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Kristy Keirsey

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

I was a runner. I ran every day, at least 3-5 miles. Ran a half marathon 2 weeks prior to having Covid and Vaccine reaction. Now, I am pending my disability paperwork. I have been sick since 12-2020 with no help. Healthiest I had ever been in my life. Newly engaged. Now I am about to lose everything on top of losing my health, which was taken from me at 41 years-old. So so sad!

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

I had Covid end of November, beginning of December. I was released back to work 12-6-2020. The VA told me it was safe to have my vaccine less than 3 weeks following severe illness and administered vaccine. I had my first doctor visit complaining of weakness between my first and second vaccine and extreme hair loss. The VA administered second vaccine on 1/21/2021 and it put me in urgent care here at the VA with idiosyncratic reaction, same symptoms of anaphylaxis, but instead of blood pressure bottoming out, it went extremely high and my throat and chest felt like they were closing and I got dizzy. Since this happening, I have been diagnosed with Common Variant Immune Deficiency and am on weekly IGG infusions, Long Covid (myalgic encephalitis), anemia, inflammatory arthritis with knots that have developed in all of my joints, loss of cartilage behind right knee, uncontrollable crying spells that I absolutely have no control over, calf muscles flutter, shooting pains down my legs, COPD-inflammatory problems with lungs, so much swelling in my head that people talking makes my ears pop or turning my head makes my whole head pop and crack. Feel like I am dying slowly and I know that sounds terrible, but I legitimately feel like that is what is going on. Muscle weakness started between first and second shots and then progressively got worse with time and new symptoms began to appear.

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

So far nothing has helped any of my symptoms. Therapy has given me a little bit of hope, but most of the time I am crying so much they can't get anywhere with me and don't know what to do with me other than put me in a private room with lights down to avoid excess stimulation. IGG helped my hair loss and my color came back, but still have really large black circles under my eyes that have never improved. I look sick.

Which solutions were not helpful?

When my immunologist told me to exercise for 45 mins a day to keep from developing blood clots from my IGG infusions. That was when my symptoms were psychosomatic you know, all in my head. I was being told to exercise and it was depleting every bit of energy I had to even try to somewhat function. Now I know from therapy that that was wrong advice and wrong diagnosis and it was harming me even more. This is the stuff I have dealt with continuously. Disbelief and being told it was mental to the point I started questioning my sanity and believing I was crazy. Just sickening to think of everything I have had to deal with since all of this. Even postponed my medication so she didn't have to do two prior authorizations because she didn't think the immune deficiency would make me that sick and I should have been behaving better than I was, little did she know what was really wrong with me. My infusions were postponed almost 2 months when I was so sick I could barely even walk up the stairs. To say I am angry would be sugarcoating things, nothing can describe what I am feeling or any of us in this situation.

What would you like others to know?

We need help. We need people to believe us and our symptoms. We need employers to know that this is going on so we aren't treated so poorly. We need our families to understand. We need support. We need people to help advocate for us. We need people to accept responsibility if at fault. We need hope. We need financial support. We need legal support.
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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.