Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content

Angela Troxell

What was your life like before you received the COVID-19 vaccine?

I am a Respiratory Therapist, a frontline healthcare worker. I am also a Mom and I have lived with rheumatoid arthritis for many years. I had finally achieved a remission of sorts, and was feeling the best I had in years when the mandates started coming through for all HCW. Prior to vaccination I was working full-time as a Travel Respiratory Therapist, and working a pool position at a different facility, also as a Respiratory Therapist. During my free time I enjoyed paddleboarding, spending time with my family, and was just starting a new exercise program. I had some days where my RA affected me, but I had learned a balance and was able to easily manage my symptoms.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

Within 4 hours of vaccination I began to have symptoms which included tachycardia,, shortness of breath, blurred vision, facial swelling, and brain fog. The next day I had a pronounced drooping of one eyelid, and extreme joint swelling and pain. The fatigue was so intense that I was barely able to wake long enough to use the restroom or try to drink water. The tachycardia was intermittent, but extreme with my heart rate going above 150. By the 3rd day after vaccination when I went to drive to a doctor's office I had been to many times I got lost due to the brain fog. Around the 3rd day I also developed a burning sensation all over my body as if I had a sunburn, and my skin would flush at times. All symptoms that presented initially continued and the blurry vision and watering of the eyes increased I spent most of my time in bed, unable to move from the extreme pain and shortness of breath. By the next week I sought medical attention at the emergency room due to an increase in my shortness of breath and the severity of my brain fog. I had also started having unexplained bruises which were large and quite dark. Fortunately, I did not have a blood clot in my lungs or legs, even though I have pictures documenting a large bruises running from my knee to groin that likely was a blood clot. My labs were off, including a d-dimer over 900 and my inflammatory markers which had shown remission just a month prior were all elevated. CT scan of my lungs showed large nodules measuring 17mm and 19mm, one in each lung. My lungs looked like a patient who had covid-19, they were white, with opacities resembling pneumonia. I still have the nodules and require a CT scan every 3-6 months. I also just completed a 72 hour Holter monitor and cardiac nuclear stress testing this last fall. An echocardiogram was done in the spring of 2022. I am still out of remission for my rheumatoid arthritis currently and I require more prednisone than I did previously. I fatigue easier and have extreme swelling of my lower extremities, especially my left leg on many days. I think of life as before and after now. This literally changed my life, and there was no help from anyone.

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

I wish I could say that something helped me, but the only solution I was given was extremely high-dose oral steroids. I had already been on prednisone previously for my condition and now required 50mg a day just to be able to get out of bed for a short period and to be able to walk. I tried supplements, took daily baby aspirin, and mostly just had to sleep because of the extreme fatigue. I was unable to return to work for over 11 weeks and I am still currently symptomatic with odd cardiac issues and intermittent shortness of breath. I also still feel the effects of the brain fog at times.

Which solutions were not helpful?

Basically everything that was done for me was not beneficial. I asked about IVIG therapy from my rheumatologist and feel as if I was ignored. Many providers didn't want to hear that my symptoms were from the vaccine and instead would blame my autoimmune condition even though I had none of those symptoms prior to vaccination.

What would you like others to know?

Any medication or vaccine can cause a reaction. I truly feel as if this vaccine almost killed me, and I still have great concern for the ongoing effects from it. At one point I was looking for help to compassionately end my life due to the ongoing pain and symptoms I was having even 6 months later. If you have a feeling something isn't right for you, or may harm you listen to your gut instincts.
  • I certify that the statements made in the above submission are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.
  • I agree to allow React 19 to share my testimonial publicly on its website, social media, or webinar platforms. I further understand that my testimonial will be posted publicly and React 19 cannot prevent third-parties from sharing it once public.
  • I agree to notify React 19 immediately should I discover inaccuracies in my testimonial in order to maintain the integrity of React 19's advocacy platform.
The individual experience shared above is offered for informational purposes only. React19 neither endorses nor recommends any treatment(s) noted therein. React19 does not diagnose medical conditions, offer treatment advice, treat illnesses, or prescribe medicine or drugs. It is strongly recommended that, prior to acting upon any information gleaned from a shared experience, you first consult a physician.