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Sandi Nelson, Nurse

First Dose of Moderna on 12/29/20

Wheatland, Missouri

40 yrs old

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

I was a healthy (preexisting HTN and hypothyroid both controlled with meds) and happy mother of 3 beautiful children. I worked as a nurse full time. I was going back to school for my NP and I enjoyed my life and was active with work and home life.

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

I received my first and only vaccine on 12/29/2020. The next day I had a presyncopal episode and was taken to my PCP. My reaction was labeled as a "panic attack".

The first two weeks after the vaccine were horrible. I experienced waves of sever chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, painful paresthesia's, tremors, it felt like my brain was on fire, dizziness, head pressure, brain fog, muscle spams, and electrical sensations throughout my entire body.

After the initial two weeks the symptoms "calmed" a bit but as time went on my health continued to deteriorate.

By the fourth month my brain fog worsened, I suffered from headaches, the "waves" that I described above would still come and go with all the same symptoms.

By eight months I suddenly developed difficulty swallowing and lost my appetite completely. I lost almost 40 pounds in one month and suffered from what I though then was severe anxiety that I could not control because that was what I was being told even though I knew better.

After that I developed limb weakness, severe fatigue, fasciculations in my calf muscle and I noticed I could not stand without my heart rate going into the 130's or higher, increased sweating, increased urination, mild insomnia, hair loss, changes in my menses, low back pain, short term memory loss.

I lost my job because of this and struggled to get out of bed most days. I went to the emergency room multiple times seeking answers because I knew something was not right. Every time to be told they could find nothing wrong or that it was "anxiety".

I found an ER doctor that referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist listened to me and diagnosed me with migraine equivalent, POTS, fatigue along with others and acknowledged it was vaccine related.

Today I am 12 months out and still suffer many of these symptoms. I am unable to currently work because I never know how I am going to feel when and if I can get out of bed.

It is so frustrating that most providers are not acknowledging these symptoms as vaccine related symptoms. My new primary care also acknowledges that it is vaccine related and I am thankful for that. Now we just need to find answers!

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

I have never been so sick in my life. It is very hard when we do not have answers for what the exact cause is and how to treat it. It seems like only the symptoms can be treated with no known knowledge of the root cause. I struggle daily and continue to keep going for my children and family. They have been very supportive. I do not know what I would do without them. I pray that one day I and everyone suffering can fully heal.

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

I have been diagnosed with POTS, migraine equivalent, chronic fatigue, post vaccination inflammatory response syndrome, painful paresthesia's, headaches, anemia, dysphagia, and vaccine reaction. My neurologist and new primary care have been a lot of help and at least acknowledging these reactions are from the vaccine.

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

I reported it myself to VAERS and have heard nothing.

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

Rest, vitamins, increased water and patients. At the beginning I felt like it was going to kill me. Some symptoms have slowly gotten better over the last year and some have worsened. Knowing that I am not alone has made a HUGE difference.

Q: What do you wish others knew?

I wish people that do not believe this is from the vaccine could feel just for a moment what we are going through and that this is real. If they were in our shoes they would want answers also. My experience has completely changed my outlook. I know it is very very very hard, I have been there, but I would want others to know that they are not alone and that there are people on their side and to stay strong! I believe the true answers will surface.


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Jul 14, 2022

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