Hi, I’m a 27 year old mother from the Gold Coast. Pre the COVID vaccine I was a fit and healthy person who loves to play netball, dance, get outdoors and take spontaneous adventures with my son and fiancé. I had no previous medical history or issues and have been seeing my GP for the past six and a half years.
I got the vaccine because it was mandated for my industry (Early Childhood Care). I have been working in this industry for the past ten years. Working with children, I know they should be protected, but also believe I was pushed into a decision without any real choice. I loved my job and couldn’t imagine having to walk away from it.
On Monday December 13th, 2021 I got my first Pfizer vaccine as I needed to have it by the 17th to keep my employment. Within a few hours of receiving the vaccine I had sharp pains in my chest, a throbbing headache and tingles down my left arm. I was trying to convince myself it was all my anxiety as I wasn’t 100% committed to getting it done.
By Wednesday 15th December I was thinking, ‘Enough is enough, I need to get this checked out,” as I also started to get shortness of breath walking from the kitchen to my lounge room or up a few steps. I went to a walk-in doctor and was seen straight away as I was presenting with chest pains. They did an ECG straight away and it came back normal. The doctor then diagnosed me with Costochondritis (inflammation of the chest cartilage) after pushing on my chest. Walking out I thought, “Okay maybe it is. It feels similar to what I have experienced in the past from sports.”
With the chest pains, headaches and tingles still lingering, I booked an appointment with my amazing GP. Of course, she is hard to get into but when I finally saw her she sent me for blood tests, chest X-ray and an echocardiogram straight away. It turns out I had ended up with pericarditis. I am now medically exempt from my second vaccination as I need to be six weeks free of side effects before I’m allowed the next. My exemption is only for two months. I’m petrified of getting the second vaccination as I can only imagine what’s going to happen next time. I’m still experiencing stabbing pains in my chest every now and then. It’s definitely calming down but only because I haven’t been lifting, something which is a big part of my job role working with children.
The reason I’m sharing my story is because I feel as though we should be able to make our own decisions about getting vaccinated, and not be forced into having it. I want people to be aware these side effects are real and even though they seem to be brushing it all off. We need as much awareness and support out there as possible for others going through the same thing.
If it comes to our children being mandated I DO NOT want my son to go through the pain I have been through. I know people out there have had worse side effects and I wish them all the best through their recovery. We are not alone and need to stand by each other.