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Korie Mac

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

A fairly normal average life. I had an unrestricted diet, average aches and pains of daily life. Other than seasonal allergies, healthy as a horse. My family does have a history of having reactions to annual vaccines, like the flu shot, but it had been almost two decades since I had one, and most of my medical team had brushed it off as me being a "borderline anti-vaxxer" (I am not in any capacity. I know how important vaccines are and what benefit they are to humanity).

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

For the record, I did have a flu shot in September of 2021. My kids kept getting brought up for flu and Covid vaccine even though my youngest was too young at the time for either. I volunteered myself to be a guinea pig for the flu shot. I had no reaction of any kind and felt confident that I could handle the Covid vaccine.

October 13, 2021 we left the funeral for my best friend's mom who had died from Covid. Two days later, on October 15, 2021 I received a Moderna Covid shot. Within two or three days I had diarrhea, stomach pains, and overall felt exactly what people described the second shot feeling like. I called my doctor and she said it was unfortunate but not unheard of even with the first one. It took about 2 weeks for me to feel fully recovered.

By November, Thanksgiving week to be precise, I went to urgent care because my ear was hurting. I was diagnosed with an ear infection, given antibiotics, and sent on my way.
Two weeks later, December 3rd, I was rushed to the ER and diagnosed with non-lactational mastitis, given antibiotics, and sent on my way.
A couple of weeks later, on December 28th, I was back at urgent care complaining of my belly button hurting. I figured I pulled a muscle and that was that. He had me go to the ER for a scan because he was concerned it was appendicitis. That same day I was officially diagnosed with appendicitis, given two antibiotics (I was told it wasn't bad enough for surgery), and sent home.

Two days later, January 1 2022, I was rushed back to the ER for rashes, swelling, burning skin, and hives. Turns out I was having allergic reactions to not one but both antibiotics (we did make sure to test it out to make sure). I was given an antihistamine, a different antibiotic, and shoved out the door.

Approximately 10 days, maybe 12 days, later I was back at the hospital. I couldn't eat or drink without my stomach cramping, diarrhea, etc. I had to advocate for myself at the hospital because I believe they thought I was becoming a frequent flyer, but after another CT scan (my second in less than a month) I not only had appendicitis still, but also colitis.
I was admitted, and given *another* antibiotic.

I had no reactions to the antibiotic the first two times but the third time I went from perfectly fine to anaphylaxis is less than 4 minutes. I was given an antihistamine, told I could never have penicillin antibiotics again, and was given a different antibiotic and put under unofficial 24/7 monitoring.
Once the colitis died down a bit, I was given a colonoscopy which came back clean and fine. I spent 4 or 5 days in the hospital on a clear liquid diet. I hadn't been able to eat regularly for weeks before that and could barely eat when I was discharged. I was also told to eat a gluten free/dairy free diet.
In February of 2022, I think early February, I was back at urgent care for a UTI. I was given antibiotics and sent home.
March and April I was still experiencing pain in the appendix region and went to a different hospital to see if they could help better. They ran a blood panel, blood culture, and did another CT scan which all came back negative for appendicitis. The surgeon still wanted to talk to me because he was concerned it could be scar tissue/adhesions/lesions from my ectopic and/or C-section or I could have endometriosis.
I saw him in June to talk details, spoke with my OBGYN about it in July, and in August I was seeing the surgeon again to line up a surgery date.
The surgery was in September 2022 and he found absolutely nothing other than a pissed off appendix. He said my insides were squeaky clean and even gave me pictures. So I walked around for a year with "hidden appendicitis".
I ended up in December with another ear infection but I had a negative reaction to the antibiotics prescribed to me (not allergic but lowered blood pressure, dizziness, loss of appetite, etc). My doctor gave me a different antibiotic and I managed to recover.
In February of 2023 I had a sinus infection and took some prescription grade Flonase for a few days before deciding I didn't need the doctor (fortunately).
That being said, I am narrowed down to one antibiotic family that I do not have any reactions to at all. I cannot even take a statin without having extreme negative side effects. I am terrified of pharmaceuticals and am fine tuning my needs with supplements and things of that nature before dealing with pharma. My doctor even prescribed me an epi-pen on the off chance I have another spontaneous anaphylaxis episode and I am to call and clear any and all vaccine boosters I want/need through her first, but she doesn't want me taking another Covid vaccine. My children's pediatrician, who is very pro-vax, doesn't want my kids having it either based on my reactions.
I also carry a medical book with a color coded list of what antibiotics work and which ones are deadly or don't really work.
My doctor did order an allergy test a couple of months ago and the best news out of all of this is that I no longer have seasonal allergies of any kind in any capacity.
We are aware that the antibiotic allergy could have been because of the overuse of antibiotics (something I was told was irrelevant to my current predicament when I was back in urgent care or the ER), but I have never in my entire life, ever, had back to back infections like this.

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

Having an appendectomy, boosting my gut health/immune system with supplements and vitamins.

Which solutions were not helpful?

The back to back of antibiotics. Most Western medicine apparently.

What would you like others to know?

I'm not sure. It's important, sure, but everything should be taken cautiously. Doctors may not always believe you or think you are overreacting, but keep advocating for yourself.

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