E.N. – California
Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.
I spent my birthday in the hospital after my health rapidly declined following my vaccination.
I have multiple prior chronic health issues but I am blessed that they are very well controlled and very tightly monitored, and I was able to work full time in the skilled trades field while balancing part time school to get an engineering degree. I was active and decently fit due to my work, I was regularly social (safely), and I was on track for a promotion.
I am very firmly pro-vax and pro-science, and I was very excited to get the vaccine. I had become really sick in March 2020 and was unable to get tested at the time, so I was told to assume it was Covid and to isolate. Afterwards I decided not to get the antibody test since it wasn't going to change anything, and since I had Schrodinger's antibodies, I wanted to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
I got the first Pfizer shot on 4/8 and my arm was sore within minutes. 45 minutes after the shot I had a severe asthma attack that lasted at least two hours and did not respond well to my rescue inhaler. The next day I had another severe asthma attack again lasting at least two hours and not very responsive to my rescue inhaler. I was out of work both days. On 4/11 my right lower back became stiff and I thought I had slept wrong. I woke up the next morning - a Monday - to excruciating pain that crippled me and caused me to limp all day. I went to work because I had missed a lot of work the week before, but on 4/13 I went to the ER for a 'kidney infection' after seeing another doctor and rapidly getting worse to the point where I thought I was dying. I was later told after 3 courses of antibiotics that did not resolve the pain that left me nearly completely bedridden for three weeks that my urine cultures looked relatively normal, and there were no signs of stones. On 4/20, I had a sharp pain in my ear and initially thought it was an aura for a migraine (a prior life-long condition I am well versed in). When it persisted and I started having several other neurological issues inconsistent with any other migraine I've had in my life. I called 911 for a stroke while having difficulty speaking, and they told me it was a panic attack (of which I am also well versed and treated for). This was very clearly neither.
I continued to have pain with my kidneys and entire urinary tract unrelentingly, and asthma attacks every once and a while. I was very firmly advised to not get the second Pfizer shot by my PCP, and I wouldn't have been able to make the appointment for it anyway with how sick I was. On 5/7 I had a 6 hour long asthma attack that would not respond to my rescue inhaler. I had only had exercise induced asthma, and even grew out of it until I became sick in 2020 but this was the worst attack I'd ever experienced. I called my doctor and they put me on the Prednisone pack. The next day I felt like I was drowning. I genuinely believe I almost died that weekend. I slept a total of 3 hours over 48 hours because I was so afraid I was going to stop breathing. I was on my inhaler every single 4 hour mark the minute it ticked. I would have gone to the ER but when I went for my kidneys they dismissed me completely and sent me home after looking at me for 2 minutes, and I felt like I would have died there.
Since 5/7 I have had almost every test I can have for my lungs and kidneys, and I am still on Prednisone. I am on multiple inhalers on top of taking my rescue inhaler daily still, (as needed, and it is) and at one point I had to use a nebulizer five times a day for several days. I have tried a million different types of medication. We have done tests on my heart and for allergies, and we have more tests scheduled. I went to the ER twice more, on 5/20 and 5/22-23, and have seen a million specialists. No one can tell me why my breathing is so bad, and why it isn't responding to aggressive treatments when I was perfectly fine before and all my tests come back normal. No one can tell me why my kidneys and urinary tract hurts and function weird, why I now have to drink 4 liters of water every day just to not be in pain and there is cloudiness and white bits that were not there before. No one can tell me why I suddenly experienced such extreme weakness, chest pain, and light headedness that I literally couldn't walk from 5/21-26 without clinging to someone's arm and shaking like a leaf afterward just to go to the bathroom. No one can tell me why the lymph nodes under my chin have been constantly and painfully swollen, or why my chin hurts and my heart does a weird, hard, off-thump in my chest when I'm stressed now.
My job is in the skilled trades. When my breathing became affected, I was told I can't go back by every doctor I've seen because I can't be exposed to any kind of fumes or particles or anything and risk my breathing. I have to change my whole career because of this. I have been on disability since 4/13 trying to get better to get back to work but I can't even go back to the field I spent time at school for and years working in. It's a very physical field, and I did laundry on a day I felt a little bit better and it took me an entire week to recover. My doctors are talking about biologics if my breathing doesn't get better and the next couple of tests don't yield good results. From what I understand, biologics are life-long, expensive injections. Ironic, how one 'free' injection could cause a lifetime of ridiculously expensive injections.
-E.N. - California
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