I’m 18 years old, 19 in a few days. Prior to the vaccine, I was working full-time, attending gym 3-4 times a week, and just a normal 18 year old with no health problems whatsoever. I didn’t have any concerns about COVID but I got the vaccine because it was mandated at work, and basically told I wouldn’t be able to participate in society otherwise. Having just turned 18, I was worried I would miss out on the most important years of my life.
I got the Pfizer on the 15th of September 2021. I felt light-headed and had a sore arm, but they told me this was to be expected and was a normal response, so I didn’t think anything of it. Life continued on as usual for the next five days until I went for a walk and noticed I was overly short of breath, which was extremely unusual.
In the next few days that followed, I started experiencing shortness of breath with added random sharp pains that felt like I was being stabbed right in my heart. It wasn’t constant and it came in waves, which was bearable, but there was a constant pressure on my chest, which felt like an elephant was sitting on me.
At this point, I didn’t quite make the connection this could be from the vaccine. I continued to push on through life as normal for the next couple of weeks. Over this period, the symptoms worsened by the day, with new symptoms of pins and needles/numbness in my toes and fingers and muscle spasms all over my body.
With how constant all my symptoms were, I decided to see my GP. I told my GP about all the symptoms I had been experiencing, and he told me it was most likely just anxiety. He did an ECG, echocardiogram, bloods and lung function tests.
Over the next few days, while I waited for my results, the chest pain became unbearable, so I went straight up to the hospital. They put me in an isolation room for eight hours and told me I had a chest infection without testing me for anything. I was given steroids and sent home. The steroids didn’t help, and made my condition far worse.
I went back to my GP and my results for my tests came back all clear. I told him about my hospital trip but he didn’t have anything to say about it. He then went on to give me the diagnosis of asthma, which I didn’t agree with, as I’d never had asthma or breathing problems before. He also told me having chest pains is normal for teenagers. I did mention the vaccine but I felt he seemed quick to dismiss the idea of the vaccine having anything to do with my symptoms. He then prescribed an asthma puffer and sent me away.
After taking the asthma puffer for about a week, my symptoms didn’t improve, and they worsened instead. I booked an appointment with another GP and told her everything that had happened. She pretty much straightaway said this was an adverse reaction to the vaccine and referred me to a cardiologist and gave me a nine month exemption.
For the next week, I had to push through the pain until my appointment with the cardiologist. He got me to do a stress echocardiogram, which was all clear, but he diagnosed me with pericarditis based on my symptoms and wrote down that my symptoms were an adverse reaction to the Pfizer vaccine. He said to rest and didn’t prescribe me any medication.
For the next five weeks I tried to rest as suggested by the cardiologist, but I ended up in hospital two times with unbearable 10 out of 10 chest pain. I didn’t want to go to the hospital because of my fear of being gaslit so I was trying to treat myself with Panadol and Nurofen but it wasn’t working. Both times they ran all the tests, ECG, echocardiogram, bloods and chest x-ray. They all came back clear. The first time they told me I was stressed, and the second time they said I was dehydrated. One doctor mentioned I had costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone.
A week later I went to see a new GP, and I told her everything that was going on and she prescribed me with Colchicine. I took the colchicine for four weeks but it wasn’t making me feel any better. It made me feel nauseous every day, with no relief from the chest pain. I started looking into alternative medicines and in February 2022 I found a naturopath who tested me for MTHFR and did heavy metal testing. She prescribed me a long list of supplements.
In mid February, I started getting abnormal menstrual cycles. I had 3 cycles in 1.5 months so I returned to my GP and she ordered a pelvic ultrasound and a pap-smear which both came back all clear. I also got a cardiac MRI in the beginning of March. I got the results and was given the diagnosis of Myopericarditis.
My cardiologist wanted me take the steroids again, but I refused. Since taking the supplements from my naturopath, I have seen improvements. I can now walk up the stairs without being out of breath, my mental clarity is better, and I can have a few days out of the week without chest pain.
However, I have had two relapses in the last two months, which resulted in me going to hospital both times. The first relapse, I had an elevated D-dimer so they did a CT scan to rule out pulmonary embolism. This came back clear. The second time, I was sent home with Panadol and Nurofen.
In the last month I have been doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy along with my supplements, and I have seen even more improvement. My GP now wants me to start cardiac rehab to build up a tolerance to any physical activity. I still experience random 6-7 out of 10 stabbing chest pains which are now bearable, random shortness of breath (usually when I’m exerting myself) and fatigue.
I am jobless due to the continuation of my injury. I feel about 60% of my old self but at least seeing some improvements now.