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Joyce Goff

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

Active, normal. Working full-time, reading, hiking, biking, swimming, spending time with family and friends.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

12-27-2020: Headache within hours of the vaccine that persisted. I noticed a visual tasks increased my headache. Very poor sleep despite good sleep hygiene.

Early January 2021: Tachycardia, heart racing

March 2021: orthostatic hypotension with position changes, elevated heart rate with position changes, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, extreme fatigue with little effort

May 2021; diagnosed with inappropriate sinus tachycardia

May 2021: diagnosed with double vision

Summer/early fall: developed extreme fatigue, numbness and tingling in my legs and feet, sometimes hands. Increased sensitivity to overhead lights and screens, oncoming traffic lights

Sept 2021: joint pain, worsening tingling, numbness

Sept 2021: diagnosed with somatic symptom disorder (despite having been seen at my request to address any anxiety--most of which came from no one believing this was caused by the vaccine)

March 2022: optometry diagnosed no fusional reserve

April 2022: rehab vision specialist: likely cranial nerve 6 involvement, right eye weakness, alpha Omega pupil (and more)

March 2022: As I can do slowly do more, I notice if I put any 'elbow grease' into anything--walk up a hill too fast, for example, my lungs feel okay in the moment, but will burn for a few days. Same if I overdo it with activity that gets me breathing even a little hard

And still with fatigue after normal activities-slowly improving

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

Physical therapy: cranial sacral, strain counterstain, Barral techniques Chiropractic care with functional neurology specialty Functional medicine: gut healing, aminos, vit B, NAC, ubiquinol, and others Rose tint #2 glasses have helped decrease headaches from light sensitivity Filters in lights in my office at work, filters on computer screens, and filter on my phone help with light sensitivity. Vision rehab therapy Mindfulness and CAM Rest--I worked part time over the summer and then off on FMLA for 2.5 to 3 months.

Which solutions were not helpful?

Migraine medications, anti-inflammatory medication, allergy medications, aspirin, Tylenol, muscle relaxers, gabapentin--nothing helped. I stopped trying medication around March 2021. I only take supplements now Exercise made me worse Compression stockings or abdominal binder made me feel sick Massage made me feel sick (I usually love massage) Providers telling me my symptoms were due to anxiety was not helpful. I fully understand how anxiety can worsen or lead to somatic symptoms. What I have is different. I have great strategies for managing anxiety-and I initiated getting help for that very early.

What would you like others to know?

I am NOT an anti-vaxxer. I've been a clinician for twenty years, I was a soldier over six years, so I've had plenty of vaccines. With any medication, some of us are going to draw the short straw--and we need the medical community to believe us and treat our symptoms. If I didn't have a healthcare background, I would not have received the care I did-- and I have had to persist to get it!! I want my life back. I'm back to work-barely. I want to be able to read novels and research, I want to hike more (I can do some,), I want to exercise hard and not have extreme fatigue or fiery lungs for days after.
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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.