I am a 30-year-old, who was fit and healthy. I’ve never had any health issues. I’m not anti-vaccine, I have had everything else and I have taken my kids for all of theirs. But I didn’t want to get this particular vaccine. I was scared, and had a gut feeling I would get sick so I put it off for as long as I could. Then the mandates came in and I had no choice.
On my lunch break I went and got my first Pfizer vaccine. It was August 27th, 2021, at 11:30am. I went back to work and clocked off at 5pm.
That night I couldn’t sleep, my heart was racing. I have an Apple Watch and it kept alerting me of a high heart rate – as high as 180bpm – but I managed to fall asleep. I got up at 6am, got the kids breakfast sorted. I felt cold and had a headache. I forced myself to eat. Then my chest pain started, with sharp pains in the middle of my chest, my left shoulder was aching and my hand was going numb. I thought maybe if I went back to bed I’d feel better when I woke up.
I woke up with worse chest pain and a pressure feeling around 5pm. I sat up and immediately felt dizzy, I started trying to drink water but it was a struggle. I couldn’t breathe freely. I went back to sleep but woke up many times throughout the night with chest pain, racing heart rate, shortness of breath, and when I stood up to walk I was weak and dizzy.
My husband was very worried, so we called the covid hotline and they advised us to immediately call an ambulance. The ambulance arrived very quickly. My heart rate was all over the place and at its highest they recorded 180bpm, the paramedics couldn’t work out what to do. They talked about some different treatment options but every time they did an ECG it had a different ‘possible cause’, so they took me to the hospital and assured me the doctors there would help.
There was no wait time, I had ECG, blood tests and was given fluids. The doctor told me I needed to stay in for observation, and that it was the vaccine ‘not agreeing’ with me. The doctor told me that my bloods showed high inflammation levels and that I had elevated troponin levels. But that it was nothing to worry about.
The doctor also told me my second vaccine should be administered in the ED so they could help with whatever cardiac episode I might have. I was in disbelief! I told them I wouldn’t be having anything more. The doctor got very upset and advised me not to post about any of this to social media.
Ten hours later a hospital registrar came in. He let me know that no doctors were available and I needed to follow up with a cardiologist. He said that he needed the bed and I was fine to go home. My heart rate after being in the hospital bed was irregular. but at its highest was 160bpm. My symptoms included chest pain, shortness of breath and oxygen saturation around 85. I was shocked, but went home.
The following few days my symptoms consisted of chest pain and tightness, pain when taking a deep breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, irregular heart rate and heart palpitations. I also passed out a few times. I saw my GP and she requested to see me every second day until I could get to a cardiologist. I had two cardiologists refuse to take my referral. They didn’t have experience in ‘my situation’. The third cardiologist took me on, and I got in to see him within a few days after requesting an appointment.
My first appointment was on September 20th, it lasted ten minutes and he told me it was psychological and I was fine. By this point I was overly frustrated and I requested some sort of testing be done. I basically begged for some investigation. He finally agreed to send me for tests. I had a 24-hour holter monitor on September 28th and an echo (ultrasound) on October 11th.
The ultrasound was at the hospital. When I was there my heart rate again was irregular. I was dizzy and felt so weak, I was looking pretty pale too. The technician asked if I was feeling ok. I explained my symptoms, and she called the specialist into the room to check over the scans. The specialist then called a code blue and I was rushed down to the emergency department. Finally someone was taking this seriously and helping me.
I spent four nights in hospital and received a diagnosis of pericarditis. On my follow up appointment the cardiologist said he didn’t want to see me again and that I should get my second vaccine in the new year. He did also let me know that pericarditis can reappear at anytime now, and that I should find a new cardiologist if I felt I needed to see someone.
I recently had covid, and I was in bed for 24 hours. I was lethargic and had body aches, but I was fine after a few days of rest. Six months since my first dose and I’m still experiencing chest pain and heart palpitations, I don’t have my full energy and capacity to exercise and complete tasks like before. I am still to this day getting pressure from the GP to take my second vaccination.