Hi, my name is Ana and this is my story. Two hours after my first Moderna vaccine I found myself short of breath when going upstairs. Over the next three days things worsened, with my heart rate at 130bpm, heart palpitations and chest pain.
My first trip to ER was dismissed as ‘anxiety or gastritis’. A few days later things got worse. I had a heart rate constantly above 130bpm while laying down. I was nauseous, felt like I was having a heart attack and was gasping for air while resting. I also had muscle twitching all over my body.
My second trip to ER and all tests came back normal. However, I was unable to breathe and had stabbing and burning chest pains. I was referred to cardiologist. His referral stated my condition was ‘a combination of simple side effects and anxiety’. I asked for an exemption because I still didn’t feel 100%. He refused and said I should take the second Moderna vaccine.
He also wrote in the letter that I was able to resume normal activities. This was not true because I was still on medical leave. Even sitting in a chair, working from home, was making me exhausted. I also had a fever during this entire month. During my visit he indicated that I might have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) but didn’t put anything in writing.
After four weeks of recovery and bed-ridden for most of that time, I started feeling a little bit better. I took my second Moderna vaccine. This time the side effects were even worse. After 12 hours my body started twitching violently all over and wouldn’t stop. It was frightening. I had a very fast heart rate and palpitations for three days straight. The fast heart rate was nonstop and nothing would relieve it. I felt like I was having a heart attack for the entire three days.
My face and arm felt numb and I had constant ringing in my ears. I had temperature fluctuation, with two fingers super cold and the others hot. My fasting blood sugar levels became borderline diabetic and I have no previous history of diabetes. I lead a healthy lifestyle and grow my own veggies. I felt as though I was constantly being pumped by adrenaline.
Throughout that time I was taking heavy doses of aspirin to mute the immune response. I can only imagine that without aspirin, I would have been in ICU. After three weeks, I did stop taking it and this is where things took a turn for the worse. I slowly started going out to malls and shops, but gradually my symptoms worsened. Then came a new onset of sharp, stabbing chest pain that was radiating into my shoulder and arm. This alternated with burning hot pressure-like chest pain. I couldn’t walk for more than a few metres without my heart pounding so hard. It felt like it would jump out of my chest. I was breathless just trying to walk from my car to Coles.
I was supposed to travel to my home country, to see my dad, who I hadn’t seen for three years. I was already packed but had to cancel eight hours before departure. My chest pain was so bad that I couldn’t stand, and my veins got very swollen and painful. The veins in my forehead, neck and palm were pulsating. You could see them pounding with the naked eye. The day after I cancelled the trip I went straight to my GP who referred me to cardiologist for another echocardiogram and a 24 hour Holter monitor.
The original appointment was late in January. Not wanting to wait, I decided to go to a private clinic. They scheduled my appointment two days later.
My ECG was normal, but I was informed that I had pericarditis and that I shouldn’t be flying. The next day they booked me in with a cardiologist. He unfortunately told me that I had chronic recurrent pericarditis and that I shouldn’t have taken the second jab at all because it did me more harm than good. The cardiologist was so kind, professional and understanding that I nearly started crying. Other than my GP, this was the first doctor who acknowledged my injury and said the road in front is long, but he will help me recover.
He put me on colchicine and ivabradine to lower my crazy heart rate and make me feel more comfortable. He booked me in for an MRI. He also gave me an exemption from all future jabs and said I should never take another mRNA vaccine again. He said that tests don’t always show pericarditis, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have it. He was also concerned that I have recurring pericarditis, which is harder to treat now, because it wasn’t properly healed the first time.
If I didn’t have the luck to have stumbled across this cardiologist, I’d be walking around with undiagnosed chronic pericarditis. Who knows what could’ve happened on my flight, in the air or above the ocean, without medical help… Not being dramatic, this doctor perhaps saved my life and I’ll be forever grateful to him. For the other doctors and nurses, who ‘poo-pooed’ off my pericarditis as anxiety and gastritis, I have no feelings, other than pure disgust. They are truly breaking the Hippocratic oath of ‘do no harm’ and I don’t think such people should be allowed to practise medicine ever again.