I’m a busy stay-at-home mom to a five-year-old girl and also work from home – I have my own home daycare. Before the vaccination I was actively running, training for a marathon and working in my yard and house. I loved my job and the kids I looked after. I was always on the go, hauling my daughter somewhere on play dates, ballet class, school movie nights, etc.
I got the vaccine to protect my parents and to be able to see my husband’s family who lives in another province. I myself was never worried about catching COVID ‘cause I knew I was strong, healthy and young enough to fight it off.
My first vaccination was a Pfizer vaccine. I had a sore arm for a couple of days and went about my life.
On June 30, 2021 my husband and I both went for our second vaccination. We were told that there was a Pfizer shortage and after being originally told NOT to mix the vaccines, the health representative in our district assured everyone that it was but a myth and all was fine. Anyways, I got my second vaccination which was the Moderna one. The woman who gave it to me stabbed the needle right into a nerve in my arm. The injection wasn’t aspirated as I felt this insanely weird tingling in my left foot. At the time I even told my husband, ‘Whoa, something isn’t right here. I shouldn’t have felt that!’
I went home and woke up the next morning feeling like I had been out on a binge the night before – body aches and that hungover feeling. But oh, the body aches were really something! I wrapped myself in our giant duvet from our bed, put on a podcast through my headphones and laid on the couch. I don’t remember this, as I was in and out of consciousness, but my daughter said I was moaning loudly, likely from the pain my body was feeling. I remember finally falling asleep and waking after a few hours. I took down an entire bag of Ruffles chips and a huge Gatorade and felt better. That was the end of it. Or so I thought……….
A couple of days later my period started; totally normal, totally fine. This period stopped briefly after five days for about a day and then flared her ugly self back up for another 50 days straight. Yup a 50 DAY MENSTRUAL CYCLE!! The walk-in doctor who I saw about it said it was likely my contraceptive reacting to the vaccine and I shouldn’t worry. I got used to it and just let it run its course even while we were on holidays. After the cycle quit, I got two more normal cycles and now nothing. Just nothing. My cycle has now evaporated. I have the PMS symptoms but nothing is happening.
Fast forward from the summer to October which was when I started noticing some really strange and painful changes.
One evening on our way home from a football game I noticed this strange stiffness in my hands. I was trying to text the score to a friend but my thumbs wouldn’t actually stay steady on the phone. I had bouncing thumbs. I chalked this up to maybe too much sugar at the game? Or too much time between meals that day? But as time progressed, these symptoms started to get much worse.
I was vacuuming the stairs one day and my arms kept cramping, like a carpal tunnel feeling. I was writing a cheque for my daughter for school and my hand cramped up painfully. By Halloween my arms, hands, fingers, feet, toes and legs from the knee down, were swollen and painful to use. I barely made it through the trick or treating with my daughter. With some nudging from my family, I went to a walk-in doctor the next day. He said it was a bit of swelling and sent me off with fluid capsules. Three weeks of fluid capsules brought no change. The painful swelling continued and I couldn’t even bend my toes. I spent many of those nights staring up at the ceiling ‘cause there was nothing that was helping.
Fast forward to December of this past year. I had been referred to an internist who I thought would be the answer to all my problems. Prior to our visit I had given up on the old walk-in doctor and started seeing my dad’s doctor who is Welsh, and well, he’s been a lifesaver ever since. He took me off the fluid capsules the minute I sat in his office. He proceeded to prescribe me a low dose of prednisone to help with the swelling. Two days later and I was back to my old self. Cleaning, getting ready for the holidays, chasing my daughter….. I felt renewed and confident this was the answer.
Sadly it wasn’t.
I had a couple more visits with him and a disastrous consultation with the Doctor of Internal Medicine, who suggested I had Lyme disease, (as ‘vaccine injury isn’t real’). My current doctor said to disregard whatever the internist said. He said we would be moving forward on our own to treat this as an auto-immune problem caused by the vaccine. After hearing my story and that the symptoms were staying the same, he was convinced it was due to injury from the vaccine. He assured me that I wasn’t the first, nor was I the last. He prescribed me hydroxychloroquine which apparently has been known to lessen some of the effects of things such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. I started that a few weeks ago, along with treatment for hypothyroidism and Vitamin B12 pills to help that too. I have never been on so many prescription meds in my entire 33 years on this earth.
Throughout all this I’ve had five different rounds of blood and urine tests, all of which come back with a mixed bag of results. More recently, I’ve exhibited elevated hormone levels which are sometimes linked to problems with the pituitary gland and Hashimoto’s Disease.
I continue to remain a medical mystery and am now awaiting an MRI, a follow-up with the internist (oh goody……), a follow-up for an echocardiogram with a cardiologist and a VERY long wait to see a rheumatologist. I have also developed chronic hives, which apparently instead of getting better with creams and prescription ointments, are getting worse.
Overall I am remaining positive and optimistic that we are getting closer to finding out what this actually is, and moving into the correct form of treatment. I am terrified of what could possibly happen next. The swelling continues in my arms, legs (knees down) and feet. The pain still continues, mostly in the joints of my hands. I have to lie down and rest many times during the day due to rapid heartbeat and generally feeling lethargic, something that is not good, given my profession.
My life is very different now. Everyday is a surprise. Some days (like today) I feel great and ready to tackle everything in my house and run up a toboggan hill with my daughter. Other days just a small trip to the grocery store or walking my daycare kids to school turns into me needing a nap for many hours. I can no longer sit on the floor for an extended period of time to play with my daughter. Sitting at a restaurant table, movie theater or a seat in a car for longer than about an hour becomes excruciating and uncomfortable. I can no longer lift my 20 lb dumb bells, do my workout programs or go for my beloved runs that I used to do.
My job has become more difficult. I have to physically bend all the way down to pick up the three year old I look after to put her in a chair for lunch. I had to upgrade my sled and wagon in order to better handle the pressure on my arms and legs. I don’t sleep through the night very often anymore. Most recently two nights of 11 pm to 5am sleeps in a row have been a major victory. Unusually I am jarred awake with pain and burning in my arms and hands. I end up getting up and putting on my brace, taking a Tylenol and curling back up with a heating pad around my arms for some relief. Eventually I doze off but by that point, it is time for my day to start. Everyday tasks like shoveling snow or unloading heavy groceries just can’t be done without me needing ice, heat and a high dose of drugs. It’s become unpredictable, although most days are now manageable.
I want others reading this to know you are not alone.
We all tried to do what we thought was best and what our government officials, etc. told us we needed to do in order to end it all. We did it and now we are suffering the grave consequences.
I am thankful everyday for my other doctor, my father-in-law who is also a doctor, and who has been guiding my husband and I through this incredibly strange period of our lives. I have found people who are supportive, who understand my story and who have been advocating for the fight that I am about to embark on.
I am thankful that I still have the use of my arms and legs, although limited and tiring. For this, I am truly blessed. My heart breaks at all these stories of vaccine injury in adults, children and seniors. It is nice to know I am not alone on this journey into a new season that is now my life.
I am grateful for the love of my husband, daughter, parents and brother who are constantly supporting whatever decisions I make and are always there to hear all the details, however gross and gory they may be.
‘Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scard” – Khalil Gibran
NOTE: Since writing this story in December 2021, Andrea has an update:.
- The internist still claimed it was Lyme Disease and could no longer help. He also canceled my rheumatology referral.
- We found out we were expecting at the same time I had a spontaneous abortion. According to the nurse it was vaccine related for sure, and not because of the meds that I’m on.
- The family doctor sent a new referral to a rheumatologist and I finally have an appointment for June!!!
- The constant pain continues, along with the swollen legs and feet and sore hands. I can only bend my middle knuckles which makes things like cleaning or wiping cupboards and tying shoes tough.
- I’m going for blood work on Friday for updated counts to see if we need to make adjustments to any of the meds I’m currently on.
- When I wrote my initial post I was COVERED in hives from the neck down. In the end my doctor diagnosed it as an NSAIDs allergy (allergy to anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, ibuprofen, Alleve, Motrin, aspirin). This apparently is common with auto-immune issues. I also have foods or elements that I now react to and I have to have antihistamines on hand at all times. At my nephew’s hockey game, the cold in the arena (which wasn’t terrible. I live in Manitoba and for me cold is -42 degrees), caused my skin to become inflamed and itch like crazy. Once I took an antihistamine it settled, but it is just another wild symptom to add to the list. So my issues are currently being explored as rheumatoid arthritis , Hashimoto’s or thyroiditis.