somewhat strict timetable of when to ingest my nutrition drinks. I have to take an insulated bag of these drinks with me if I want to go anywhere, along with a baby bag packed with nausea medication, heat pads and other things I use to cope with pain or abdominal discomfort and distress. My clothes do not fit right because of the bloating. I have intense fatigue at times when all I can do is lay on the couch. Before all of this, I had a benign pituitary tumor that was being well controlled with medication and which had no impact on my life. However that medication can worsen the gastroparesis, so I am no longer being treated for the tumor. I have applied for disability. I still get heavy periods and the nose running. Some things have improved. My symptoms are less severe than they were in the beginning, and the ear clogging finally resolved. But I feel traumatized and have completely lost my trust in the medical community.
Q: Share your experience with any medical care and any diagnoses you have received:
Multiple blood tests, two abdominal/pelvic CT scans, CT chest scan, MRI, colonoscopy, endoscopy, esophagram, gastric emptying test and a wireless motility capsule test. At one point they thought I had GERD. I was placed on omeprazole which made everything worse. They thought I had a bleeding ulcer. I was told it was anxiety at one point. The MRI revealed I had 6 uterine fibroids, never had any issue like this in the past. The chest CT showed lung nodules. I do not smoke, never have, and I had a clear chest x-ray not all that long before the pandemic. Doctors have ranged from telling me the vaccine has nothing to do with this, to "temporal relationship" to "maybe you had some kind of autoimmune reaction", but no idea how to help other that to treat the symptoms.
Diagnosis: Gastroparesis. Confirmed by a Gastric emptying test and wireless motility capsule test.
Q: Is there anything that has helped or hurt your progress towards healing?
Omeprazole made all of my symptoms worse when they gave it to me. Stress makes everything worse. Sometimes activity can really trigger fatigue.
Motegrity helps my stomach empty, but it is still delayed even with the medication. But without it I don't even know if I could ingest the nutrition drinks. FD gard can help with the pain, and sensations of fullness and bloating. Heat pad for pain. Rest for fatigue. Topical peppermint oil (applied with a carrier oil, so my skin does not burn and dry out) for pain. Alpha lipoic acid (I think this helps resolve the nerve pain in my abdomen). Zofran for severe nausea. Hot showers for bloating. Activated charcoal for bad gassiness. Enu nutrition drinks as my primary source of nutrition. Trying to stay distracted helps with pain and abdominal distress. Miralax or laxatives for bad constipation.
The nausea has improved. Many of my symptoms are less severe now a year plus later, though they are still there. I'm still unable to go back to a normal solid diet.
Q: Have you had Covid before? What was your experience if so?
Yes. December of 2021 during the omicron peak, 7 months after being vaccinated. It was like having a cold. I had a cough that lingered about ten days, but I did not feel all that terrible. I had a flu once that was a hundred times worse.
Q: What do you wish others knew?
It's very difficult to have an "invisible" chronic illness. If people can't see it, they don't really understand it. Combine that with people not really believing or not wanting to believe that the vaccine caused it. It's a very isolating, lonely feeling. Especially when the medical community is not acknowledging the vaccine as the cause and has no help to offer. I think that's what many of us on this site are feeling. If you get sick from this vaccine you are ON YOUR OWN. If I had been made aware of the potential risks of this vaccine I would have NEVER gotten it. Not a day goes by when I don't wish I could turn back time. I don't believe Pharma or the FDA are not aware of the terrible adverse reactions and life altering illnesses this vaccine can cause. I think they prefer to keep it under wraps.
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