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Linda D Mcfate

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

I am 63-years-old. I had several preexisting conditions prior to the vaccine. I have fairly severe S-shaped scoliosis (since childhood), Type 2 diabetes controlled with intermittent fasting, a balance disorder that was finally diagnosed in 2007 (40% loss of function in my right inner ear, unknown cause), damage from the fluoroquinolone antibiotic Avelox in 2010 (tendon rupture, many areas of tendinosis, photosensitivity, memory retention problems), and since June of 2020 I’ve had large paraesophageal hernia repair with Nissen, gall bladder removal in July 2021, and a redo of the PEH & Nissen on May 18 of this year. I also have SAD, and I’m high functioning autistic. In other words, I wasn’t super healthy, but I’d adjusted to my life, and have a very supportive husband and 2 adopted daughters.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

I had no trouble with the first two Pfizer vaccinations; tired for a day and sore arm.

I received the Pfizer booster on 9/30/21. Two hours later, while standing and talking to my husband, I suddenly got extremely lightheaded. He asked if I was having one of my woozy spells from the balance disorder. I told him this was different. He helped me to the couch, and I lay perfectly flat - I couldn’t even tolerate a pillow under my head. After about 5 hours the lightheadedness passed.

The next morning I had a fever of about 101 F. This lasted for 4 days. When the fever broke I had terrible fatigue, and my muscles were very weak, especially my shoulders and calves, which were very painful. I also got short of breath with very little exertion, although my blood O2 on a pulse oximeter was consistently over 97%.

The fatigue lasted about a month. I got to where I could walk a couple of times around a grocery store holding on to a cart, but over the following months it never improved beyond that. My shoulders felt better, but when I unthinkingly lifted 2 galls of water with my left hand, it damaged the shoulder and I couldn’t use that arm for 2 weeks. I learned to be more careful. I noticed that my shortness of breath was better at low altitude when my husband and drove down to the Las Vegas area.

I had a 3-hr PEH surgery on May 18 of this year. Once I was off the strong painkillers, I realized my shoulders had been damaged by whatever position they had been put in during surgery. I couldn’t use either arm for 2 weeks.

Three weeks after surgery my husband and I both got COVID-19. My initial symptoms were similar to the booster; four days of 101 deg temps, followed by extreme fatigue. The pain in my legs was much worse, and I was having heart palpitations, lightheadedness, worse shortness of breath, and erratic blood pressure. The legs were bad enough that I started using a wheelchair. I had pretty bad brain fog.

I talked to my doctor, but she didn’t have any good solutions for me. I went online, and did a search for shortness of breath in COVID long haulers who had no heart or lung issues. A study out of Yale said that it seemed to be an inability for the muscles to adequately get oxygen from the blood. That seemed to make sense as far as some of my symptoms were concerned. I continued to research online, and saw that some people were helped by HBOT. No large studies, but a couple small ones and some anecdotal accounts. Not being covered by insurance, it was prohibitively expense at the local hospital. However, I found a clinic that had just gotten 3 individual HBOT chambers capable of over 2.0 atm. I paid $1,000 for 5 treatments of 1 hour each at 2.0 atm. After the first treatment I had no more brain fog. For the 4th & 5th treatments I could drive myself to the clinic. After the 5th treatment I had no shortness of breath, my muscles were a little weak from lack of use, but they didn’t hurt and didn’t injure easily. My tachycardia was gone. And I now have more energy than I’ve had in 50 years. I don’t know how long this will last - I finished my treatments 5 days ago, but I’m making hay while the sun shines! I spent 3 1/2 hours in my Iris bed this morning, have done 4 loads of laundry, and am getting ready to make supper. The best $1,000 I’ve ever spent.

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

See above -I accidentally put this info in the wrong place and don’t have time to retype it.

Which solutions were not helpful?

Exercise, dietary changes, many different supplements.

What would you like others to know?

If they have access to a hyperbaric chamber and the money to try treatments, it might be worth it for some people. We are all different, and not everyone has the same symptoms. But this worked for me.
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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.