I’m a healthy 27-year-old. I had recently been putting my health and fitness first and was feeling fantastic. I was absolutely against getting the vaccine, however I buckled under the pressure from society and certain family members.
On 11 January 2021 I had my first Pfizer vaccine. Nothing out of the ordinary to begin with, just a sore arm. Three days later I noticed some pain in my back. It felt like a severely pulled muscle in my left shoulder blade, so I just thought I’d injured myself somehow but was perplexed as to how. As the week went on the pain increased. The pain was now in my chest. I was having sharp pain behind my breastbone and to the left. When I would lay down the pain became noticeably worse and if I lay on my back it felt like pressure pushing down on my chest.
Even though I was aware the vaccine could cause chest pain I kept trying to find other explanations for what I was feeling. By this point I was thinking anxiety, acid reflux, trapped gas etc. With each day passing I was becoming more suspicious though. After just over a week, I was starting to develop new symptoms. In addition to the chest and back pain I was now having episodes of tachycardia (180bpm resting), pre-syncopal episodes (dizziness), the feeling of a pounding heart, and shortness of breath.
My husband is on FIFO (fly in, fly out) work and we have two toddlers so I can’t just drop everything to go to the hospital. On day 14 he flew home. As soon as he got home, I asked him to take me to the hospital. On arrival at the emergency department my heart was absolutely pounding. I thought I was having a heart attack. My resting heart rate at this point was 170bpm so they brought out a wheelchair and took me straight through.
I was immediately hooked up to an ECG and my blood pressure was taken. Three rounds of blood were taken along with a bunch of questions. While I was hooked up to the ECG I had roughly seven palpitations which were captured, and the cardiologist wasn’t happy with what she saw. I went for an X-ray and while I was there my bloods came back. I was D-dimer positive, so they were starting to suspect a blood clot. I was then sent to have a contrast CT. That came back clear so I was admitted to the Coronary Care Unit where I was told I had vaccine induced pericarditis. The following day I was given a bedside echocardiogram and discharged with a care plan.
The care plan consisted of strict bed rest for two weeks, ibuprofen three times a day, and a follow up appointment in a few weeks with the consultant cardiologist with a full echocardiogram. As I mentioned earlier, I have two active toddlers and a FIFO husband. Bed rest is near impossible. I was advised by the cardiologist NOT to get the second vaccine. So now I’m in the process of jumping through hoops to get an exemption.
I’m still recovering so I’m not sure what life will look like for me going forward but at this moment any activity is difficult and leaves me short of breath. Also, due to the medication I’m very drowsy and spend most of the day sleeping.
The most frustrating part is reading and seeing everywhere how heart problems associated with the vaccine are so RARE! They absolutely are not. Every single person I spoke to in the hospital said they are inundated with people coming in with the same thing. It is absolutely not rare and can have lifelong implications if not treated seriously. People deserve to have all the facts and then make their decisions accordingly.