First Dose of Pfizer on 04/08/21 Lot #EX0904
69 yrs old
Q: What was your life like before you got the vaccine?
I babysat my granddaughter one day a week. We played hide and seek, tag, took her to the park, played on the neighbor's trampoline, etc. I tap danced (I have since I was 20), worked out, power walked, took art classes, cooked elaborate meals, and kept the house clean and tidy. I enjoyed renovating my bedroom and bathroom, putting fabric, paint, tile samples together, choosing my new shower and vanity, decorating the spare bedroom for my granddaughter and future grandchild who would arrive in July. I retired as a realtor in 2018.
Q: Would you like to share your reasons for getting vaccinated?
I had anxiety over getting covid. I was told over and over again how safe the vaccines were, and about the promise of getting back to a normal life.
Q: What was your reaction, symptoms, & timeline?
I have two diseases. Relapsing Polychondritis (autoimmune disease) managed with OTC drugs, and retinitis pigmentosa (R.P), a genetic eye disease. Fortunately, my R.P gene is/was a slow progression gene.
I received my Pfizer vaccine at 3:00 p.m. on April 8th, 2021. My only worry at the time was about my autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity was in the news, albeit confusing news, and Astrazeneca was causing blood clots, which had something to do with the immune system. I didn’t even think about my eye disease. I had no concerns whatsoever.
Let me digress here. I’ve kept a diary since I was 12 years old, so I have contemporaneous notes on all that has happened to me.
That evening on the same day as the shot, I was sitting at the kitchen table just after dinner. I was looking out the window, when I noticed this squiggly line in the right side of my vision. I said out loud, “what the hell is that?” I’d never experienced something like that in the past. I decided that it must have something to do with my eye disease, weird but ok, and I went on with things.
Then on the morning of April 27th, at 4:45 A.M, I was awakened with what seemed to be excessive postnasal drip. I sat up in bed and all this blood came gushing out of my right nostril, all over my white sheets. I thought, “this is odd”, then hastily but reluctantly got out of bed to deal with the mess. Later that evening, I again noticed changes to my eyesight and I began to wonder if the vaccine may have something to do with destroying my vision. "But the vaccine is safe", I told myself, and besides, my friends and family were saying “the vaccine wouldn’t do that.”
On Saturday May 9th, I woke up with an extreme sore throat. I finally got ahold of my doctor on the following Tuesday, but she required a negative covid test before she would see me. My negative results came back on the 14th. She felt it was strep throat and put me on antibiotics. While convalescing on the couch and watching T.V, I suddenly got this extreme rush of floaters. I was becoming very concerned about my eyesight. My husband told me I was overreacting. I was taking Tylenol for the pain and sleeping on and off. I texted my long-time girlfriend about my concerns. She texted back and pointed out that I don’t even wear glasses, my vision was better than hers, and I don’t have a white cane. I thought, o.k, I’m making a mountain out of a molehill.
Thursday June 3/21 7:45 A.M. I wrote: My fear and stress are building as I’m noticing more vision loss, and I feel strongly that the vaccine has something to do with it. I fear getting another one. I call my doctor, but she’s up north on vacation.
Wednesday June 9th/21 2:28 P.M. I wrote: I know stress isn’t good for eyesight, but I have been so f..ing stressed. There has been a notable decline in my vision. I’m petrified and terrified to get the second shot.
Tuesday June 15th/21 5:47 A.M. I wrote: I had to take a half of a Lorazepam (Ativan) last night. I am so stressed. This vaccine, I don’t know how, but it is reducing my eyesight. Look how much it has taken in 2 months. There is no way out of this. I can’t un-vaccinate myself. Where is this going? I tried to get in and see an Ophthalmologist yesterday, but there is a 6 month wait because of shut down. I had so much positivity towards this vaccine. I am terrified of it now, not just for me but for my family too.
Thursday June 17th/21 6:18 A.M. I wrote: The doctor called me yesterday at 10:00 A.M. She heard what a mess I am. She took this seriously and told me to get hold of an Optometrist and let her know who I pick, and she will call to try to get me in ASAP.
I got in to see the Optometrist at noon. She did all the usual tests and told me that where I was complaining of vision loss there was no evidence of R.P She wondered if it had something to do with my autoimmune disease and suggested I get hold of my Rheumatologist. I told her I wanted to see a Retinal Specialist. She ended up calling the Ophthalmologist (the only office in my city), figuring I’d get an appointment sooner than a Retinal Specialist. The Ophthalmologist said he’d decide whether I needed to see a Retinal Specialist when he saw me. My appointment wasn’t until August 20th. I’d just switched to a new Rheumatologist whom I had never met because of lock down. He said sure, send me a photo of your retina, but I don’t know what I can do. Which of course, he was right.
I spent the next 2 ½ months waiting to get into see the Ophthalmologist in total panic. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I was exhausted and couldn’t stop shaking. My family doctor suggested I get on anti-depressants, which also contained anti-anxiety properties. I took one and got some sleep, but the next day I was an agitated mess. I couldn’t sit down. I just kept pacing and pacing. I felt crazy in my head. I was scared over the way I felt. I was this insane pacing person from the afternoon onwards. My husband didn’t know how to contend with me. That evening he went to bed. I couldn’t sit let alone, so I went to lay in bed. By midnight I was so scared, I called an ambulance. They came in and instructed me to put on a mask, but I couldn’t because I couldn’t stop vomiting. I showed them the anti-depressant I had taken, and told them I was experiencing vision loss after the Pfizer vaccine. They said the vaccine wouldn’t do that. The hospital checked all my vitals, I was fine but had low sodium levels.
Over the next 2 months I watched more of my vision go. I could no longer see the frame around the T.V, or on a split screen shot, I could only see one person at a time. When sitting at the kitchen table, I couldn’t see my husband if I was looking at my daughter and vice versa. I saw my hand turn white whilst chopping vegetables, the next day I could no longer see my hand. For a time, it felt like I had electrical currents going through my brain. It was quite unnerving. My son brought my granddaughter over, and I freaked out inside, when parts of her were missing visually. Rooms were dimming. I went through 3 days of everything looking amber-colored. I was literally living a nightmare. During this high anxiety time, I got addicted to anti-anxiety drugs. Getting off them was horrendous, as withdrawal causes extreme anxiety. I was in a sheer panic. I was desperate and trying to self-diagnose online. I saw medical journals that sited cases of loss of sight after the vaccine. Autoimmune retinopathy was one serious side effect along with others. Because I have an autoimmune disease, I felt this could be a possibility. Fortunately for the people sited in the medical journals, they got seen immediately and put on steroids.
Finally, August 20th rolled around for my appointment with the Ophthalmologist. He didn’t believe me at all about the vaccine causing my loss of vision and saw no indication of inflammation in my eyes. By now I was legally blind. He would refer me to a Retinal Specialist and order an ERG. The following month I had the ERG but still no appointment for a Retinal Specialist. One night at 9:00 P.M., he called me with the results of the ERG. “This is serious, this is really serious". He kept repeating how serious my situation was. There was loss of rods and cones and colour vision, and I had scarring. His last words to me were, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU NEVER NOTICED THIS BEFORE.”
More time went by and still no Retinal Specialist appointment. I was sending out emails to various doctors looking for any help. I came across a doctor who suggested I see this other Rheumatologist as he was very involved in long covid research, and he maybe be more knowledgeable. In the last week of September, I emailed him, and he fit me in right away to see him during his lunch hour. He was fantastic. I had no proof that the vaccine did this to me, but I brought my diary to illustrate to him that before the vaccine, I was a normal active person going about my life, with no mention of vision loss before April 8th, the day I got vaccinated. He let me read it to him, interrupting only to ask me questions. He was very interested. Best of all, he believed me. He ordered blood work. He was interested particularly in my immune system. He had his suspicions and wanted to verify it through blood work. He said if your complement 3 (C3) is down, I suspect you may have had a complement activation. The blood results showed my C3 was down, as well as a sky-high platelet count. He wanted to know when I was going to be seeing a Retinal Specialist. I told him, as of yet I don’t have an appointment. He assured me that the vision loss was over. He called me a few days later to tell me he had called the Ophthalmologist to find out about the Retinal Specialist appointment. The Ophthalmologist told him that the Retina Specialist cancelled the referral, because she was too booked. OMG, he didn’t tell me that!!! Anyway, he dropped the ball on two other Retinal Specialists appointments. I no longer see that incompetent SOB. The Rheumatologist was angry, and he believed I should have had ocular steroid injections early in this nightmare. He is now my Rheumatologist, and I love him. I ended up seeing another Ophthalmologist, who also didn’t believe that the vaccine had anything to do with my vision loss. I finally do have an appointment to see a Retinal Specialist.
The ball game has been played. Nothing is going to help me now. Just as an aside, for two months after being vaccinated, I only experienced a few minor autoimmune flares that lasted for a couple days, then no flares at all for 8 months. Since, I’ve had two minor flares. I recently have in my possession 5.3.6 Cumulative Analysis of post-authorization adverse event reports of PF-07302048 (BNT162B2). Part of it says, "Any disclosure, reproduction, distribution, or other dissemination of this information outside of Pfizer, its Affiliates, its Licensees, or Regulatory Agencies is strictly prohibited." This is a worldwide collection of adverse side effects (which are stunningly numerous) 30-Apr-2021. I sure wish I knew about this data before getting the vaccine that has irrevocably destroyed my eyesight. In my case, the side effect listed in the report was called Retinitis Pigmentosa Syndrome and Complement factor C3 abnormal decreased Complement. I got this report online. Anyone can now find it.
Q: What is your life like now, after getting the vaccine?
I shake with anxiety, and my head bobs. I can't babysit with young, active grandchildren. I can no longer tap dance or go to art class, can't get my hair done, and I don't keep up with housework the way I used to. Because of having only one vaccine, I won't be going to public places like restaurants. I won't be going shopping for lamps or pictures to match my bedroom. I'm scared, and it still shocks me when I notice the amount of eyesight I have lost. I can no longer keep the window treatments open, as it hurts my eyes. I loved letting the sun come beaming in. I now suffer from something called Photopsia, which are constant light flashes in my vision, I hate it. Not only did the vaccine ruin my life, but it effects my family too. I'm worse off now than before the vaccine. I'm still not protected and have lost vision. I deeply grieve for my old life.
Q: Share your experience with any medical care and any diagnoses you have received:
I have seen my family doctor, lots of eye doctors, and my Rheumatologist. My family doctor and Rheumatologist are the only ones who believe me. The rest say it's either a coincidence, or when I say that my eyesight went within a few months, I'm told that I just didn't notice my eyesight was going prior to the vaccine. Nothing can be done for me.
Q: Was your reaction reported, and what was the response?
I reported to Pfizer by phone, and then I filled out the side effects papers, which my family doctor signed. When I got vaccinated, I signed up for a vaccine survey that tracks effects by the province, and I ticked off the box that said vision loss. Got one call back months later, in which she apologized for taking so long to get back to me, because they have been so busy. (interesting)
Q: Is there anything that has helped, and have your symptoms improved?
I talk to a psychologist which is now down to every third week. My symptoms have not improved and never will. The damage is permanent.
Q: Have you had Covid before? What was your experience if so?
I have never had covid.
Q: What do you wish others knew?
I wish the medical profession as a whole would get educated on the reality that severe, adverse side effects from the vaccines really are occurring. You're suffering and yet made to feel like you're delusional or just looking for attention. How can they not know, anyway?? Are they really that clueless? I am so thankful for discovering this site. It gives us a voice, so we can finally be heard. Only we who have had a very bad experience can appreciate and relate to others who are in the same boat. It is a very isolating and lonely experience. It's like you feel you are no longer a part of our society. I call it vaxism. Someone said online, which I loved, "Covid vaccines are the leading cause of coincidences."
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