What was your life like before you received the COVID-19 vaccine?
With Rheumatoid arthritis but taking Minocycline- I had been living my life without daily pain or difficulties. It was at about 85 percent of who I was prior to that diagnosis. But driving, cooking, grocery shopping, dancing, walking, etc. Pre lockdowns, I went out to eat 3 times a week, did international traveling, enjoyed live music. Other than a daily nap, I really didn’t have much in line with any limitations. My hand strength was a little weak.
Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.
The first two Covid shots went fine. No issues, not even arm soreness. I had been very happy to know that they were done with ultra cold and not preservatives, as I have had issues with preservatives in shots. I had read of others with autoimmune diseases saying it put them in a flair. I had no problem and kind of played down those woes as those claiming problems for sympathy or political acclaim.. On the 3rd day out from my Booster (3rd shot) my knees felt hot, swollen, and I could barely stand up. When I went to the bathroom, I could not get off the toilet. I had to use the towel bar to pull myself up. Expecting it to calm down within days, it appeared to cause an RA flare. Over the months, I lived with what became new disabilities and abnormal days for me. , I just tried to find ways to keep going, as I live alone. Those early days, I had to almost crawl up the steps to get to my bed. The pain later went to my neck, and then to my shoulders. It came where even trying to put something in my microwave that’s mounted over my stove was nearly impossible. I couldn’t life my arms up that high and the weight of a bowl of soup was excruciating. Rolling over in bed to hold the covers while I moved was next to impossible. It was in April 2022 that I finally decided this was not going away on its own. See next for more of timeline.
Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms
On April 5th, 2022 I went to my family clinic where I told the nurse that I felt I’d gone into an RA flare cause of the covid booster. She said…I can’t write that down. Which I felt sad about. I was not an Anti-Vaccer. I was a person who suddenly lost abilities after the shot. The dr came in, I told him I was having trouble getting up from even the toilet. He checked my knees and said the mechanics were fine but it was like I lost muscle above and below the knee. He set me up for PT which I did for 7 weeks. I later contacted him via the patient portal and thanked him, as the PT helped but I was still having pain. So, it was in possibly June of 2022 I started taking Naproxin which helped. But I was having to go to the chiropractor cause then the pain moved from my knees up to my neck -which would lock up every few days. RA flare issues kind of move and when the neck problem quieted, my shoulders became inflamed. Again the chiropractor worked on that to at least keep me semi mobile. I also went once to acupuncture which normally helped with my RA but this time, it did little. With the shoulder issues, it now was affecting my back shoulder blades. At that point, I was thinking I needed deep massage. I ended up going to 6 massage therapy sessions. After the first one, she asked if I could come back within days cause my whole body was inflamed. Each time I saw her, I had about 3 days of relief. And each time there was less pain- like it was being forced or rubbed out. Maybe telling my body to calm. I still have days where my back flares up but I am now 16 months out and I feel FINALLY I am getting closer to normal. Not fully where I don’t need Naproxin now and again. But just in the last 2 weeks, I’ve not needed to pull myself up to get off the toilet. My knees are working better. There is still a lump in my shoulder blade that gets inflamed when I sit each evening. But on a whole…16 month later…I’m seeing the light I think at the end of the tunnel. Its been a dark dark tunnel. I really was wondering if there was an end.
Which solutions were not helpful?
Not quite sure. I think each thing I did, from seeing the Dr. Getting PT, seeing the chiropractor, seeing the acupuncturist, and seeing the massage therapist each took me a step closer to feeling better. I think my system given I already had an autoimmune disease put it into overdrive, and its taken these 16 months to get the majority of it out of my system. I am glad for the vaccines in that it has saved a lot of lives. I just think for some of us, our bodies took it to a fight that was major. Let’s just say, that mentally…this did take me down a very dark path. I felt I had aged 20 or 30 years within days of the shot, and I really didn’t care if I woke up the next day anymore.
What would you like others to know?
That its possible their body’s response might not be a permanent issue. I can’t say for all, as those that may have been border line of an autoimmune disease- it may have kicked it in/on. Or that the inflammation lit the fire so to speak. For that I’m sad, as having gotten RA about 10 years ago, I personally have been happy with the medication of minocycline as noted in the ROADBACK.ORG program and had my life going well. The setback of the covid booster I had -was why I stayed clear of regular RA drugs. I personally do no do well with prescriptions. I was rather elated I got in two covid with no issues and still pray that with the 3 that if I get covid, I will beat it, and hopefully not go into another round of my body overreacting. Not everyone has that ability to quiet their health issues one it turns on its overdrive. My dr suggested I not get any more covid shots with what happened.