Emily S

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I work for a bank and I was mandated by my employer to have two COVID-19 vaccinations within a given timeframe. All employees were sent an email advising they must receive two injections or they would lose their job.

I had my first Pfizer vaccination on 18th November, 2021. My symptoms from this were a sore arm and a headache.
I had my second Pfizer injection on 9th December 2021. I felt pain in my arm immediately and felt that the injection site was too high. Two days afterwards, my arm turned blue at the injection site.

A week later on my way to work, after suffering on-going extreme pain and swelling, I decided to make a doctor’s appointment as I was concerned that I could have a blood clot.

The doctor dismissed that it could be a vaccine-related injury and only prescribed antibiotics. I saw another doctor a few months later who also dismissed me and said the injuries were all in my head. This doctor also approved antibiotics as the treatment.

Further doctors were seen and I ended up having two X-rays on my chest and arm and a lymphoedema study, all of which were clear. During this time, the swelling in my arm became permanent and turned from blue to purple the more I used my arm.

Nine months later, in September 2022, I was referred to a neurologist at the Gold Coast University Hospital. I had a bone scan and nerve study done and both were clear. I was then referred to a vascular surgeon a month later, in October 2022. I was able to see the vascular surgeon in February 2023 and he finally confirmed evidence of a blood clot, which had by now dissolved, but had damaged the vein. He recommended an angioplasty procedure to help open the vein to assist with blood flow. Angioplasty is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This procedure was done at John Flynn Private Hospital on Gold Coast in April 2023.

Shortly after, my surgeon called to discuss an operation to remove my first rib. This was recommended due to the damage to the vein and the diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) which happens when blood vessels and nerves are compressed. I had my surgery for rib removal in May 2023. The recovery time for this was around six months. I’m also hoping to have a stent put in the subclavian vein.

I have now had three angioplasty procedures done, and my fourth is booked for the 11th June 2024 to prevent further clotting.
I still have multiple blood clots including significant blood clots in my arm and thoracic vein. I also have scar tissue in my subclavian vein. Every day, I find it a struggle to walk and breathe. I used to enjoy bush walking and outdoor activities, so it has been very difficult to adjust to the change. I’m not on medications, and blood thinners are not recommended for me at the moment. But my surgeon has told me that I could possibly be on blood thinners for the rest of my life depending on the results of the surgery.

My work has been affected due to the amount of time off I’ve needed for medical procedures. Due to the diagnosis and my pain, I’ve changed to part- time my work in the last two months. I’m still in constant pain and find it difficult to sleep comfortably. My family has been extremely supportive and have helped out financially due to my ongoing medical expenses.

My message:
Only you know your body and I’ve learnt a lot over the last three years. Don’t give up and keep fighting for your worth. Keep looking until you find a doctor who will listen to you.

5842087937054354263.jpg

I work for a bank and I was mandated by my employer to have two COVID-19 vaccinations within a given timeframe. All employees were sent an email advising they must receive two injections or they would lose their job.

I had my first Pfizer vaccination on 18th November, 2021. My symptoms from this were a sore arm and a headache.
I had my second Pfizer injection on 9th December 2021. I felt pain in my arm immediately and felt that the injection site was too high. Two days afterwards, my arm turned blue at the injection site.

A week later on my way to work, after suffering on-going extreme pain and swelling, I decided to make a doctor’s appointment as I was concerned that I could have a blood clot.

The doctor dismissed that it could be a vaccine-related injury and only prescribed antibiotics. I saw another doctor a few months later who also dismissed me and said the injuries were all in my head. This doctor also approved antibiotics as the treatment.

Further doctors were seen and I ended up having two X-rays on my chest and arm and a lymphoedema study, all of which were clear. During this time, the swelling in my arm became permanent and turned from blue to purple the more I used my arm.

Nine months later, in September 2022, I was referred to a neurologist at the Gold Coast University Hospital. I had a bone scan and nerve study done and both were clear. I was then referred to a vascular surgeon a month later, in October 2022. I was able to see the vascular surgeon in February 2023 and he finally confirmed evidence of a blood clot, which had by now dissolved, but had damaged the vein. He recommended an angioplasty procedure to help open the vein to assist with blood flow. Angioplasty is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This procedure was done at John Flynn Private Hospital on Gold Coast in April 2023.

Shortly after, my surgeon called to discuss an operation to remove my first rib. This was recommended due to the damage to the vein and the diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) which happens when blood vessels and nerves are compressed. I had my surgery for rib removal in May 2023. The recovery time for this was around six months. I’m also hoping to have a stent put in the subclavian vein.

I have now had three angioplasty procedures done, and my fourth is booked for the 11th June 2024 to prevent further clotting.
I still have multiple blood clots including significant blood clots in my arm and thoracic vein. I also have scar tissue in my subclavian vein. Every day, I find it a struggle to walk and breathe. I used to enjoy bush walking and outdoor activities, so it has been very difficult to adjust to the change. I’m not on medications, and blood thinners are not recommended for me at the moment. But my surgeon has told me that I could possibly be on blood thinners for the rest of my life depending on the results of the surgery.

My work has been affected due to the amount of time off I’ve needed for medical procedures. Due to the diagnosis and my pain, I’ve changed to part- time my work in the last two months. I’m still in constant pain and find it difficult to sleep comfortably. My family has been extremely supportive and have helped out financially due to my ongoing medical expenses.

My message:
Only you know your body and I’ve learnt a lot over the last three years. Don’t give up and keep fighting for your worth. Keep looking until you find a doctor who will listen to you.

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