My name is Natalie. I’m 27 years old but I was26 when I received the COVID vaccine. Before getting vaccinated I was an early childhood educator for four years. I was also very fit and active. I lifted weights five or six days a week and for the last eight years lived a health-conscious lifestyle with my partner. I had no health issues prior whatsoever.
I didn’t want the COVID vaccine. I was hesitant because I was healthy and had a strong immune system built from working in childcare. I never felt the need to get any vaccine before, and I didn’t feel that this was any different. I got the vaccine because my boss pulled me aside after hearing I was dubious about getting the vaccine. She wanted to know on the spot if I was getting the vaccine or not, and if I wasn’t, she was going to replace me ASAP.
The ultimatum I was given over my own body and my lifestyle made me feel hopeless and defeated. I think anyone who feels forced into something they don’t want to do, will try to make it a little easier by convincing themselves ‘they’ll be okay’. The other choice was to lose my job which also meant losing my home and not being able to survive financially.
I got the Pfizer vaccine on 17th September 2021 in my right arm. Within about 10 minutes of being in the waiting room I started to feel a tightness in my chest. I told the nurse and I was taken into the backroom for an ECG. The ECG showed up normal. I was told I was having anxiety and given a pack of Valium. I knew though, this was not anxiety, but I did as directed and went home.
I went home and the tightness in my chest persisted for two days, I thought this was just going to go away. I was at work and the tightness developed into proper chest pain and breathing difficulties, so I left work and went straight to the hospital. While I was in hospital they ran tests – ECG, chest X-ray and blood work to check for clotting. The results showed I had some inflammation in my chest. I mentioned that I had the COVID vaccine a couple days prior, but they responded saying it was unlikely it was from the vaccine and I was given anti-inflammatory medication and pain relief and sent home with the instruction to take Nurofen every four to six hours.
I followed instructions and the chest pains and shortness of breath persisted. A couple of days later I started getting sharp pains in my thighs and calves, so I returned to the hospital. They did another ECG and tested me for blood clots.
I wasn’t given any results, but the doctor told me I had post-vaccination syndrome and told me to go and get the second COVID vaccination as soon as I was able to. This was probably the worst doctor I ever experienced out of the seven doctors I have seen since this whole saga unfolded. He was rude, dismissive, even to tell me to put my mask on when I couldn’t breathe. He didn’t care about my well-being at all and you can imagine how I felt. I went home and continued taking Nurofen to try and manage the symptoms, but it wasn’t helping at all.
After a week I went and saw a new GP, who for the sake of saving GOOD doctors, I won’t say her name, but this doctor saved my life! From the get-go she believed me. She didn’t question my authenticity and tested me for everything based on an adverse reaction to the COVID vaccine. At this point the tests weren’t showing much other than an extreme immune response. I continued to see doctor #1 on a regular basis as I was still experiencing all my symptoms on a daily basis and was unable to work or was being pressured to work by my boss, otherwise I’d lose my job.
Fast forward to the beginning of November 2021. I began having severe vertigo to the point I was unable to stand. There was no specific trigger and it started with once or twice a day but progressed to all day everyday by December. At the same time, I also started to experience extreme migraines which felt like my head was exploding! It legitimately felt like someone was stepping on my head and that doesn’t even do justice, as it’s nothing I ever felt in my life before. The pain was so excruciating I took myself to the hospital. They did a CT scan and kept me over night. The CT showed nothing. The first doctor at the hospital gave me Panadeine Forte which didn’t help. But then there was a shift change, so a second doctor came and gave me Endone only an hour after the Panadeine Forte, and then sent me home stumbling.
At home I had a severe reaction to the medication I had been given. I felt like I was crawling out of my own skin, I couldn’t sleep and I felt physically sick and nauseous. I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to die’ I rang my dad as I needed someone to be with me, and when my dad arrived he said, “WTF! Look at you!” He said I looked like a zombie and called the hospital immediately to aggressively question their motives behind sending me home when I was clearly very unwell and should not have been released.
They told my dad to bring me back in and so we went. Unfortunately, the A**H*** doctor was on and he took me into the examination room. He basically just said I was having a bad reaction to the Endone and Panadeine Forte and to go home and wait ‘til it left my system. This took about 24 hours of HELL! I never got any answers about my severe migraines from the hospital and the story continues.
I returned to my GP (Doctor #1) about the migraines in mid-December and she sent off for me to get an MRI, but she couldn’t get me in ‘til January. So she wanted me to keep going in to see her just to keep an eye on me. On December 23rd I was at work having severe migraines and my vision started turning into a distorted funhouse mirror like state. I then went to the staffroom and basically passed out on the lounge. One of my colleagues was concerned and got my boss. My boss woke me up and said you’re clearly unwell and need to go home and take some time off. I haven’t returned to work since, nine months later.
From here things escalated on a weekly basis. All my symptoms became progressively worse on top of a new list of symptoms, including neurological issues such as my coordination, and being unable to pick things up. I have facial twitches on my left side, mainly in my lips and my eye, severe brain fog, borderline dementia like episodes, and severe fatigue which was diagnosed as chronic fatigue. I also have auto immune responses such as psoriasis on my chest and my scalp.
January came around and I went for the MRI which unfortunately came back negative. Even so, my doctor thankfully was saying this was a vaccine related reaction in writing. She wasn’t 100% sure on how to treat me, but she just thought she would try different treatments to see how we went. She started me with anti-histamines and oral steroids for inflammation. I wished they’d worked but they didn’t.
Not long after this appointment, I was notified by my doctor #1 that she would be leaving and moving somewhere else. She said she would put me with another doctor in the same practice who she believed was in the same mind about things. She was right! Doctor #2 has been nothing less than amazing and I’m extremely grateful.
It took about two weeks for me to get in to see him. He started a little bit from scratch and running a few tests. He found my liver enzymes were off and my cholesterol levels were raised, something which he found to be a bit strange. He kept checking on them for a couple of months and he found them both to fluctuate up and down with no consistency. He tried me on a few different medications for the migraines. None of them worked. They only made me feel worse. He suggested at this stage it was a good idea that I see a naturopath. He confirmed in writing that I 100% have a vaccine related Injury, he also said to me that the vaccine has decimated my immune system.
It was now February 2022, and I was struggling with all of the above symptoms. It was next level pain and discomfort that words don’t describe. At this point I had just run out of all my leave from work, so the stress of the financial strain had also started. I put in my claim in for worker’s compensation and my doctor supported me with the claim. It took three to four months to go through, but I was approved in the end. They were more than unhelpful in processing my claim and clearly didn’t want to approve me, but had no choice.
Late February I saw a naturopath who was also great. I ran her through my story and she provided me with many different vitamins and supplements, which I am still taking to this day as they have helped. Turmeric, Curcumin, Quercetin, vitamin D3, Zinc and Vitamin C, all the B vitamins and Magnesium. She recommended high dose of Vitamin C daily. Her idea was to treat my injury like Long COVID.
In March I started to see improvements. Nothing drastic, but enough where I’m not in crippling pain every day. I was adamant I was going to heal myself through natural remedies. I’d given up all hope on conventional medicine, not at fault of my doctors, but I don’t know if they know what to do. I was actively doing things to improve my health daily and resting as much as possible. By the end of March while most of my symptoms were very slightly improving, unfortunately my fatigue seemed to be getting worse by the day.
I was seeing my doctor #2 for check-ups every three weeks, just taking everything day by day, I had pretty much accepted that this was my life, and I didn’t know if I would ever get myself back ever again. It was far from my old self, but my injury had kind of plateaued at about 5% of my old self which has not changed to the current day.
Fast forward to July 2022. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue. And this brings us to the current day. I think I am getting better thanks to the vitamins and exercise physiology – I want to remain positive. I also started taking CBD oil which has been a massive life saver. These are small positives, but they are the positives that keep me going day to day.
My chronic fatigue however has reached a stage I cannot control when I pass out. I could be sitting at the dining table eating dinner and suddenly end up face first on the table. I’ve learned my limits which allow me to somewhat function between the hours of 11am-5pm. But I have to nap at least four or five times a day. It wouldn’t be far from the truth to say that 80% of my life now is spent asleep.
I’m so angry and sad for anyone that is going through the same thing as I am. Not many words come me because those feelings consume me right now. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone so I’m spreading my story in hope that I can help someone suffering as much as myself.