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Toni Pedersen

First Dose of Pfizer on 07/20/21

Pembroke Ontario, Canada

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

I was basically living the dream. My family and I moved into our waterfront cottage in 2019. I was working a part-time job that I enjoyed immensely. We had 2 dogs, and spent 80% of my time outside on the beach, in the woods, or floating in the water.

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

The day after my vaccination, while at work, I felt a crushing, burning pain in my chest. I kept removing my mask trying to catch a full a breath. I was very light headed, with a terrible headache. My throat hurt too much to swallow. When I crouched down to lift something up, and I couldn't get up, I knew it was time to go home. Two days later I had a covid test done. It came back negative on the 26th. I had no energy at all. My legs felt as though they were filled with concrete. My shoulders, neck, ears, and eyes were in so much pain. July 28th, I visited Pembroke Regional Hospital's ER. I had a pink, bumpy rash on the roof of my mouth, and ulcers on my tonsils, and pharynx. Anything I tried to eat or drink was so painful, and would then result in terrible stomach pain. The doctor on call diagnosed me with reflux, and prescribed raberprazole. Muscle and joint pain worsened. I was super weak, having 2 naps a day. Leg cramps, esophagus felt restricted with breathing. Hurt to talk. Voice was hoarse. Dizzy, no appetite. Anything ingested would cause nausea. Upper abdomen was bloated and hurt. Terrible headache, ringing in ears, and really sore back. August 6th I went back to the ER where the same doctor was on call. She did a rapid strep test. It was negative. Also a bacterial swab, which showed nothing of concern. She prescribed sucralfate and sent a referral for a scope. August 10th, had a massage to try and alleviate back pain. August 11th quit cottage cleaning job. Manager at part-time job suggested I take sick leave. Phone appointment with family doctor on August 11th, who suggested I hold off on my second dose until I felt better. August 16th, phone consultation with surgeon regarding scope and colonoscopy. August 18th, abdominal ultrasound. There was an x-ray performed on my back, which showed nothing. Started seeing a chiropractor. Deemed a very complicated case and to focus on one issue. I chose my legs. I could hardly walk. Conducted 6 sessions of laser therapy on the back of my neck to try and reduce inflammation. After the 6th session the chiropractor attempted to relieve 'reflux' discomfort which resulted in the next two days completely non-functional and in excruciating pain. Next visit, I was treated with acupuncture to try calming the flare. My mental state was deteriorating rapidly. October 3, I checked in the Acute Mental Heath Ward at the Pembroke Regional Hospital. I lost my will to carry on feeling the way I did. I stayed for 20 days. I am still without a therapist. But have finally been referred to see an immunologist in Ottawa. No date yet.

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

After the vaccine, I lost all income. Began isolating myself from my family and friends. Basically moved into my pop-up camper so I wouldn't have to deal with stairs. Everything was completely overwhelming. All I did was cry, try to numb the pain with cannabis, which in turn messed with my anti-depressants, causing my mental state to take a downward plunge. I couldn't stand up on my own, I couldn't understand what was happening, and I did not intend to continue living that way. Discharged from the hospital on October 22. I was spending 80% of my time in bed. I graduated from a walker to a cane. Still have terrible leg cramps, spasms from head to toe. My head would wobble if I tried to sit upright. Was still having terrible crying spells that would last for hours. The pressure in my head felt as though my brain was going to burst through my ears and eyes. I was at my worst. Nov. 11th now. Tylenol arthritis at regular times has starting helping reduce the frequency of leg cramps, zaps, and spasms. First thing in the morning, I am able to stand up from bed now, and walk 6 feet to the washroom. I am very shaky though. I hardly sleep anymore. I can get outside with my dog and get some fresh air a couple times a day. I folded laundry for the first time today in months. My elbows, wrists and back are suffering for it. I am still having a hard time mentally. My support group is small, as I have let few in. It is difficult to have a conversation at times, stuttering, or not being able to find the words. It's embarrassing and frustrating. I am constantly wondering if this is all a bad dream. While I fight negative thoughts everyday, I am learning to pace myself, and trying to find doable activities that bring me joy. I do miss my independence. And I hate that my loved ones are so worried about me.

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

As entered above: misdiagnosed for reflux. Definitely have severe depression. Sought help from 2 different naturopaths. Both suggested detoxing, which i did for weeks. The Renfrew County District Health Unit has been very helpful with compiling files, and offering advice, especially after sending them videos of my hand tremors, leg spasms and full body shakes while trying to walk. They, as well as my family doctor agreed a referral to an immunologist was warranted. I will be doing a toxic metal urine analysis this week. Ordered by my ND.

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

Reaction was reported with RCDHU. My family doctor would not sign the Adverse Effects From Immunization report as I never physically saw her. Just phone appointments.

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

Focus on healing, adding herbs, supplements, vitamins, healthy gluten-free, vegan meals. Resting. Setting boundaries, avoiding over-stimulation.

Q: What do you wish others knew?

I wish others would understand that one vaccination can not be fit for everyone. So many of us are injured. I knew it was all happening too fast and I wish I had honored my gut feeling to wait a little longer. Now I, along with many others, and our families have to deal with shattered dreams. No idea of what's to come. Will we heal? What about the others? And now the children?! We should have a choice. More research should be done, and shared!

#WeWantToBeHeard #RealNotRare