Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content

Sara Young-Buck

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

Normal. I have type 1 Diabetes, but it is well-managed. I was able to work, eat, sleep, poop, exercise, take care of my kids, and was mostly pain-free.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

On the evening of December 2, 2021, I first noticed pain. It started in my hands; a tingling/burning sensation. I wasn't able to sleep, as the pain moved up my arms, and then started in my feet and legs.

By the next morning I was in considerable pain. I took my youngest to daycare and called the triage nurse at my regular doctor's office, who suggested I go to the ER. She told me that, based on how recently I had been vaccinated, I should be evaluated for Guillian-Barre syndrome.

The ER refused to evaluate me for that, saying it was too rare to bother with. By that time my entire body was burning with pain, everywhere except for my face. Hands, feet, arms, legs, trunk, torso, everywhere. They did a chest x-ray, a CAT scan, told me that I showed some lymph node inflammation but nothing to worry about. They gave me a Vicodin for the pain and sent me on my way. Needless to say, the medication wasn't effective. I was literally sobbing in pain.

The dilaudid my PCP prescribed also didn't work.

The pain lasted another 16 hours. I knew it was nerve-pain, since I have had carpal-tunnel syndrome and pronator-teres syndrome, and know how that feels. I went to another emergency room, where they treated me with ketamine (didn't work), haldol (worked somewhat) and gabapentin (worked a little more).

When the pain subsided, I noticed... numbness.

By December 5th, I was numb almost everywhere on my body except, again, for my face. My arms, legs, hands, feet, scalp neck and trunk were all numb. I burned myself on a heating pad because I couldn't feel it, so I turned it all the way up. I couldn't feel myself using the bathroom, so almost soiled myself a few times.

My sense of taste was destroyed; everything tasted terrible, like baking soda.

I started coughing all. the. time.

I had trouble balancing.

I started fainting.

I was weak.

I was fatigued but had difficulty sleeping.

I had trouble swallowing and couldn't eat solid food

Over the next month my sense of taste got worse. I developed severe constipation and nausea.

Things have improved slowly; I can now feel my hands and feet and some parts of my arms and legs and trunk.

I can eat solid food again (it took about 4 months), though I still can't detect some flavors.

I still have bouts of severe nausea requiring hospitalization

I still get severely constipated on occasion

My blood pressure dips very low, and I still have fainting spells

My resting heart rate is close to 100

I experience burning in my arms and legs and hands and feet

I experience flashes of pain all over my body

I still tire easily

I still get extremely constipated

I have muscle spasms in my back and torso

I have been diagnosed with severe small fiber neuralgia

Cold will cause pain flares

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

Gabapentin is helpful for pain Cyclobenzaprine is helpful sometimes for spasms Heat on painful areas like hands and feet and legs Metoclopramide for vomiting and constipation fludrocortizone for low blood pressure and fainting Senna and senokot for constipation compozine for vomiting trazadone for sleep

Which solutions were not helpful?

dilaudid did not help with pain

What would you like others to know?

This is real. It's not my diabetes. My diabetes was under control; this was the vaccine.
  • I certify that the statements made in the above submission are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.
  • I agree to allow React 19 to share my testimonial publicly on its website, social media, or webinar platforms. I further understand that my testimonial will be posted publicly and React 19 cannot prevent third-parties from sharing it once public.
  • I agree to notify React 19 immediately should I discover inaccuracies in my testimonial in order to maintain the integrity of React 19's advocacy platform.
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.