I’m a 34-year-old wife and mother of two children. Prior to the COVID vaccine, I worked 14-hour days as an assistant aged-care nurse. I was newly married, happy and healthy. I have Hashimoto’s disease, but it is well managed and causes me no issues.
I didn’t want the COVID vaccine, but it was mandated at my aged care facility. I wanted to resign, but I knew it would be mandated everywhere eventually, so I stayed in the job I loved.
On 5th August 2021 I had the Pfizer vaccine in my left arm. It turned out all three were in my left arm. I remember nothing unusual other than a headache.
I had my second Pfizer vaccine on 26th August 2021. A few weeks later, I felt extremely sick. I was in bed for three days with chills and a sore arm.
In December 2021, I had my first seizure. “Are you sure you weren’t dreaming?” said my doctor. He advised me to “leave it for now.” I left it at that.
On the 21st January, 2022, I had the Pfizer booster vaccine. I went home feeling terrible. My chest felt as if it were about to explode and I had a shocking headache. I had to cancel my shift at work. I felt better in a few days, but things worsened over the following months. The fatigue grew worse and the nausea got so bad that I suddenly vomited over myself one day.
In early April, I had another seizure. I was shaking uncontrollably on the couch and my husband was unable to wake me. We were in isolation at the time because of COVID, so I didn’t go to the doctor. At this point, I didn’t connect my symptoms to the vaccine because I hadn’t heard of anyone reacting badly like me.
A week later I had another full-body seizure. I couldn’t call out to my husband. I couldn’t talk or get help. I rang the doctor and he said he would investigate. I never saw him because I got busy with work, my family was sick and my father-in-law passed away.
On 13th May 2022, I was walking along the corridor at work, feeling strange and terribly faint. We drove out of town to my father-in-law’s house that night where we were to stay in preparation for his funeral. We went to bed at 10pm and my husband woke me at 1am because I had had five seizures. We called an ambulance after the seizures continued.
At the hospital, the seizures were back-to-back, five to ten seconds long and felt angry and fierce. I was also having and still have daily, extreme Tourette-like body twitches. I was transferred to another hospital where they asked me what had changed, meaning what could have caused the seizures because all of the tests had come back normal, including the CT scan. My husband told them the only thing that had changed was my getting the COVID vaccines. They said nothing to that and made us feel like drug addicts. The nurses were kind, but the doctors harsh. “We can’t say anything,” said one nurse, “So they ship you out.”
No one listened to me or understood me. The doctor wanted to discharge me, but a nurse refused to send me home. I was transferred again, this time to Royal Perth Hospital. I remember the ambulance driver saying that I’d had 13 seizures on the way to hospital and five in triage. I’d had more than 200 seizures in 30 hours.
I was admitted to Royal Perth Hospital and they kept saying it was just stress. I was having horrific seizures, a lot worse than the videos show and they were gaslighting me saying it was from stress. It was so awful as clearly it was way more than that. My life was comfortable and my job was amazing, so I knew it was not stress.
I spent the night in hospital and saw a neurologist the following day. She believed me and told me it was not stress. I felt so relieved as she was the first person in the health care system that acknowledged it was not stress. She prescribed me epilepsy medication and said if the seizures didn’t stop, that I must go back.
I left the hospital on the Monday and then by the Thursday, I had to go back as I was still having seizures. The hospital did more tests. I had an ECG, EEG and an MRI. Everything came back normal, except for a three to four millimetre focal brain flare they said was unrelated to the seizures. They decided to cease the epilepsy medication. I then saw another neurologist who said that the seizures were stress-related, that I should go home and that the seizures would stop within a week. It was so awful to be sent home in this state, with no answers and no help.
At home the seizures continued. I waited for a letter confirming a follow-up appointment, but the letter never arrived. When I rang, I was told I could not get an appointment until October 2022. I went to bed some nights and was terrified I wouldn’t wake up. My kids asked me all the time if I was going to die. It was devastating to see my kids so worried about me. Kids should never have to experience this trauma.
I was left with no answers or help, so I kept living through this nightmare. In June 2022, I ended up in hospital for the third time. My GP said to go to hospital as he couldn’t help me. I was admitted for a week and when the neurologist saw me, she said that I had dissociative seizures. I knew they weren’t. The next day she walked in and I burst into tears. I was so fed up with no one helping me and no relief from the seizures. She said, “I think you are depressed.” This was another huge let down! These people were meant to be helping me. She handed me over to the other neurologist who sent me for sleep study tests and another MRI test, which all came back normal.
A third neurologist came in later that week and they discharged me because they couldn’t get the medication that they wanted me to try. That neurologist told me to go back to work, not to return to emergency and to see my GP.
I saw my GP. He said, “I’m not having that, and you cannot go to work like this.” He referred me to a private neurologist who was great. He was the first person who actually listened. I nearly cried. He sent me for an EEG and an MRI, which came back normal. I have just had a seven day sear test that monitors brain, heart activity and watches you on video. I have yet to receive the results.
The Royal Perth Hospital sent a lady to do a welfare check. She contacted my GP and wanted me to have counselling, to report my symptoms and to see a COVID vaccine immunologist. I had three counselling sessions and the counsellor said that he didn’t believe my issues were trauma related.
I then had a phone appointment with the COVID vaccine immunologist, who was very arrogant. He ended up telling me that if I needed any more vaccines, that I could get the Novavax and that if we all turn into zombies, I could have another Pfizer vaccination. I was frustrated, as this man was diagnosing over the phone, as if he had seen me. In person, he would see that I am constantly having involuntary body jerks. I asked the immunologist if he had reported my symptoms and he said, “Yes.” I then asked him how, given he had not asked what my symptoms were. I do not feel confident that he reported what I had told him.
I have been to hospital three times, had many tests, some twice. I have had an eight-night hospital stay and three ambulance rides. I have been told over and over again that these extreme seizures, constant internal shaking, Tourette-like spasms and heart palpitations, are anxiety and/or trauma related. The official hospital diagnosis is FND – stress. The neurologist doesn’t agree with this and neither do I!
I am currently on no medication, as none of it has worked.
The seizures have settled slightly. But slightly settled is still nearly every day and spasms or body jerks are still all day, every day. The shaking feeling on the inside never goes and some days it is too much to bear. I have started to venture out, but it’s resulting in me having more seizures and being exhausted. If I go out for a couple of hours, I end up with more seizures and feeling much worse than when staying home. I get sharp pains throughout my body. Sometimes when I have body jolts, they are really painful, like a sharp stabbing pain. I have pins and needles, shooting pains in my hands, heart palpitations with a fast and irregular heartbeat, headaches, fatigue, brain fog and sensitivity to noise. I also have tingling in my body and face. My legs give way, resulting in my having four falls. I am 34 years old, not 94!
My joints are so sore. I just want my old body and life back. It is torture living like this. I feel angry. My family is not getting to enjoy a normal life.
I am still unable to work. This is such a loss to me as I love my job and I miss the residents. Also, many of them have died and I am sad because I didn’t get to say goodbye, or care for them.
We have lost so much money with me not being able to work and have spent so much on tests and so forth. We had already planned to build and have had to cut back on some of the things, because I no longer have an income.
My husband and I got married only a year before I got the vaccines, so we have missed out on enjoying our marriage and new life together. My husband says life’s gone from great to shit. He feels frustrated because there’s nothing he can do to help and no one wants to help. This is very stressful for him and he is constantly worried. I feel so lucky to have him because he is such a good man and has supported me through all this hell. I also feel sad for him because he hasn’t had a chance to grieve his Dad’s passing due to taking care of me and doing literally everything for me and the kids. He is also working.
I decided to tell my story as the immunologist was the last straw. I am sick of the arrogance behind it all. Why can’t we talk about these vaccine injuries?? We can talk about kids having a reaction to food, but why can’t I talk about this? I am also hoping that by telling my story, it also may connect me to someone who has been in a similar situation.
If you have been injured, my message is this: Don’t let people tell you that it’s in your head. We all know our own bodies and our lives. We know it’s not anxiety, or trauma-related stress.