Anonymous – “L”

Prior to getting the COVID-19 vaccinations I was in good health although I suffered occasionally from mild sleep disorders. I was seeing a sleep specialist to resolve this. I also suffered from some mild voice and head tics after going through a highly stressful personal matter. But again, I was seeing appropriate experts to help me work through those issues. None of these things impacted on my ability to lead a full life with a busy job and part time study.

In mid-2021 my employer mandated that we must all have the COVID vaccine or risk losing our jobs. I had no initial concerns about getting the vaccine as I believed it to be safe and effective and had not heard of anyone suffering ill effects. For that reason, I willingly followed the guidelines and had my first vaccination in July 2021 followed by the second one in August 2021. Immediately after these two vaccinations I started suffering from shakiness, brain fog, skin rashes, and general fatigue.

Throughout 2021 I needed multiple appointments with specialists in areas such as neurology, gastroenterology, and immunology to deal with the symptoms I was experiencing.

Prior to this I’d had no reason for this level of involvement with specialists in my life. This was very concerning, but at that stage I did not consider the recent vaccinations to be a factor in any of it.

I started to struggle with work due to the fatigue and brain fog, and things in my life that previously would not have caused me any stress, were starting to become extremely difficult to deal with. However, I continued on and managed to still balance all my responsibilities.

In January 2022, I had my third vaccination and in September that same year, I had my fourth one. In this period however, I started suffering from rashes on my skin and severe itching. I realised it was often associated with eating specific foods or the use of medical tape. I also began experiencing a lot of skin tingling and additional generalised pain in my body.

I saw an allergist who stated that I was now reactive to histamines. This was something that I had never experienced before. I was also getting severe headaches behind my left eye, and my fatigue and brain fog became more severe. I also now experienced severe weakness and fatigue on the right-hand side of my body. I later saw a neurologist who diagnosed me with FND (Functional Neurological Disorder).

Whilst at work one day, I had a severe anaphylactic reaction to seafood. I had previously never suffered from any allergies or experienced anaphylaxis, so this was very concerning.

I presented to the local hospital where I was monitored and eventually referred to an allergy specialist who determined that I now had a severe hypersensitivity to all crustaceans, and exposure would cause anaphylaxis.

By June 2022, after the first three vaccines, I sadly ended my work contract where I had been employed for almost a decade. I was forced to do this because my performance was suffering, my brain fog had increased, and I was having frequent leave due to my numerous health problems. I had another opportunity lined up after the contract was ended but again, due to poor health, I was unable to proceed with it.

I found that I caught everything that was going around and ended up with RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and human rhinovirus. I never regained the energy I once had, and began suffering constant breathlessness, muscle weakness in my legs, a metallic taste in my mouth and had a bout of gastro that put me in hospital for a day.

I also began having more general pain sensitivity including pelvic pain. My health became more and more compromised. I experienced a couple of incidences of the “drops” where, if I stood up for too long or stood up too fast, I would simply collapse. This was in addition to acute vertigo which a physiotherapist treated me for. 

My skin became very translucent and sensitive, and my veins extremely prominent so I saw a rheumatologist to investigate whether I had EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome). He instead suggested that I see a cardiologist to see if I had POTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome).

During late 2022 and into 2023 I began having more regular presentations to hospital due to the generalised pain. I saw a gynaecologist who diagnosed me with adenomyosis (similar to endometriosis). He also found cysts on my ovaries and diverticula in my bowel. They determined that most of the pain was linked to the adenomyosis. 

I saw a dermatologist for a period of six months as I began having worsened rosacea. I had laser surgery on my cheeks to reduce the redness. The dermatologist was however, unsure as to why red dots had developed on my arms, upper thighs, and buttocks, or why my hair was thinning along with loss of the majority of the hair on my arms and legs.

I began 2023 in the worst physical health I have ever experienced. My blood pressure was constantly very high. I had red hands and feet, continual brain fog and reduced mobility. I ended up being pretty much house-bound and needing to use a walker and walking stick to get around. I purchased a motorised wheelchair for when I was unable to stand due to heart palpitations, vertigo, and collapses.  

On the 24 of March 2023, I contracted COVID whilst on a 14-day cruise. During this time, I experienced asthma, overall body weakness, chills, fever, increased hair loss on my head, arms and legs, heart palpitations and loss of taste. I took my Anapen® on the cruise as a precaution in case there was any seafood cross-contamination. During the cruise I had three incidences of anaphylaxis to foods that I’d had no previous significant issues with in the past. This included things such as strawberries, dairy, and nuts. I had to maintain a restricted diet and increase my antihistamine consumption. The list of foods that I was now reacting to was growing exponentially, but prior to the vaccinations, I only had very minor intolerances to a couple of things. 

Post cruise I found my health did not improve. I experienced terrible body weakness on the right-hand side, additional tingling in my hand and foot on the right side and more body ‘drops’. If planning to walk from one place to another I now have to think about the distance and determine if I need mobility aids to get there. I get breathless, my legs get stiff, my hands become very red and shaky, and I often collapse.  I do not lose consciousness during these episodes but my awareness at the time is definitely very limited.

In April 2023 I had an appointment with Integral Healthcare and was diagnosed with both dysautonomia and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome MCAS). My GP decided at that point to cease providing services to me as my case was becoming ‘too complex’ for him, with the involvement of cardiology, neurology, dermatology, gastroenterology, and a sleep physician. 

My memory has deteriorated, and I have very poor concentration levels. I am unable to be active, and my blood pressure is very high. The hair on my head has remained thin and patchy and the hair on my arms and legs has not regrown. I have increased parasomnia at night, thrashing my body around in my sleep, and I had one incident of sleep walking. I often have night sweats and abrupt changes in temperature at night, where previously my temperature was fairly regulated.

My medication list has tripled in the last two years and my ability to function as a human has been significantly impacted. I regularly get a deep muscle/bone ache in my arms and legs which worsens at night. My right upper thigh has fluid retention and gets itchy and painful at night. I get syncope (fainting spells) on a weekly basis, and I am unable to walk very far without significant breathlessness and acute nausea. My hands and feet are continually red, my hands tremor, my glands and lymph nodes are constantly puffy, and I cannot eat many foods without getting a mast cell activation reaction of hives, body pain, swelling and anaphylaxis. 

In May 2023 I had influenza A. Since then, my physical health has been even worse. I often need to sit for the majority of the day, and I currently cannot undertake complex work or study tasks. Right now, all work and study are on hold. In addition, the fertility treatment I’d been pursuing since mid-2021 has now had to be put on hold until my dysautonomia and other health complications improve. 

Since April 2023 my social circle has shrunk drastically. My life is so isolated now compared to what it was. It has been a difficult adjustment. I have had to present to hospital a lot more over the past year due to neurological issues, heart palpitations and anaphylaxis. I no longer feel like I am taken seriously on presentation, and I have heard nurses say, “She is overly dramatic”. My former GP accused me of seeking out multiple diagnoses, when in fact, I am just wanting answers to the symptoms I am experiencing. It feels so isolating to go from having minimal health problems to now having multiple conditions and significantly decreased functionality.

I have had a mild facial drop on my right side and there is also a marked difference in pupil size between my left and right eye. My right pupil is extremely reactive to light and this causes head tics. I have also had problems with urinary retention. 

Since March I’ve had oedema in my legs and feet, and my body looks to have more fluid under the skin. I am seeing an integrative GP this upcoming week and have been referred to a specialist physician. I am hoping they will provide me with some clarity around my health issues.

The following is a summary of my symptoms post the COVID-19 vaccinations:

  • heart palpitations, increased heart rate, high blood pressure and heart attack symptoms
  • collapses, poor balance, vertigo, nausea, difficulty breathing and breathlessness
  • narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness
  • overheating at night and night terrors
  • anaphylaxis, hives and increased reactivity to food and medical tape, red hands and feet  
  • tingling sensation down the right side of my face and in my hands and feet
  • swollen glands and lymph nodes, and urinary retention
  • difficulty walking, body weakness, neurological tics, light sensitivity
  • brain fog, short term memory loss, poor concentration and increased anxiety
  • facial drooping and distortion, nodules on left and right sides of my face when jaw is extended
  • right outer thigh burning and itching at night with numbness and swelling
  • hair loss on arms and legs and thinning on my head

The written diagnoses I have been given are for:

  • dysautonomia, FND and neurological tics
  • MCAS and anaphylaxis to seafood
  • narcolepsy, sleep apnoea and parasomnia
  • oedema, hypertension, vertigo
  • bowel polyps – removed June 2023, leaky gut
  • daytime bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • adenomyosis, PID

I have been in hospital a total of thirteen times and have spent two nights in a hospital ward. On three occasions I was taken to hospital via ambulance.

My aim is to restore my health, to solo parent, and have my memory and cognitive function return to where it was previously. I also want to restore my mobility. To have all these complex symptoms appear post-2021 makes me seriously question the influence of the Pfizer vaccines. However, none of the specialists or doctors I have seen have mentioned the possibility of the vaccine having created all of these health issues.

I have begun seeing an integrative doctor and am starting on a low histamine diet in the hope that these symptoms will improve over time. My weeks are now full-up with medical bookings and resting in between. It is a significant change from my health pre-2020. I am absolutely convinced that the Pfizer COVID vaccine along with COVID set off an autoimmune reaction in my body. 

Prior to getting the COVID-19 vaccinations I was in good health although I suffered occasionally from mild sleep disorders. I was seeing a sleep specialist to resolve this. I also suffered from some mild voice and head tics after going through a highly stressful personal matter. But again, I was seeing appropriate experts to help me work through those issues. None of these things impacted on my ability to lead a full life with a busy job and part time study.

In mid-2021 my employer mandated that we must all have the COVID vaccine or risk losing our jobs. I had no initial concerns about getting the vaccine as I believed it to be safe and effective and had not heard of anyone suffering ill effects. For that reason, I willingly followed the guidelines and had my first vaccination in July 2021 followed by the second one in August 2021. Immediately after these two vaccinations I started suffering from shakiness, brain fog, skin rashes, and general fatigue.

Throughout 2021 I needed multiple appointments with specialists in areas such as neurology, gastroenterology, and immunology to deal with the symptoms I was experiencing.

Prior to this I’d had no reason for this level of involvement with specialists in my life. This was very concerning, but at that stage I did not consider the recent vaccinations to be a factor in any of it.

I started to struggle with work due to the fatigue and brain fog, and things in my life that previously would not have caused me any stress, were starting to become extremely difficult to deal with. However, I continued on and managed to still balance all my responsibilities.

In January 2022, I had my third vaccination and in September that same year, I had my fourth one. In this period however, I started suffering from rashes on my skin and severe itching. I realised it was often associated with eating specific foods or the use of medical tape. I also began experiencing a lot of skin tingling and additional generalised pain in my body.

I saw an allergist who stated that I was now reactive to histamines. This was something that I had never experienced before. I was also getting severe headaches behind my left eye, and my fatigue and brain fog became more severe. I also now experienced severe weakness and fatigue on the right-hand side of my body. I later saw a neurologist who diagnosed me with FND (Functional Neurological Disorder).

Whilst at work one day, I had a severe anaphylactic reaction to seafood. I had previously never suffered from any allergies or experienced anaphylaxis, so this was very concerning.

I presented to the local hospital where I was monitored and eventually referred to an allergy specialist who determined that I now had a severe hypersensitivity to all crustaceans, and exposure would cause anaphylaxis.

By June 2022, after the first three vaccines, I sadly ended my work contract where I had been employed for almost a decade. I was forced to do this because my performance was suffering, my brain fog had increased, and I was having frequent leave due to my numerous health problems. I had another opportunity lined up after the contract was ended but again, due to poor health, I was unable to proceed with it.

I found that I caught everything that was going around and ended up with RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and human rhinovirus. I never regained the energy I once had, and began suffering constant breathlessness, muscle weakness in my legs, a metallic taste in my mouth and had a bout of gastro that put me in hospital for a day.

I also began having more general pain sensitivity including pelvic pain. My health became more and more compromised. I experienced a couple of incidences of the “drops” where, if I stood up for too long or stood up too fast, I would simply collapse. This was in addition to acute vertigo which a physiotherapist treated me for. 

My skin became very translucent and sensitive, and my veins extremely prominent so I saw a rheumatologist to investigate whether I had EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome). He instead suggested that I see a cardiologist to see if I had POTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome).

During late 2022 and into 2023 I began having more regular presentations to hospital due to the generalised pain. I saw a gynaecologist who diagnosed me with adenomyosis (similar to endometriosis). He also found cysts on my ovaries and diverticula in my bowel. They determined that most of the pain was linked to the adenomyosis. 

I saw a dermatologist for a period of six months as I began having worsened rosacea. I had laser surgery on my cheeks to reduce the redness. The dermatologist was however, unsure as to why red dots had developed on my arms, upper thighs, and buttocks, or why my hair was thinning along with loss of the majority of the hair on my arms and legs.

I began 2023 in the worst physical health I have ever experienced. My blood pressure was constantly very high. I had red hands and feet, continual brain fog and reduced mobility. I ended up being pretty much house-bound and needing to use a walker and walking stick to get around. I purchased a motorised wheelchair for when I was unable to stand due to heart palpitations, vertigo, and collapses.  

On the 24 of March 2023, I contracted COVID whilst on a 14-day cruise. During this time, I experienced asthma, overall body weakness, chills, fever, increased hair loss on my head, arms and legs, heart palpitations and loss of taste. I took my Anapen® on the cruise as a precaution in case there was any seafood cross-contamination. During the cruise I had three incidences of anaphylaxis to foods that I’d had no previous significant issues with in the past. This included things such as strawberries, dairy, and nuts. I had to maintain a restricted diet and increase my antihistamine consumption. The list of foods that I was now reacting to was growing exponentially, but prior to the vaccinations, I only had very minor intolerances to a couple of things. 

Post cruise I found my health did not improve. I experienced terrible body weakness on the right-hand side, additional tingling in my hand and foot on the right side and more body ‘drops’. If planning to walk from one place to another I now have to think about the distance and determine if I need mobility aids to get there. I get breathless, my legs get stiff, my hands become very red and shaky, and I often collapse.  I do not lose consciousness during these episodes but my awareness at the time is definitely very limited.

In April 2023 I had an appointment with Integral Healthcare and was diagnosed with both dysautonomia and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome MCAS). My GP decided at that point to cease providing services to me as my case was becoming ‘too complex’ for him, with the involvement of cardiology, neurology, dermatology, gastroenterology, and a sleep physician. 

My memory has deteriorated, and I have very poor concentration levels. I am unable to be active, and my blood pressure is very high. The hair on my head has remained thin and patchy and the hair on my arms and legs has not regrown. I have increased parasomnia at night, thrashing my body around in my sleep, and I had one incident of sleep walking. I often have night sweats and abrupt changes in temperature at night, where previously my temperature was fairly regulated.

My medication list has tripled in the last two years and my ability to function as a human has been significantly impacted. I regularly get a deep muscle/bone ache in my arms and legs which worsens at night. My right upper thigh has fluid retention and gets itchy and painful at night. I get syncope (fainting spells) on a weekly basis, and I am unable to walk very far without significant breathlessness and acute nausea. My hands and feet are continually red, my hands tremor, my glands and lymph nodes are constantly puffy, and I cannot eat many foods without getting a mast cell activation reaction of hives, body pain, swelling and anaphylaxis. 

In May 2023 I had influenza A. Since then, my physical health has been even worse. I often need to sit for the majority of the day, and I currently cannot undertake complex work or study tasks. Right now, all work and study are on hold. In addition, the fertility treatment I’d been pursuing since mid-2021 has now had to be put on hold until my dysautonomia and other health complications improve. 

Since April 2023 my social circle has shrunk drastically. My life is so isolated now compared to what it was. It has been a difficult adjustment. I have had to present to hospital a lot more over the past year due to neurological issues, heart palpitations and anaphylaxis. I no longer feel like I am taken seriously on presentation, and I have heard nurses say, “She is overly dramatic”. My former GP accused me of seeking out multiple diagnoses, when in fact, I am just wanting answers to the symptoms I am experiencing. It feels so isolating to go from having minimal health problems to now having multiple conditions and significantly decreased functionality.

I have had a mild facial drop on my right side and there is also a marked difference in pupil size between my left and right eye. My right pupil is extremely reactive to light and this causes head tics. I have also had problems with urinary retention. 

Since March I’ve had oedema in my legs and feet, and my body looks to have more fluid under the skin. I am seeing an integrative GP this upcoming week and have been referred to a specialist physician. I am hoping they will provide me with some clarity around my health issues.

The following is a summary of my symptoms post the COVID-19 vaccinations:

  • heart palpitations, increased heart rate, high blood pressure and heart attack symptoms
  • collapses, poor balance, vertigo, nausea, difficulty breathing and breathlessness
  • narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness
  • overheating at night and night terrors
  • anaphylaxis, hives and increased reactivity to food and medical tape, red hands and feet  
  • tingling sensation down the right side of my face and in my hands and feet
  • swollen glands and lymph nodes, and urinary retention
  • difficulty walking, body weakness, neurological tics, light sensitivity
  • brain fog, short term memory loss, poor concentration and increased anxiety
  • facial drooping and distortion, nodules on left and right sides of my face when jaw is extended
  • right outer thigh burning and itching at night with numbness and swelling
  • hair loss on arms and legs and thinning on my head

The written diagnoses I have been given are for:

  • dysautonomia, FND and neurological tics
  • MCAS and anaphylaxis to seafood
  • narcolepsy, sleep apnoea and parasomnia
  • oedema, hypertension, vertigo
  • bowel polyps – removed June 2023, leaky gut
  • daytime bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • adenomyosis, PID

I have been in hospital a total of thirteen times and have spent two nights in a hospital ward. On three occasions I was taken to hospital via ambulance.

My aim is to restore my health, to solo parent, and have my memory and cognitive function return to where it was previously. I also want to restore my mobility. To have all these complex symptoms appear post-2021 makes me seriously question the influence of the Pfizer vaccines. However, none of the specialists or doctors I have seen have mentioned the possibility of the vaccine having created all of these health issues.

I have begun seeing an integrative doctor and am starting on a low histamine diet in the hope that these symptoms will improve over time. My weeks are now full-up with medical bookings and resting in between. It is a significant change from my health pre-2020. I am absolutely convinced that the Pfizer COVID vaccine along with COVID set off an autoimmune reaction in my body. 

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