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Sarah Schultz

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

Before I received the booster shot I was literally thriving. I lead a very active life with my partner and dog in Colorado, and we were gearing up for a very active and fun summer in the outdoors. I engaged in strength training 3 times per week, daily dog walks, and 2-3 endurance workouts each week including but not limited to running, playing tennis, hiking, or mountain biking. I maintained a very high level of nutrition and health, as measured by quarterly labwork performed by my physician. I am a software engineer by trade, and had recently been promoted to principal engineer at my company. This was a huge milestone for me and a welcomed intellectual challenge. I maintained high levels of mental health through regular meditation, a strong positive social group, and a wellness oriented reading and podcast habit. My partner and I had been planning to start trying to have a baby this year, so I was working through the preparatory learning and labs necessary to ensure I could have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child! All of this came screeching to a halt 12 hours after I received the Covid booster shot.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

I received the Pfizer booster on June 2nd at 8AM, about 9 weeks ago.

In the first two weeks after the booster, I experienced nausea, chills, headache, brain fog, nerve pain, muscle weakness, fatigue, light headedness and dizziness, HUGE spikes in anxiety, loss of taste, and an overall malaise I could only describe as feeling "poisoned" or "hungover." The nerve pain and muscle weakness were especially pronounced in my limbs, especially my legs. I experienced pins and needles in my feet and would occasionally have my legs give out while walking. My partner Carl would have to assist me in getting to my feet and getting to the nearest chair. Taking my temperature did not reveal a fever. I was confined to bed most days.

In those two weeks, I was unable to see my primary care physician due to her being out of town. I took several rapid tests to rule out the possibility that I’d contracted Covid at the same time as having had the booster, and every test was negative. On one particularly bad day, I had a telehealth call with a physician at an urgent care who suggested I have lab work done to test my organ function.

When my doctor returned from vacation, she ordered a bunch of tests be performed and I completed those on June 13. As I understand the interpretation of these labs, there was nothing in the results that indicated any major infection or issue with organ function. I was told that if I wasn’t presenting as symptomatic, that the labs would indicate I was, “perfectly healthy”.

Due to the rapid onset of these symptoms following my receiving the Pfizer booster, my primary care doctor believes the symptoms were triggered by the booster itself. As such, over the last 6 weeks, I have followed her instructions to adhere to the FLCCC protocols which has included Ivermectin & low dose naltrexone, amongst a slew of vitamins and minerals.

In weeks 3-9, I have experienced a very slow diminishment of some symptoms, though on a bad day I still experience pronounced fatigue, extremely low mood, nausea, and malaise that prevents me from doing much activity.

On a good day, I am fairly functional and am able to perform my job duties, help around the house, engage in exercise and occasionally run errands by myself, all while having steady levels of energy (though still lower than what I consider my normal). I require very little bed rest and, outside of a lower than normal mood, I have very mild symptoms if at all. I have noticed that I will have a sudden resurgence of symptoms (nausea, malaise) if I exert myself too much (via attempted exercise, hikes, walks, etc) but I usually rebound in about 24 hours.

Despite the slow progress (for which I am grateful), I remain curious about any underlying immune conditions that I may have, as well as the degree to which I should remain vigilant against future exposure to COVID with respect to spending time in public & traveling. Until this booster reaction, I would have described myself as extremely healthy and active, diligent to get bloodwork done quarterly with my physician, and as maintaining a very high level of nutrition. The mystery surrounding this condition and its emergence has resulted in some considerable anxiety on my behalf.

One last thing to note – my mental health has been completely overthrown. The levels of anxiety and depression that have almost instantaneously manifested in me, have been close to unbearable at times. I cry most days and struggle to motivate myself to do anything -- even fill in a form like this. I struggle with feelings of hopelessness, especially this week as my primary care doctor has declared my case too complex for her and asked me to find another provider to help me. I'm really not sure what next steps are possible -- but at 10 weeks now, I am becoming desperate.

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

Rest seems to help me considerably. The worst symptoms I experience almost always follow attempts at exertion -- usually hiking or cardio of any kind. If I avoid that level of intensity, I have a more stable experience -- though I wouldn't say "normal" experience. Ivermectin, for all it's politicization, actually helped me. My overall level of energy and comfort went up an entire step, while taking IVM. I had some good contrasting data points to this, because my prescription lapsed twice in the last 10 weeks and so I was able to notice how much more effortful life was without it. Still, it only seemed to MANAGE not necessarily IMPROVE my condition. I am off of this medicine now. I received high dose vitamin C and glutathione via IV and this seemed to create a small, temporary boost in my energy.

Which solutions were not helpful?

IV NAD+ was administered to me and seemed to do nothing. It was brutal to receive and expensive. Oral NAD+ seemed to do nothing, as well. Low Dose Naltrexone was prescribed to me, but I haven't noticed an improvement/degradation from it, so it is at best, neutral.
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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.