My name is Josh. I’m 35 years old, a healthy non drinker, non smoker and regular gym goer.
On the 30th November I received my first COVID vaccination.
I had zero reaction or arm pain until the morning of the 3rd December when working on nightshift in the mines. My first reaction was one of extreme heart fluttering, tightness across the left side of my chest and an inability to get a full breath of air. This lasted for approximately 10 minutes and I felt an irregular heartbeat during this time. After two hours and still feeling abnormal, I called my shift boss and requested to see the medic. Once the medic was onsite he tested my blood pressure and blood oxygen levels. My blood pressure was at 140/110 and my oxygen levels were normal. He asked if anything was new in my routine and I mentioned that I had had my first Moderna vaccine recently. He gave me aspirin to rectify the blood pressure and a heartburn tablet, as he was of the belief I was suffering from heartburn.
He advised I go back to work and that I’d be fine. Following his advice, I went back to work with my chest still feeling tight and uncomfortable. At this point I had two hours left of my shift. Upon waking on the 4th December at approximately 12pm, I instantly felt some fluttering again in my chest. I decided to call the medic again. He came and got me and tested my blood pressure, oxygen levels and put me on an ECG machine. Everything was normal except for a small abnormality on the ECG. The site on-call doctor was called and his first question after hearing my symptoms, was what vaccine I’d had and when had I had it. After telling him, he advised me that he believed I was having an inflammatory reaction around, or on my heart and prescribed Voltaren 50mg, three times a day for two days and to go to work and gym as normal.
I skipped the gym that day and also skipped any caffeine intake. I went to work and felt the chest tightness, but nothing else worrying. The following day I went to the gym and monitored myself, but felt okay and proceeded to go to work. That night, 5th December, at approximately midnight, I was doing some light manual labour. I was unloading the work ute when I had another fluttering episode, shortness of breath and felt an odd heart beat. I called the shift boss and the medic came on site again. He did the original tests and the results were normal. He suggested I had anxiety and I would be fine to go back to work. I felt I was at risk if I went back to work and opted to return to my room at camp. I then asked to be sent home to get checked by a doctor.
Upon arrival in Perth my wife took me straight to the Joondalup Health Campus Emergency Department. After an initial long wait we finally got to see a nurse and two doctors. I was hooked up to an ECG and blood tests were taken. I was later diagnosed with pericarditis. I was given a script for colchicine to be taken twice a day, pantoprazole once a day and three ibuprofen four times a day for the first week. I was also booked in for an ECG in the coming days.
During this whole time, all the doctors and nurses seemed to understand exactly what was going on. However, at the same time they were all pushing for me to get the next vaccine, but just to choose a different one next time. They assured me I’d be okay regardless of my concerns about the reactions I was currently experiencing. I even asked one doctor if my reactions were common, as everything she had said just rolled off her tongue, almost pre-scripted. Her answer was that she had seen it a lot, but it wasn’t common. She also said that she had seen thousands of people who hadn’t had any issues.