As a healthy 30-year-old woman and mum of three kids, I was extremely hesitant to get the vaccine. I was so hesitant after seeing and hearing all the stories, that I did not want to get it done, and I stood firm. However, I work for an organisation that is funded by the big G. The vaccine was mandated after being told it wasn’t going to be. We were told it was never going to be ‘forced’, but every single day it was spoken about.
A little medical history, I have stage 4 endometriosis, and have had three surgeries and half of my reproductive system removed. After reading on the TGA website of women stating they’d had menstrual irregularities after receiving it, I was even more hesitant. I consulted with my doctor and specialist to get an exemption and was told no, but that I should get Pfizer as it would likely cause less side-effects.
With every vaccine I have received since I was a baby I’ve always had adverse reactions. The chicken pox vaccine for example, put me in hospital for three weeks with it in my mouth, my eyes, you name it. So, I was even more hesitant to get this one. But after being told I was not entitled to an exemption, I rolled up my sleeve and cried the entire time.
On October 28th, 2021, I got my first Pfizer vaccine. The nurse asked me if I was okay. I looked at her and said, “How is any of this ok? If I don’t get it, I lose my job. If I do get it, I risk my health. If I don’t get it my children have to endure lockdown for as long as I don’t.”
I felt awful after getting it. Hot, cold, nausea, headache, vomiting. That was normal, apparently. The next day I got really lightheaded. I can only explain it as if I had vertigo. I couldn’t stand upright for long at all. I was vomiting non-stop and had severe chest pain. It even got to the point where I asked my husband to stay awake until I fell asleep as I feared I would die in my sleep.
I contacted my doctor and alerted them to what had happened, and explained that I was too scared get the second Pfizer. He insisted I was fine and it was normal, and encouraged the second vaccine.
Fast forward to the second Pfizer vaccine on November 19th, 2021. Of course, I was dreading it. I felt pressured, unsupported and forced. I was told I had to sit for an extra twenty minutes because I have ‘anaphylaxis to peanuts’, not because I reported how bad the first reaction was.
I got it done. I then picked up my children and went into town. Within about an hour, I said to my middle child, “Is it hot sweetheart?” She replied, “Not at all”. I was dripping in sweat and became extremely lightheaded again. I ended up going home where I started vomiting again, and the vertigo sensation was back. I pushed through the night, shivering in hot and cold sweats.
The next day I could hardly move out of bed. I was extremely lethargic and limp. By this stage I started getting extremely bad chest pain. Thinking about it now still scares me. I called my local GP and ended up driving myself there as everyone was at work and school. Within five minutes of explaining I had gotten the second Pfizer the day before, she did the normal observations on me. She got to listening to my heart and said “Oh” and paused for what felt like a long time. She then asked me to lie down and checked my blood pressure.
Within a minute of seeing it at 150/90 and a heart rate of 150, she called for assistance. She stated that I needed to go with the nurses and lie on a bed immediately so they could hook me up to an ECG machine, and that they would call the ambulance. She stated I had tachycardia, along with high blood pressure, and she held concerns that if it wasn’t attended to I’d become ill very quickly.
I drove myself to the hospital because I didn’t want to pay an ambulance fee so close to Christmas. Upon arriving, there were three nurses and two doctors waiting for me. They rushed me straight in and had me undressed and hooked me up to do observations. My blood pressure was 160/120 and my heart rate was 160 bpm. By this stage the chest pain was so bad they pumped me with medication to give me comfort, along with medication for my blood pressure.
I was hot and cold, sweating, limp and disoriented at this point. I can honestly say, I thought that was it for me. A nurse who was caring for me sat with me while they were waiting for my heart rate and blood pressure to go down. She said a similar thing happened to her and that she was too scared to tell anyone for fear of losing her job. Six long hours it took for my observations to stabilise. I had eight days off work on sick leave after that.
Today, almost nine weeks since getting the two vaccinations, I still feel awful. I’m always tired, I get constant chest pain – especially if I do anything that makes my heart race. I get palpitations constantly. I can’t run anymore, I get so out of breath. I’m a mum of three, the last thing I wanted was to feel like this. I wish I had never got it. I wish I had stuck it out and pushed through, despite the pressure I had felt. I never want anyone to go through anything like this, whether our stories are similar or not.
I’ve never been anti-vaxxer but will never be forced into something like this again.