- Tagged with:
What was your life like before you received the COVID-19 vaccine?
I was a healthy, active, longtime vegan without any prior health issues.
Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.
Before the Pfizer vaccine, I was a healthy, active, long-time vegan without any prior health issues. That all changed overnight with my Pfizer vaccination. After my second dosage of the Pfizer vaccine, I was severely ill with flu-like symptoms for five days. On the seventh day, I woke up with severe swelling, known as edema, with an additional twenty pounds due to fluid retention!! After a couple of trips to the ER, a nephrologist appointment, and a biopsy later it was discovered that I developed Minimal Change Disease and Nephrotic Syndrome from the Covid vaccine.
Minimal Change Disease Minimal change disease (MCD) is a condition that damages the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys (glomeruli) that clean the blood. When the kidneys cannot filter, providing clean blood, all organs will eventually shut down. MCD causes Nephrotic Syndrome, which includes symptoms of too much protein in the urine, insufficient protein in the blood, and high cholesterol. MCD is called “minimal change” disease because the damage to the blood vessels is too small (minimal) for doctors to see under a regular microscope.
Besides my kidneys being severely damaged from MCD, I regularly battle symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, edema, abdominal cramps, migraines, body aches, and losing mobility due to severe edema. MCD has also left me
immunocompromised. Now with a weakened immune system, I'm more vulnerable to illness, infection, and it takes me longer to recover.
Steroid treatment is the go-to treatment for MCD. Unfortunately, in my case, being prescribed the steroid, prednisone, was just as destructive as the illness itself. I suffered through intense weight gain, nausea, insomnia, sweating, hair loss, vomiting, blurred vision, stomach pain, bloating, acne, migraines, fatigue, weakness, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, manic episodes, memory loss and hypercortisolism developing both moon face and buffalo hump with zero benefits to my kidneys. Despite lab tests showing no progress with my diagnosis with steroid treatment, it took a year of enduring these horrible side effects before doctors would acknowledge that I was steroid-resistant. After wasting a year on this failed treatment, I've been switched to a treatment plan of immunosuppressants and diuretics.
I've endured two years of countless specialist appointments, lengthy hospital stays, ER visits, bloodwork, X-rays, biopsies, ultrasounds, ambulance rides, a blood transfusion - and everything & anything imaginable with the hope to push my Minimal Change Disease diagnosis into remission, but instead, my condition has worsened to FSGS. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a disease in which scar tissue develops on the glomeruli. FSGS is a serious condition that can lead to kidney failure, which can only be treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant.
According to my doctors, my kidneys are only operating around 20%, and need to be removed. Since I do not have a donor, I have to go on a waiting list with a 5-7 year-long wait for a kidney transplant. The goal now is just to survive long enough for a kidney transplant. Another sad discovery during my healing journey has been realizing that institutional racial, gender, and class bias embedded in the US healthcare system is just as responsible for my decline as the actual illness. It's been such a heartbreaking experience trying to access equitable medical care.
The financial repercussions of this health crisis have been just deadly as the illness itself. Developing Minimal Change Disease has interfered with my ability to work and leaving me without a way to support myself. I lost everything, including my apartment, and was homeless for two months. It's been such a devastating journey without support systems in place to help those of us who suffered vaccine injuries. As an essential worker in NYC, I decided to get vaccinated not only to protect my health but to do what was best for my community's health. My decision was a personal sacrifice to do what was best for the collective, but as I confront this difficult health crisis I feel that I've been abandoned and forgotten.
Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms
I’m not sure how helpful they have been, but I’m currently on treatment plan of an immunosuppressant and diuretics.
Which solutions were not helpful?
What would you like others to know?
As an essential worker in NYC, I decided to get vaccinated not only to protect my own health but to do what was best for my community's health. My decision was a personal sacrifice to do what was best for the collective, but as I confront this difficult health crisis I feel that I've been abandoned and forgotten. I wish people would realize that there are no support systems in place to help those who have suffered vaccine injuries and that many of us are still battling the consequences of the pandemic.
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.