I’ve just turned 50, have been married for 23 years and have 3 children (24, 20 and 13). I was always active and am a happy-go-lucky person and stress free. I had been a barber/hairdresser and had my own business for 32 years until COVID hit. In 2020 I had to close the business down due to lockdowns and losing money. At the time my business closed, Coles were asking for online delivery drivers so I put my hand up for that and was working with them doing online deliveries since. Coles were wanting staff to be COVID vaccinated and I was not going to have it. My husband had warned me against it as he’d been done some research and didn’t believe it was safe. I dragged it out for as long as I could but then they mandated and announced the deadline date for those who hadn’t yet had it.
As I needed to work, I went and had the first Pfizer vaccine on 22nd October 2021 with no issue. I had the second Pfizer vaccine on the 5th November 2021, only two weeks later as it was within the height of COVID when they reduced the time between the first and second vaccine from three weeks to two.
I had been getting heavy periods prior to having the vaccine, but it was not enough to stress about. The day after the second vaccine I felt like I was hit by a truck and that was the day my period also started. It got heavier and heavier and heavier. Within a week I was having to wear maternity pads and it got to the point that blood would leak through them and through my clothing and it wasn’t a little leak either! I would either have to go and buy some clothes if I was out somewhere and didn’t have spares on me, or I would need to change if I was at home.
The bleeding continued, and at around a month into it, I’d figured I had to take three changes of clothes with me to work, to get through the day. I couldn’t just stop anywhere to find a toilet and change. I’d have to change in the truck between deliveries. I had thought that maybe this was just menopause starting, and the irregular periods and constant bleeding was normal. A couple of weeks after this I got to the point I couldn’t go work or visit anybody. I didn’t want to leave the house, or sit down as I was too scared that if I did I would leak on the furniture. I would get embarrassed, as there would be trails of blood behind me. I also became too scared to sleep because I knew I’d wake up covered in blood during the night. It took a significant toll on my mental health and also affected my marriage.
I was always tired and my doctor just put it down to being anaemic from the bleeding. In January 2022, around two and a half months after the vaccine, my doctor ended up referring me to a gynaecologist because I had been passing clots the size of my hand. After an ultrasound, the gynaecologist told me I had fibroids. Fibroids are a non-cancerous growth in the uterus. It was getting bigger and bigger, not smaller, and this was where all the blood was coming from. She suggested having a full hysterectomy as this would be the only way to stop it. The hysterectomy was then scheduled for the earliest available, which was July 2022.
I woke up during the night on the 15th March 2022, covered in blood and my husband had had enough, and took me to hospital. When in there, a nurse told me, “Yeah, it’s a side effect from the vaccine”. I hadn’t correlated them until that point, then it all made sense as the bleeding had started the day after the second Pfizer vaccine and had not stopped. I had become so anaemic and had so much blood loss that I had to have blood transfusions as well as iron transfusions.
My husband demanded they do the surgery urgently, telling them I couldn’t wait until July, so they put me on urgent list. I was discharged after one week and prescribed oxycontin for pain management, but even after discharge I was still in so much pain and couldn’t walk.
I had the hysterectomy on 21st April 2022. When I saw the surgeon after the surgery she said the fibroid had grown to size of a golf ball and that I had also developed cysts in my uterus and on my ovaries and they had to take everything out. I was in hospital for two weeks over this time.
From the day after my second vaccination, I bled continuously for five and a half months – from the 6th November 2021 to the 21st April 2022.
Since the surgery, I’ve been getting my psychological health back, and my relationship with my husband is getting better. Also, after not being able to work for four and a half months, I am back working. I refuse to have a booster shot, not that work has mandated it, and I don’t think they will.
I’m grateful having gone through this, that I’ve had all my children. It would be devastating for anyone young to go through this having not yet completed their family.