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Karen Garcia

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

Busy I was seeing various consultants who suspected long covid. I tested negative for covid in July 2020 but ended up in emergency dept with breathing problems. The consultant told me I clinically had covid and 25% of tests are not accurate. I continued working full time (dragging myself in) and was getting dizzy spells, I was short of breath and exhausted. I then missed 2 months off work and recuperated somewhat.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

20 min after vaccine my left eye began twitching constantly as I was driving home. I thought nothing of it and went to work the following day. That day my face felt numb on the left side and not right. I had not looked in a mirror but when I got home my daughter said there was something wrong with my face. I went to my GP who said it looked like Bell’s palsy and sent me to hospital. I was admitted and the following day my muscles began twitching. The consultant said that that was not normal but there was so much they did not know yet.

The twitching soon turned into spasms on my whole body that were frightening and very bad. The nurses put up the side bars on the bed and tried to calm me down. I tried to tell them That calming down made no difference as I completely had no control over them. They did not listen and the doctor did not come. I was like that for 90 min. I was calling my husband begging him to help me. Eventually a doctor came and gave me a Valium. The nurse said I was tachycardic. I passed out immediately. I was in hospital for 4 days but no medicine was given and the twitching calmed down a little but did not stop. My face was still bad and I begged for steroids as I googled that I should take them. A lovely doctor agreed and also prescribed more Valium to take home.

For the last 6 months I have had an irregular heart beat. The GP picked it up on a ECG and sent me to hospital. The GP said it was atrial fibrillation but the hospital were not sure. I feel this could be related as my heart was perfect when it was checked in 2020 but I doubt that will be confirmed. The heart beat issue is for several hours a day again in the evening .

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

My face improved on steroids and is 90% normal now. I still get numbness on my left side if I am exhausted. I eventually saw my GP who prescribed pregabalin. I was already taking codeine now and again and worked out that the pregabalin and codeine taken together worked really well with the twitching. I am now taking both still. My twitches are still bad in the evening after a long day at work and are bad when I relax. They are triggered by loud noises and touch as well as tiredness. My daughter thought it was hilarious when she would touch my feet and my upper body would twitch, she said it was like a remote control!

Which solutions were not helpful?

Taking Valium did not work, I passed out but was worse the following day. Some drug they gave me for epilepsy. Can’t remember the name, sorry. Relaxation techniques. Twitches are worse the more I relax. Seeing a neurologist (professor Tubridy) who told me there was nothing wrong with me even though I was twitching so badly throughout the appointment. He said he could do some tests but it would probably be pointless. I felt so angry and deflated that I did not do tests. Beta blockers for heart issues did nothing.

What would you like others to know?

If you are twitching/or experiencing muscle spasms since your vaccine you are not suffering from anxiety and you do not need to relax. If your face does not look right get help as soon as you can from a hospital. Do not be afraid to say that for whatever reason the covid vaccine is not for you. If you have had any reaction do not feel the pressure to ever get another. I have covid right now and although I feel lousy I would take the 2% chance that I might get very sick before I would get another covid vaccine. I am still seeking help from the medical profession for my heart issues and my GP monitors the twitching a few times a year. I am working hard to build up my immune system . If you can battle on and stay at work, psychologically it puts you in a better place even though I do not have energy in the evenings.
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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.