I am a 31-year-old female dental hygienist who has a loving partner, family and friends. I’ve always been a social butterfly and love meeting new people. I love adventuring and going on spontaneous trips. I was a fit, healthy woman who would exercise daily from boxing, gym, bike riding to hiking. Medical history: Nil apart from a minor neck injury which was caused by the field of work I am in. Physio maintenance keeps it in check.
Like the general public, I was pretty much forced into getting the vaccine – because I’m a healthcare professional it was made mandatory. I had no choice or I would have been stood down from work: No jab, no income. At work I was reminded daily of the ‘deadline’ for getting at least the first vaccine done, as they were following the South Australia health guidelines.
I left it until the last day before this deadline. On Sunday 31 October 2021, with such hesitation and a sick feeling in my stomach, I got the first Moderna jab. Within 20 minutes I had a dead arm which lasted for two days, and it was tender at the injection site. Exactly a week later a rash/bump appeared on the arm where I got the jab. I took an antihistamine tablet before bed, and it disappeared in the morning.
After that I felt fine until I was told to get the second vaccine four weeks after the first. This sounded too soon to me but I was told by the pharmacist that this was the recommendation. Again, my work was very insistent in ensuring I had the second jab booked and done by the deadline date set by the SA government.
I received my second Moderna vaccine on Sunday 28 November 2021. The guy who administered it didn’t seem too confident as he was loading up the syringe in a nervous way right in front of me and basically used my arm as a dart board. Since then, changes have started to happen. Within one or two hours I started to feel off and feverish. I couldn’t get out of bed nor go to work for two days. I had fever chills, sweats, a heavy chest feeling, and a very strong tension headache. I couldn’t even lift my arm up past my waist it was that dead. I was also seeing weird squiggles and black dots in my eyes. I searched online and found that these are known as ‘floaters’.
I went and saw the doctor on 29 November and he could see I didn’t look right. He did some basic tests on me. My heart rate was low, 47 at resting; temperature 37.4 degrees Celsius. He couldn’t tell me why I could see squiggles in my eyes and said give it another day or so and see how you go. He notified SA Health of the side effects I was having.
SA Health called me the following day and asked me what side effects I was experiencing since the vaccine. They couldn’t recommend anything and she stated, ‘Well the vaccines haven’t been out that long, and we’re trialling, but we need to make a record of any adverse reactions people are experiencing’.
On Thursday (four days after the second jab), I woke up with fluttering in my left ear. I had to leave work at 3pm to get my eyes checked due to the floaters getting worse accompanied by a random flashing.
It’s now day six and the floaters are still there. I still have a constant tension headache, fever chills, heavy chest and shortness of breath, light-headedness and nausea, joint pain, and lack of strength. My right leg near the shin was coming in and out of numbness with a tingling sensation. The fluttering in my ear also hasn’t stopped.
On Friday night I cleaned out my ears with a candle burner and spray but this had no effect. I haven’t felt 100% since the vaccine, I feel weak and tired like there’s a cloud above my head. I can’t think straight and am forgetting what I am saying to people or I jumble up my words.
The fluttering in my ear kept me up on Friday night. I saw the doctor again on Saturday, he was concerned and suggested I get a hearing test. He advised me to take three days to a week off work.
The following Monday SA Health called me again to see if I’d had any improvements, my answer was no. This lady was actually nice and listened to my concerns. She told me she was worried and more so about the symptoms I was having in my chest and eyes. She said, ‘See your doctor again as this doesn’t sit right with me’.
On Monday 6 December 2021 I got a hearing test. There were no abnormalities, and the ear drum looked fine with no issues. They said it could be the inner ear muscle spasming but couldn’t explain why. They wanted to monitor me for a few more days and see if there were any improvements.
By Tuesday 7 December I’d had bad fluttering in my ear waking me up for the past three nights in a row. I saw a naturopath on this day too, she hooked me up to an Indigo device to assess my levels in all areas, shocked me to balance them all out, and gave me a few bottles of vitamins to help. I woke up Wednesday morning and my head wasn’t as foggy. On Wednesday 8 December I went back to work, my eyes were still not great, and I had an ear flutter once during the day. That night was the first night with no fluttering in my ear.
As I work in dental healthcare, I am being told to get the booster shot as its mandatory. I have a small window left until I’m technically due to have it. Otherwise I will be stood down from work.
Every day I struggle at work but I just get on with it because that’s what I do. On 10 December 2021 there was still no improvement. For the last month when I exercise, I get a lot more floaters, my chest still feels tight and sometimes I get short of breath.
January 2022: floaters still present, and chest tightness during exercise. On 15 January I saw the doctor and applied for a vaccine exemption. The doctor didn’t think my side effects were severe enough but applied for one anyway for the floaters, but didn’t mention my chest pain. On 17 January I received an email saying my application for an exemption had been unsuccessful due to insufficient information. I mean, how is your eyesight not good enough?
At rest I experience dull pain sporadically. I saw an optometrist on 21 January and he was unsure why I was getting the floaters and has recommended I see a specialist. On 24 January I saw another doctor. I explained my issues and he referred me to get a chest X-ray, full blood tests, and to see a cardiologist. He believes I have mild pericarditis.
Since Thursday 27 January I have had a constant tension headache which went on for seven days. It’s only starting to settle down now on 3 February. I had Monday 31 January off work due to a migraine and eye floaters worsening all day. I saw the doctor again on 1 February and was told my chest X-ray and bloods look normal.
On 2 February I was lying in bed and had random chest pain for approximately one minute. I saw an eye specialist on 10 February. He could see the floaters and wasn’t very helpful – basically told me I’ll get used to them and that he can’t see how they would be caused by the vaccine. He said I would be fine to get the booster, which I didn’t want to discuss with him because he isn’t a doctor. So I left there with no help given whatsoever.
Next I am seeing the doctor who referred me to get the bloods and X-ray as he wants to know the outcome from eye specialist. I am very disappointed, and getting nowhere with all of this.