Elise D

My name is Elise, I am 34 and I live in Canberra with my mother.  At the time of the COVID-19 outbreak I was working as a medical receptionist in a rehabilitation clinic.

Until now I have been very healthy.  I’m by no means a fitness fanatic; my daily exercise is walking the dog. But I have not suffered any health issues except an allergy to latex, which was diagnosed many years ago.  When I was quite young, I began keeping a kind of health diary in which I recorded any significant health events such a wisdom teeth removal or broken bones.  This has turned out to be much more interesting reading given the outcome of my COVID vaccination.

When I first heard about the COVID-19 vaccination program being introduced, I didn’t think too much of it to be honest.  I believed it would save lives and it was the done thing for everyone to participate.  I didn’t really question it at all.  No one in my circle was saying don’t do it, so I was happy to roll up my sleeve to do the right thing.

I attended the Garran Surge Centre in Canberra for my first Pfizer vaccine on 21st of July, 2021.  I had been wary of the AstraZeneca vaccine as I had heard rumours of people suffering adverse reactions, so was very happy to be offered the Pfizer vaccine. 

Initially my arm was sore for a day.  But then I began experiencing zaps like electric shocks in both sides of my head.  They would last a few seconds and I felt the pain more in my ear than my head.  This went on for about seven days, then ceased.  I didn’t think much more of it.  I reported my symptoms to the ACT Government survey and noted down details in my medical diary.

On 15th August I went back to the same clinic and had my second Pfizer vaccination.  My arm was sore for a day again, and this time I experienced another full week of pain in my ear and the zaps in both sides of my head.  Again, I reported my symptoms to the ACT Government survey and noted down details in my medical diary.

All was well until I had my third vaccination — the booster.  This time I went to my local GP clinic on 22 of January 2022 for my third Pfizer vaccine.  Once again, my arm was very sore.  But this time the ear pain and zaps went on for two weeks and the pain increased to a six out of 10.  I must have a high pain tolerance because I got on with life.  Although I believed it was an incidental side effect of the vaccine, I was thankful it only lasted a couple weeks this time and didn’t dwell on it.

I started a new job in November with AHPRA in an administrative role and was enjoying the new environment. Please don’t judge me! Then one morning in December I woke and my right thigh was completely numb from my hip to my knee.  Once again, after writing it in my diary, I just got on with life.

On Saturday 11th February of this year, I woke with the most excruciating pain in my neck.  I made an emergency appointment with my regular soft tissue therapist, someone I have been seeing for 20 years. But he was reluctant to touch me as my pain was so bad and he wasn’t sure what was going on with me.  He recommended I go straight to emergency at Canberra Hospital.  At the hospital I was seen by a physiotherapist who diagnosed a nerve crush in the C1, C2, C3 area of my neck, and suggested I take Panadol Osteo and go home to rest.  I got home at about lunchtime and by the afternoon the sharp zaps had started in my head again.  It was like being zapped with a cattle prod, but this time it was only affecting the left side of my head. 

I woke the next morning screaming in pain.  The zaps were relentless and on a scale of over 10 out of 10.  I told mum I wanted to die the pain was so bad. She put me in the shower to try to calm me down, but I was only able to lay on the floor crying in pain.  She took me back to the emergency department where I was given one Endone® (oxycodone) and left to wait in the waiting room.  The Endone didn’t even touch the pain! 

Eventually I was moved to an observation area where a junior ED doctor was assigned to me. She asked me why I was there. I explained to her about the zaps, the thigh numbness and the dreadful head pain. I also admitted to having been Googling my symptoms and suggested that I thought it could be MS. She ordered blood tests and gave me carbamazepine, an anti-convulsant medication, to stop the zaps and more Endone for the pain. Then I had a CT scan to check for MS, tumour or other underlying factors.  The test was all clear, and I was admitted to a ward at 2am, still in excruciating pain.

I was assessed by a neurologist, a resident doctor and an intern and they could not agree what was wrong with me so prescribed more Endone®, Panadol and amitriptyline. After two days the pain was still not controlled so I was sent for an MRI. I finished up having three different MRIs that took over 90 minutes.  The operator was very rude and obnoxious and I spent most of that time in a very uncomfortable position as I was too scared to move or complain.

On the Thursday while mum was showering me, she noticed a rash down the left-hand side of my body, starting at the neck, continuing over my back and following a nerve to my left wrist. She thought it was shingles. The nursing staff disagreed. The next day the rash had blistered and bubbled and mum insisted that the staff swab me for shingles. The staff refused, but eventually relented later in the day. I was moved to an isolation room far from any other patients.  I couldn’t leave the room and staff entered wearing full PPE. I was given anti-viral medication and advised that as it was airborne I must stay in isolation.

The next morning a resident doctor discharged me with scripts for Endone®, amitriptyline, an anti-viral and carbamazepine, and told me to follow up with my own GP.  I was given the distinct impression that they had no idea what was wrong with me and that they were palming me off to my GP.  When I got home, for some reason I felt compelled to log in to the Digital Health Record app on my phone, and there were the results of my tests. I had shingles and trigeminal neuralgia! 

I could not get an appointment with my GP for four days, so had to ration the Endone® tablets.  I had stopped taking the amitriptyline as it was making me feel like a zombie.

On the morning of my appointment when I awoke my toes and fingers were blue. In the afternoon I arrived at my appointment wearing a warm tracksuit. Despite the day being summery, I was absolutely freezing. The doctor took one look at me and from the look on her face I could tell she was very concerned. My shingles rash had crusted over, so she was happy to touch me and she took my temperature which had spiked at 41 degrees. I told her my recent medical history and she said that she was so concerned, that if I did not improve by early evening, I should go back to the hospital as she feared I may fall into a coma. 

I asked for a script for more Endone® and was about to leave when I thought I should ask for a script for more carbamazepine in case I couldn’t get another appointment before my script ran out.  It was then that she recognised I was suffering from a reaction to the carbamazepine and diagnosed me with anti-convulsant hypersensitivity syndrome (AHS).  She wrote a letter to the hospital and recommended testing for this syndrome or septicaemia.  She agreed with the trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis I had seen on the Digital Health Record app, so gave me a script for more Endone®.

I began weaning off the carbamazepine immediately.  I did not want to go back to the hospital and was able to stay home for the next four days.

On the fourth day I began experiencing dreadful pain in my left shoulder.  It was so bad that I reluctantly returned to the ED where a junior doctor ordered X-rays and diagnosed tendonitis.  I was given an anti-inflammatory injection and a prescription for Naproxen (an anti-inflammatory).

Within hours I had developed a rash over my entire body, so once again I went back to the ED as I suspected I was having a reaction to the Naproxen.  I was given fexofenadine, an antihistamine, but after 30 minutes it had made no difference to my condition.  I was seen by another junior doctor and we discussed the other medications I was taking, including the carbamazepine that I was reducing gradually.  She thought best to keep taking the carbamazepine, but to cease the Naproxen and she gave me a script for Gabapentin which is used to treat seizures and neuropathic pain.  She recommended I take an antacid before the Gabapentin as it can upset the stomach. 

When I was home again, I began Googling Naproxen and carbamazepine and found they do react with each other.  I discovered a list of other side effects too, so decided to stop taking both immediately.  And despite filling the script for the Gabapentin I never took it as I felt I was on a slippery slope of taking drugs, drugs and more drugs.

My GP organised for me to have an ultrasound of my shoulder and all my organs.  The ultrasound revealed a highly inflamed liver.  Blood tests confirmed my liver enzyme levels were three times what they should be.  They were off the charts!  The imaging radiographer also thought it appeared my bicep was out of place in my left shoulder, rather than it being inflamed with tendonitis.

So to clarify, as a result of the Pfizer vaccine I was suffering trigeminal neuralgia which was treated with the carbamazepine which caused me the AHS, which in turn inflamed my liver.  And my shoulder appeared to have been injured when I was having the 90-minute MRI with the rude and obnoxious operator.

I had to detox my body from the carbamazepine immediately.  It was a hideous experience.  I suffered from insomnia, I was pacing, my body shook and I was either boiling hot or freezing cold. The skin on my face peeled and my eyes were burning. I imagine it was like coming off hard core drugs if I had been a junkie.  It lasted more than a week, and the insomnia continued for months. The GP had suggested to stay on Endone® for the insomnia and pain and then to begin weaning off that as well.  That was another long and arduous process.

The trigeminal neuralgia continued to cause me a great deal of pain so I returned to my soft tissue therapist again, and saw an acupuncturist for help with my insomnia. 

One day I was discussing my symptoms with another soft tissue therapist and he said that he had been receiving referrals from neurologists in Canberra to see people suffering from peculiar neurological problems.  They said they didn’t know how to treat them.  It was then that I had a brief thought that maybe my symptoms were as a result of the COVID vaccine.

Then the TV ads started for shingles. My mum and I had an awakening. This IS all from the vaccines!  The government knows! My doctors had believed my shingles had caused my trigeminal neuralgia. In my case I had suffered with the trigeminal neuralgia before my shingles manifested.

By this time I had to resign from my job at AHPRA.  It was impossible for me to drive to and from work when taking Endone® and there were some days when I was too sick to attend.  As I had been on probation and only employed a short time I had run out of sick leave. My GP was eventually able to provide me with a medical certificate for Centrelink so I didn’t have to apply for a new job.

By mid-March I was down to taking Endone® only, seeing an acupuncturist, physiotherapist and my soft tissue therapist.  The physio healed my shoulder after six sessions, and I began taking a naturopathic herbal mix to cleanse my liver.  The tests to monitor my liver were done every second week and the levels took quite a while to come down.  I was finally given the all-clear at the end of September, after six months.

In mid-May I felt well enough to start looking for work again. I no longer required Endone®, the zapping in my head had ceased, and the allied health practices seemed to be really working.  My left side, from my fingers right to my toes, had a dull, relentless ache that I would rate as a three out of 10 and my thigh was still numb. But despite that, I began applying for jobs. 

On August 17th the zapping started again in the left side of my head. This time my mum and I decided I should try a homeopathic approach to my illness as we now believed it was a vaccine injury.  I took a remedy called Thuja, made using pine needles.  Within hours the zapping stopped.  A week later the right side of my head started zapping.  I took more of the Thuja and the zapping stopped.  Now what I am left to deal with daily from this vaccine injury is the three out of 10 constant dull ache down my left side, fingers to toes.  My thigh is still completely numb, and if I move my head too quickly, I experience pain in my trigeminal nerve on both sides of my head.  This head pain also occurs randomly when it is very cold, or if there is a forecast cold change in the weather.

Recently mum was at the Merimbula markets and saw a FOF display.  She spoke with one of the women organising the display and read many of the stories.  When she told me about it I felt compelled to contact JIA.

The government is still pushing these vaccines.  I am not an anti-vax, but this is no normal vaccine.  It is not tested enough.  I blame the manufacturers for not testing properly, but more so I blame the government for telling us it was safe and effective.  I fear there are more injured people out there who are not being heard.

I want to say to anyone else who is suffering, you are not alone.  I started out with only one medical practitioner who believed me. No one else would take me seriously.  I am so thankful to have found JIA and for this opportunity to tell my story.  Now that I realise there are others who have been injured, I hope through telling our stories we can help each other on the road to full recovery.

My name is Elise, I am 34 and I live in Canberra with my mother.  At the time of the COVID-19 outbreak I was working as a medical receptionist in a rehabilitation clinic.

Until now I have been very healthy.  I’m by no means a fitness fanatic; my daily exercise is walking the dog. But I have not suffered any health issues except an allergy to latex, which was diagnosed many years ago.  When I was quite young, I began keeping a kind of health diary in which I recorded any significant health events such a wisdom teeth removal or broken bones.  This has turned out to be much more interesting reading given the outcome of my COVID vaccination.

When I first heard about the COVID-19 vaccination program being introduced, I didn’t think too much of it to be honest.  I believed it would save lives and it was the done thing for everyone to participate.  I didn’t really question it at all.  No one in my circle was saying don’t do it, so I was happy to roll up my sleeve to do the right thing.

I attended the Garran Surge Centre in Canberra for my first Pfizer vaccine on 21st of July, 2021.  I had been wary of the AstraZeneca vaccine as I had heard rumours of people suffering adverse reactions, so was very happy to be offered the Pfizer vaccine. 

Initially my arm was sore for a day.  But then I began experiencing zaps like electric shocks in both sides of my head.  They would last a few seconds and I felt the pain more in my ear than my head.  This went on for about seven days, then ceased.  I didn’t think much more of it.  I reported my symptoms to the ACT Government survey and noted down details in my medical diary.

On 15th August I went back to the same clinic and had my second Pfizer vaccination.  My arm was sore for a day again, and this time I experienced another full week of pain in my ear and the zaps in both sides of my head.  Again, I reported my symptoms to the ACT Government survey and noted down details in my medical diary.

All was well until I had my third vaccination — the booster.  This time I went to my local GP clinic on 22 of January 2022 for my third Pfizer vaccine.  Once again, my arm was very sore.  But this time the ear pain and zaps went on for two weeks and the pain increased to a six out of 10.  I must have a high pain tolerance because I got on with life.  Although I believed it was an incidental side effect of the vaccine, I was thankful it only lasted a couple weeks this time and didn’t dwell on it.

I started a new job in November with AHPRA in an administrative role and was enjoying the new environment. Please don’t judge me! Then one morning in December I woke and my right thigh was completely numb from my hip to my knee.  Once again, after writing it in my diary, I just got on with life.

On Saturday 11th February of this year, I woke with the most excruciating pain in my neck.  I made an emergency appointment with my regular soft tissue therapist, someone I have been seeing for 20 years. But he was reluctant to touch me as my pain was so bad and he wasn’t sure what was going on with me.  He recommended I go straight to emergency at Canberra Hospital.  At the hospital I was seen by a physiotherapist who diagnosed a nerve crush in the C1, C2, C3 area of my neck, and suggested I take Panadol Osteo and go home to rest.  I got home at about lunchtime and by the afternoon the sharp zaps had started in my head again.  It was like being zapped with a cattle prod, but this time it was only affecting the left side of my head. 

I woke the next morning screaming in pain.  The zaps were relentless and on a scale of over 10 out of 10.  I told mum I wanted to die the pain was so bad. She put me in the shower to try to calm me down, but I was only able to lay on the floor crying in pain.  She took me back to the emergency department where I was given one Endone® (oxycodone) and left to wait in the waiting room.  The Endone didn’t even touch the pain! 

Eventually I was moved to an observation area where a junior ED doctor was assigned to me. She asked me why I was there. I explained to her about the zaps, the thigh numbness and the dreadful head pain. I also admitted to having been Googling my symptoms and suggested that I thought it could be MS. She ordered blood tests and gave me carbamazepine, an anti-convulsant medication, to stop the zaps and more Endone for the pain. Then I had a CT scan to check for MS, tumour or other underlying factors.  The test was all clear, and I was admitted to a ward at 2am, still in excruciating pain.

I was assessed by a neurologist, a resident doctor and an intern and they could not agree what was wrong with me so prescribed more Endone®, Panadol and amitriptyline. After two days the pain was still not controlled so I was sent for an MRI. I finished up having three different MRIs that took over 90 minutes.  The operator was very rude and obnoxious and I spent most of that time in a very uncomfortable position as I was too scared to move or complain.

On the Thursday while mum was showering me, she noticed a rash down the left-hand side of my body, starting at the neck, continuing over my back and following a nerve to my left wrist. She thought it was shingles. The nursing staff disagreed. The next day the rash had blistered and bubbled and mum insisted that the staff swab me for shingles. The staff refused, but eventually relented later in the day. I was moved to an isolation room far from any other patients.  I couldn’t leave the room and staff entered wearing full PPE. I was given anti-viral medication and advised that as it was airborne I must stay in isolation.

The next morning a resident doctor discharged me with scripts for Endone®, amitriptyline, an anti-viral and carbamazepine, and told me to follow up with my own GP.  I was given the distinct impression that they had no idea what was wrong with me and that they were palming me off to my GP.  When I got home, for some reason I felt compelled to log in to the Digital Health Record app on my phone, and there were the results of my tests. I had shingles and trigeminal neuralgia! 

I could not get an appointment with my GP for four days, so had to ration the Endone® tablets.  I had stopped taking the amitriptyline as it was making me feel like a zombie.

On the morning of my appointment when I awoke my toes and fingers were blue. In the afternoon I arrived at my appointment wearing a warm tracksuit. Despite the day being summery, I was absolutely freezing. The doctor took one look at me and from the look on her face I could tell she was very concerned. My shingles rash had crusted over, so she was happy to touch me and she took my temperature which had spiked at 41 degrees. I told her my recent medical history and she said that she was so concerned, that if I did not improve by early evening, I should go back to the hospital as she feared I may fall into a coma. 

I asked for a script for more Endone® and was about to leave when I thought I should ask for a script for more carbamazepine in case I couldn’t get another appointment before my script ran out.  It was then that she recognised I was suffering from a reaction to the carbamazepine and diagnosed me with anti-convulsant hypersensitivity syndrome (AHS).  She wrote a letter to the hospital and recommended testing for this syndrome or septicaemia.  She agreed with the trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis I had seen on the Digital Health Record app, so gave me a script for more Endone®.

I began weaning off the carbamazepine immediately.  I did not want to go back to the hospital and was able to stay home for the next four days.

On the fourth day I began experiencing dreadful pain in my left shoulder.  It was so bad that I reluctantly returned to the ED where a junior doctor ordered X-rays and diagnosed tendonitis.  I was given an anti-inflammatory injection and a prescription for Naproxen (an anti-inflammatory).

Within hours I had developed a rash over my entire body, so once again I went back to the ED as I suspected I was having a reaction to the Naproxen.  I was given fexofenadine, an antihistamine, but after 30 minutes it had made no difference to my condition.  I was seen by another junior doctor and we discussed the other medications I was taking, including the carbamazepine that I was reducing gradually.  She thought best to keep taking the carbamazepine, but to cease the Naproxen and she gave me a script for Gabapentin which is used to treat seizures and neuropathic pain.  She recommended I take an antacid before the Gabapentin as it can upset the stomach. 

When I was home again, I began Googling Naproxen and carbamazepine and found they do react with each other.  I discovered a list of other side effects too, so decided to stop taking both immediately.  And despite filling the script for the Gabapentin I never took it as I felt I was on a slippery slope of taking drugs, drugs and more drugs.

My GP organised for me to have an ultrasound of my shoulder and all my organs.  The ultrasound revealed a highly inflamed liver.  Blood tests confirmed my liver enzyme levels were three times what they should be.  They were off the charts!  The imaging radiographer also thought it appeared my bicep was out of place in my left shoulder, rather than it being inflamed with tendonitis.

So to clarify, as a result of the Pfizer vaccine I was suffering trigeminal neuralgia which was treated with the carbamazepine which caused me the AHS, which in turn inflamed my liver.  And my shoulder appeared to have been injured when I was having the 90-minute MRI with the rude and obnoxious operator.

I had to detox my body from the carbamazepine immediately.  It was a hideous experience.  I suffered from insomnia, I was pacing, my body shook and I was either boiling hot or freezing cold. The skin on my face peeled and my eyes were burning. I imagine it was like coming off hard core drugs if I had been a junkie.  It lasted more than a week, and the insomnia continued for months. The GP had suggested to stay on Endone® for the insomnia and pain and then to begin weaning off that as well.  That was another long and arduous process.

The trigeminal neuralgia continued to cause me a great deal of pain so I returned to my soft tissue therapist again, and saw an acupuncturist for help with my insomnia. 

One day I was discussing my symptoms with another soft tissue therapist and he said that he had been receiving referrals from neurologists in Canberra to see people suffering from peculiar neurological problems.  They said they didn’t know how to treat them.  It was then that I had a brief thought that maybe my symptoms were as a result of the COVID vaccine.

Then the TV ads started for shingles. My mum and I had an awakening. This IS all from the vaccines!  The government knows! My doctors had believed my shingles had caused my trigeminal neuralgia. In my case I had suffered with the trigeminal neuralgia before my shingles manifested.

By this time I had to resign from my job at AHPRA.  It was impossible for me to drive to and from work when taking Endone® and there were some days when I was too sick to attend.  As I had been on probation and only employed a short time I had run out of sick leave. My GP was eventually able to provide me with a medical certificate for Centrelink so I didn’t have to apply for a new job.

By mid-March I was down to taking Endone® only, seeing an acupuncturist, physiotherapist and my soft tissue therapist.  The physio healed my shoulder after six sessions, and I began taking a naturopathic herbal mix to cleanse my liver.  The tests to monitor my liver were done every second week and the levels took quite a while to come down.  I was finally given the all-clear at the end of September, after six months.

In mid-May I felt well enough to start looking for work again. I no longer required Endone®, the zapping in my head had ceased, and the allied health practices seemed to be really working.  My left side, from my fingers right to my toes, had a dull, relentless ache that I would rate as a three out of 10 and my thigh was still numb. But despite that, I began applying for jobs. 

On August 17th the zapping started again in the left side of my head. This time my mum and I decided I should try a homeopathic approach to my illness as we now believed it was a vaccine injury.  I took a remedy called Thuja, made using pine needles.  Within hours the zapping stopped.  A week later the right side of my head started zapping.  I took more of the Thuja and the zapping stopped.  Now what I am left to deal with daily from this vaccine injury is the three out of 10 constant dull ache down my left side, fingers to toes.  My thigh is still completely numb, and if I move my head too quickly, I experience pain in my trigeminal nerve on both sides of my head.  This head pain also occurs randomly when it is very cold, or if there is a forecast cold change in the weather.

Recently mum was at the Merimbula markets and saw a FOF display.  She spoke with one of the women organising the display and read many of the stories.  When she told me about it I felt compelled to contact JIA.

The government is still pushing these vaccines.  I am not an anti-vax, but this is no normal vaccine.  It is not tested enough.  I blame the manufacturers for not testing properly, but more so I blame the government for telling us it was safe and effective.  I fear there are more injured people out there who are not being heard.

I want to say to anyone else who is suffering, you are not alone.  I started out with only one medical practitioner who believed me. No one else would take me seriously.  I am so thankful to have found JIA and for this opportunity to tell my story.  Now that I realise there are others who have been injured, I hope through telling our stories we can help each other on the road to full recovery.

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