Bernadette O

Bernadette-image.jpeg

Prior to having the COVID vaccine, I was 61 years old and in the peak of fitness. I rode my bike four to five days per week, walked daily and participated in lots of social activities and outings. I took zero medication and had no health issues at all.

I did not want to have the vaccine as my gut feeling was that something was not right.
I had previously had all my other vaccinations with no qualms, but this one did not sit right with me.
In the end, I succumbed as I wanted to continue playing piano each week for a group of senior citizens, and could not do that without getting vaccinated.

I had my first (and only………) dose of AstraZeneca on 4 June 2021.
Within 48 hours I started suffering debilitating symptoms including:
•   severe heart palpitations (tachycardia)
•   vomiting and unable to eat
•   inability to walk
•   night sweats
•   dangerously low blood pressure
•   extreme lethargy

I made an appointment to see my regular GP the following day. He referred me to the list of possible side effects that he had given to me when I had the vaccination and I explained that I was suffering from every single one of them plus more. He went on to say that he had no idea how long these symptoms would last and had no suggestions on how to help deal with them.
I returned home and a few days later, the symptoms appeared to disappear. I was thrilled, thinking that the worst was over and that I could resume my normal life and activities.
However, two days later, the symptoms returned with a vengeance – much worse than previously experienced!

I returned to my GP who arranged for me to have an ECG. The results of that however, were  normal.
Over the weekend I felt that I should perhaps go to the hospital as my symptoms continued and were extremely frightening. However I didn’t go and instead returned to the GP on the Monday. He immediately suggested that I should go to the Tocumwal hospital which is a very small local hospital. The nurses could not even get a drip in as I was so dehydrated and the doctor recommended that I be taken to Shepparton hospital via ambulance, a distance of about 85K.

Once I got there, I spent several hours in emergency before being admitted to ICU. I can recall very little of that period because I was so unwell.
I went on to spend the next two weeks in ICU before being admitted to a medical ward.
Whilst in ICU, they drained my lungs of fluid and had me on a Hi/Low breathing machine. I had drips in my feet as the veins in my arms had collapsed.
My heart was constantly going in and out of rhythm and they ran exhaustive tests on me with no conclusions. They told me that they could not find an underlying infection or anything else that could possibly explain my symptoms or terrible deterioration. They would not say it was vaccine related even though I raised that question many times myself. They continued to say that they had no idea what was wrong with me and that they were scratching their heads.

When, after two weeks, they finally moved me from ICU, they had to give me a walking frame as I had lost all my conditioning and muscle tone. I had to undergo intensive physiotherapy to try and rebuild again. Prior to admission, I weighed 58 kgs and when I was discharged, I only weighed 49 kgs.

Whilst in the medical ward, I saw a cardiologist who prescribed heart medication which I now have to take every day – probably for the rest of my life.
In that ward I exercised by walking around the corridors, and I came across a nurse who said on the quiet, “Don’t worry, you are not the first to experience this”.
Sadly, she did not elaborate and I didn’t see her again.

I spent two and a half weeks in that ward and finally returned home after a total of four and a half weeks in hospital. After all of this I came out with no more answers than I had when I went in.
When I was discharged, they wrote on my discharge papers “Rapid atrial fibrillation (AF) and pericarditis” with a question mark after it.

The doctors wanted me to go to St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne for further exploratory testing, but I declined as I felt that they just wanted to use me as a guinea pig. I simply wanted to return home to start re-building my heath as I felt so depleted, unfit, and unhealthy.

I started out just doing slow walking laps of my property and then built that up to go further.
At that stage, a new symptom developed. It was a burning / tingling sensation in my fingers and toes. The skin also started sloughing off my fingers.
When I spoke to the GP, he said that he had no idea why this was happening, but nevertheless prescribed a medication. He said that if it did not work, he did not know what else to suggest.

I see a cardiologist in Numurkah every six months now and she suggested that the tingling and burning was the result of nerve damage caused by trauma whilst in hospital. I have no idea if this is accurate. She prescribed an additional medication to treat it which does seem to help a little.

My symptoms after my hospital stay remained pretty much the same although they are more intermittent.
The cardiologist has doubled my heart medication tablets as my heart rate remains high. It basically never gets below 90 and sometimes gets up to 120 even while sitting down.
When exercising, my heart rate can go up to 140 but this feels normal and a direct result of the exercise, rather than what I experienced in the past.
I had to wear a Holter monitor on a few occasions, and this showed a ‘heavy burden’ of PVC (premature ventricular contractions). A nurse friend of mine said that this indicates an issue with the lower part of the heart. I have not been offered an MRI but will ask for one when I next see the GP to see if this reveals any further clinical information.

In January this year (2023), I suffered another extreme bout of sickness with the same symptoms as previously. My GP did more blood tests and said that “something was wrong” so referred me back to the hospital. I was kept in overnight but as per previous visits, no determination was made.

A comment made in recent months by my GP comes to mind. When discussing my recent medical history, she mentioned that she not long ago seen a young boy with the same symptoms as me and that she has since seen many more. I was however her “first”. She drew no correlation to the vaccine and I did not push the point.

My new daily life includes regular bouts of the same symptoms along with a few other new issues that never troubled me in the past.
I now have daily blood noses, dry eyes, and regular ear infections. My heart rate will be okay for a few weeks but then I will have a sudden tachycardia episode for a week and then resume normality.
I am exercising again, bike riding, walking and line dancing, and my heart rate spikes during these activities but not too unbearably.
Ironically, I got vaccinated because I wanted to continue playing piano for the local senior citizens but now, I am unable to go there anyway as I have not had the required three vaccinations.

My cardiologist wants me to see a cardiac electrophysiologist to see about getting my heart back into a normal rhythm, but has not arranged that yet. I am nervous of what they might do to shock my heart back into a rhythm again.

I have not had any further vaccinations and I have been told by my GP not to have any more. He did not however, elaborate why, given that he denied that the vaccine had anything to do with what happened to me……

I cried every day for 18 months after these health issues started. I was scared in bed at night and often sat up awake for fear that my heart would play up.
Two years down the track and I am emotionally better now.  But I try not to think about it too much as it can still upset me greatly.
Overall, my whole life has changed and I know that the vaccine caused this.
I went from being a strong, fit, healthy woman who required no medications to someone who now has to take medication for the rest of her life and deal with the uncertainty of a heart issue.

I took the vaccine in good faith, after being told that it was safe and I feel betrayed by the government and medical fraternity for not protecting me and others from this trauma.

I wanted to share my story to hopefully provide reassurance to others who have suffered, that they are not alone. This has been a difficult road but I am grateful at least, that I am still here and am re-building my health, my fitness, and my life.

Bernadette-image.jpeg

Prior to having the COVID vaccine, I was 61 years old and in the peak of fitness. I rode my bike four to five days per week, walked daily and participated in lots of social activities and outings. I took zero medication and had no health issues at all.

I did not want to have the vaccine as my gut feeling was that something was not right.
I had previously had all my other vaccinations with no qualms, but this one did not sit right with me.
In the end, I succumbed as I wanted to continue playing piano each week for a group of senior citizens, and could not do that without getting vaccinated.

I had my first (and only………) dose of AstraZeneca on 4 June 2021.
Within 48 hours I started suffering debilitating symptoms including:
•   severe heart palpitations (tachycardia)
•   vomiting and unable to eat
•   inability to walk
•   night sweats
•   dangerously low blood pressure
•   extreme lethargy

I made an appointment to see my regular GP the following day. He referred me to the list of possible side effects that he had given to me when I had the vaccination and I explained that I was suffering from every single one of them plus more. He went on to say that he had no idea how long these symptoms would last and had no suggestions on how to help deal with them.
I returned home and a few days later, the symptoms appeared to disappear. I was thrilled, thinking that the worst was over and that I could resume my normal life and activities.
However, two days later, the symptoms returned with a vengeance – much worse than previously experienced!

I returned to my GP who arranged for me to have an ECG. The results of that however, were  normal.
Over the weekend I felt that I should perhaps go to the hospital as my symptoms continued and were extremely frightening. However I didn’t go and instead returned to the GP on the Monday. He immediately suggested that I should go to the Tocumwal hospital which is a very small local hospital. The nurses could not even get a drip in as I was so dehydrated and the doctor recommended that I be taken to Shepparton hospital via ambulance, a distance of about 85K.

Once I got there, I spent several hours in emergency before being admitted to ICU. I can recall very little of that period because I was so unwell.
I went on to spend the next two weeks in ICU before being admitted to a medical ward.
Whilst in ICU, they drained my lungs of fluid and had me on a Hi/Low breathing machine. I had drips in my feet as the veins in my arms had collapsed.
My heart was constantly going in and out of rhythm and they ran exhaustive tests on me with no conclusions. They told me that they could not find an underlying infection or anything else that could possibly explain my symptoms or terrible deterioration. They would not say it was vaccine related even though I raised that question many times myself. They continued to say that they had no idea what was wrong with me and that they were scratching their heads.

When, after two weeks, they finally moved me from ICU, they had to give me a walking frame as I had lost all my conditioning and muscle tone. I had to undergo intensive physiotherapy to try and rebuild again. Prior to admission, I weighed 58 kgs and when I was discharged, I only weighed 49 kgs.

Whilst in the medical ward, I saw a cardiologist who prescribed heart medication which I now have to take every day – probably for the rest of my life.
In that ward I exercised by walking around the corridors, and I came across a nurse who said on the quiet, “Don’t worry, you are not the first to experience this”.
Sadly, she did not elaborate and I didn’t see her again.

I spent two and a half weeks in that ward and finally returned home after a total of four and a half weeks in hospital. After all of this I came out with no more answers than I had when I went in.
When I was discharged, they wrote on my discharge papers “Rapid atrial fibrillation (AF) and pericarditis” with a question mark after it.

The doctors wanted me to go to St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne for further exploratory testing, but I declined as I felt that they just wanted to use me as a guinea pig. I simply wanted to return home to start re-building my heath as I felt so depleted, unfit, and unhealthy.

I started out just doing slow walking laps of my property and then built that up to go further.
At that stage, a new symptom developed. It was a burning / tingling sensation in my fingers and toes. The skin also started sloughing off my fingers.
When I spoke to the GP, he said that he had no idea why this was happening, but nevertheless prescribed a medication. He said that if it did not work, he did not know what else to suggest.

I see a cardiologist in Numurkah every six months now and she suggested that the tingling and burning was the result of nerve damage caused by trauma whilst in hospital. I have no idea if this is accurate. She prescribed an additional medication to treat it which does seem to help a little.

My symptoms after my hospital stay remained pretty much the same although they are more intermittent.
The cardiologist has doubled my heart medication tablets as my heart rate remains high. It basically never gets below 90 and sometimes gets up to 120 even while sitting down.
When exercising, my heart rate can go up to 140 but this feels normal and a direct result of the exercise, rather than what I experienced in the past.
I had to wear a Holter monitor on a few occasions, and this showed a ‘heavy burden’ of PVC (premature ventricular contractions). A nurse friend of mine said that this indicates an issue with the lower part of the heart. I have not been offered an MRI but will ask for one when I next see the GP to see if this reveals any further clinical information.

In January this year (2023), I suffered another extreme bout of sickness with the same symptoms as previously. My GP did more blood tests and said that “something was wrong” so referred me back to the hospital. I was kept in overnight but as per previous visits, no determination was made.

A comment made in recent months by my GP comes to mind. When discussing my recent medical history, she mentioned that she not long ago seen a young boy with the same symptoms as me and that she has since seen many more. I was however her “first”. She drew no correlation to the vaccine and I did not push the point.

My new daily life includes regular bouts of the same symptoms along with a few other new issues that never troubled me in the past.
I now have daily blood noses, dry eyes, and regular ear infections. My heart rate will be okay for a few weeks but then I will have a sudden tachycardia episode for a week and then resume normality.
I am exercising again, bike riding, walking and line dancing, and my heart rate spikes during these activities but not too unbearably.
Ironically, I got vaccinated because I wanted to continue playing piano for the local senior citizens but now, I am unable to go there anyway as I have not had the required three vaccinations.

My cardiologist wants me to see a cardiac electrophysiologist to see about getting my heart back into a normal rhythm, but has not arranged that yet. I am nervous of what they might do to shock my heart back into a rhythm again.

I have not had any further vaccinations and I have been told by my GP not to have any more. He did not however, elaborate why, given that he denied that the vaccine had anything to do with what happened to me……

I cried every day for 18 months after these health issues started. I was scared in bed at night and often sat up awake for fear that my heart would play up.
Two years down the track and I am emotionally better now.  But I try not to think about it too much as it can still upset me greatly.
Overall, my whole life has changed and I know that the vaccine caused this.
I went from being a strong, fit, healthy woman who required no medications to someone who now has to take medication for the rest of her life and deal with the uncertainty of a heart issue.

I took the vaccine in good faith, after being told that it was safe and I feel betrayed by the government and medical fraternity for not protecting me and others from this trauma.

I wanted to share my story to hopefully provide reassurance to others who have suffered, that they are not alone. This has been a difficult road but I am grateful at least, that I am still here and am re-building my health, my fitness, and my life.

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