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Tammy Hebert

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

I was a busy active person who loved being outside doing things. Gardening, landscaping, helping with projects - just loved being involved and getting dirty! I worked full time 40 plus hours a week as a kitchen and bath designer. Traveled all over creating spaces for people and bringing projects alive. I was an energetic, get things done and have some fun kind of person. My husband and I were always doing things together. He has the same personality I did. Life was perfect, and I was the happiest person I had ever been. Cliff and I got married in June of 2020 - during the pandemic. He is the love of my life whom I totally adore.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

Here are the dates and symptoms from my journal - in list format.

I know this is a lot of information, but please read it all. My symptoms over these past 2 years keep increasing with no known cause.... I am trying to find answers and watched your program THE UNSEEN CRISIS.

April 2, 2021 - Woke with a severe headache that lasted 2 days (I did have a problem with headaches and my eyes, so thought nothing of this at the time)
May 12, 2021 - Woke with throbbing right shoulder
May 18, 2021- X-ray showed calcification of the shoulder joint
June 3, 2021- Woke with a swollen right hand and very painful. Blood work for autoimmune disorders and Lyme's
June 7, 2021- Knee and ankle pain, extreme fatigue
June 9, 2021- Bloodwork showed mild Rheumatoid arthritis, referred to Rheumatologist.
June 23, 2021- Woke with a painful and swollen left hand and reduced strength
July 6, 2021- A lot of joint pain and nausea
August 7, 2021- Pain and numbness in both feet woke me up in the middle of the night
August 14, 2021- Left shoulder and arm throbbing, could not sleep. Treated with prednisone. Lasted 5 days.
September 5, 2021- Woke with neck and collarbone pain. Severe pain lasted 3 days, fatigue lasted many days.
September 21, 2021- Severe headache and burning throat and chest. Covid test negative. Felt like I could not breathe deep enough. Lasted 5 days.
October 2, 2021- Neck and left shoulder throbbing. Lasted many days.
October 20, 2021- Rheumatologist apt # 1. Ordered more bloodwork and X-rays. thought chest pain was from costochondritis.
October 27, 2021- Severe headache
October 31, 2021- Neck and left arm pain still ongoing.
November 3, 2021- Started methotrexate
November 18, 2021- Excessive joint pain. Lungs, throat, and burning chest pain. Felt like I couldn't breathe deep enough. Very hoarse voice. Lasted 5 days.
December 2, 2021- Very hoarse again with nausea and fatigue. The doctor took me off methotrexate. Put me on prednisone. Symptoms lasted 6 days.
December 27, 2021- Several painful days of headaches with blurry/double vision
January 3, 2022- Severe neck pain that goes down my arm and hand falls asleep. Lasted 3 days.
January 17, 2022- elbow to hand, and knee to foot pain and numbness started. Groin and hip pain as well.
January 25, 2022- Started leflunomide and 2 week course of prednisone.
February 4, 2022- X-rays of neck and spine
February 5, 2022- Severe neck painm stomach pain and vomiting. Lasted 2 days.
February 7, 2022-- X-rays showed moderate to severe arthritis throughout my spine, MRI ordered
February 12, 2022- Lower leg and foot numness and fatigue
February 13, 2022- Woke with Left arm and leg numbness and pain
February 17, 2022- Woke with increased lower leg and foot pain and numbness
February 21, 2022- MRI showed agressive arthritis, degenerative disk disease and stenosis. Refered to spine doctor.
February 24, 2022- Woke with extreme lower leg and foot pain. Started using shower stool. Get weak in shower, especially my legs. Shower creates fatigue, MRI of lower back ordered the next day.
March 2, 2022- Severe neck pain. MRI showed buldging disk and spurs
March 6, 2022- Burning underarm pain began. extreme fatigue
March 9, 2022- Began using cane Driving makes legs go numb. Electric shock type pain in both feet. Taken out of work until seen by spine institute
March 20, 2022 Severe headache. Very weak and fatigued. Loss of left arm strength, electric shock type pain in hand.
March 23, 2022- Numbness and weakness lower half of arms and legs. Underarms still burning. Another bought of hoarseness and burning throat / chest. Shower felt like 1,000 needles in lm lower legs.
April 4, 2022- Taken off leflunomide due to liver function issues
April 8, 2022- Spine doctor ordered physical therapy. Said numbness not consistent with diagnosis, suggested an autoimmune issue. Working from home during the course of PT.
April 15, 2022- Put on prednisone and antibiotics. Very hoarse, lungs hurt, and short of breath again. lasted many days.
April 28, 2022- Breathing and hoarse still a problem. Talking makes it worse. Doctor ordered more tests.
April 30, 2022- Weak spell while cooking. Could not hold onto anything or grip anything. It exhausted me. My husbnad helped me lay down. Continued underarm burning pain.
May 2, 2022- Admitted to hospital through ER visit. Had many tests. Had spell where my blood pressure dropped and I passed out. Had an EMG and a EEG and more MRI's. All normal. Was in hospital 2 days.
May 9, 2022- Started PT
May 11, 2022- Went outside to look at gardens. It was a 90 degree day. Got very weak and went in to rest.
May 17, 2022- Another arm weakness spell. Same as before. Kept dropping things. Very fatigued
May 22, 2022- Underarm burning pain continues. Had a dizzy and weak spell at church and collapsed. Left hand twitched and jumped for a long time as well as my left eye. Extremely fatigued all day.
May 27, 2022- Arm and leg weakness and heaviness. Crawling type sensation in lower legs.
May 30, 2022- Feels like I have a concrete boot on my left foot. Woke with buzzing in ears. Onset of tinnitus.
June 6, 2022- Shower worse than usual. Cliff had to help me get out and get dressed.
June 8, 2022- Headache, chest and rib pain. Shock type pain in feet. Hard to concentrate and tinnitus continues.
June 10, 2022- Eye exam today showed small bleeds in the back of my eyes. No known cause
June 15, 2022- Weakness and fairgue continue as well as burning underarm pain.
June 21, 2022- PT very difficult. Realized somethings they wanted me to do I could not do. I could not lift my left leg as they asked. I was very emotional as a result.
June 28, 2022- Woke with bad headache and twitching nerve pain in left foot.
July 3, 2022- Woke with extremely weak left leg. Felt like a rubber band and difficult to lift.
July 17, started cymbalta
July 20, 2022- Left leg weakness after shower was severe. Could not lift leg, had to slide it. Waking with muscle spasms in the night started. Started gabapentin.
July 28, 2022- PT Eval today. No more sessions for now. Feels it is a systemic issue.
July 30, 2022- Having trouble moving bowels worsening.
August 10, 2022- Woke with burning leg pain into my hip. Trouble moving left leg. Being awake in middle of night started due to pain and spasms. Started meds for constipation.
August 31, 2022- Only sleeping 2 to 3 hours at a time due to pain, burning and spasms.
September 6, 2022- Follow up eye doctor apt. Same results.
September 19, 2022- Severe burning face pain. Cannot even think.
September 29, 2022- Woke with extremely numb face, upper lip and nose. Periods of intense burning as well.
October 4, 2022- Hand tremors started at random times. Very weak also.
October 6, 2022- First visit at John Hopkins in Bethesda Maryland with Dr. Keszler. Many tests ordered
October 11, 2022- Everything was burning when I woke at 2. My legs, arms, underarms, chest, and face. My legs and right arm were twitching. My right hand was having tremors. What an awful morning.
October 24, 2022- Back at John Hopkins. Had EMG, EEG, MRI and they attempted lumbar puncture with not success. After 3 attempts could not get needle between my disks. Will order done by X-ray.
November 8, 2022- Lumber puncture by X-ray went well.
November 10, 2022 - Weakness, numbness, and burning pain has increasingly worsened. My mobility is declining.
November 17, 2022- My doctor from John Hopkins explained they did not find a clear cause to my issues. So hard to hear that. He ordered skin biopsies to test my nerve fibers.
November 30, 2022- Burning face pain and pressure. It was awful. Took extra meds and Cliff rubbed my head. My legs were a constant burn as well. I continue to be extremely weak and fatigued. Dr. Keszler increased my gabapentin to 900 three times a day . Out of owrk completely, on disability.
December 9, 2022- Appointment with PCP. Ordered a brace for my foot. Options for help sleeping. Offered counseling if I need to talk to someone. Told her I would think about it.
December 12, 2022- Extreme burning pain in my head and forehead. Felt like my had would explode because of the pressure. Hand tremors and weakness increasing. My concentration and ability to think very affected today
December 20, 2022- Hand tremors every day for a week. Only a few a day, but still different. And I am dropping things more often. My sleeping issue continues. Woke with extreme burning leg pain at midnight. The shower was awful. My left leg got extremely weak and heavy. Very difficult to walk. I went to bed at 9 but got back up at 10 because my legs hurt so bad I could not get comfortable.
December 26, 2022- Mt face and head burned so bad it made me nauseous. This lasted all afternoon. I took extra gabapentin and laid down. I was able to sleep for a bit. But when I woke it got really bad again really fast. And I felt sick again. The top of my head felt like it was going to explode.
January 8, 2023- Very weak today. Used my rollator walker to leave the house. The burning in my legs was bad. My hands were weak and shaky. Holding my phone made my hands shake. Still not sleeping much.
January 24, 2023- Had an injection in the back of my head for occipital neuralgia by Dr. Keszler. Then had skin biopsies of my left leg by Dr. Mortobar. Both at John Hopkins in MD.
January 29, 2023- Left leg extremely weak and heavy. Felt like I was dragging it. I was also fatigued and took 2 naps today.
January 31, 2023- Day 3 of leg issues. Today could not lift my left leg. Spasms and burning intense. Had an emotional breakdown trying to cope.
February 2, 2023- Started Baclofen for muscle spasms/pain.
February 9, 2023- Weakness, pain and fatigue all day. My left leg not working well. Had a spell where I could not move it at all. Cliff had to help me. A lot of trouble urinating today.
February 26, 2023- Left leg froze again I could not move it. After about 10 minutes it started waking up. It felt extremely heavy all day. Felt like I had to drag it.
March 5, 2023- Occipital headaches coming back. Had shots on January 24th.
March 13, 2023- Still feeling very sick. Flutter feel in my chest that makes my throat feel tight as well.
April 2. 2023- Still not sleeping very well. 2 to 3 hours at a time. Battling headaches for 3 days. Face burning a lot too.
April 5, 2023- Went to pain management Doctor. Dr. Medved. Got shots for occipital neuralgia. Stayed on meds I am on and added 2. Amitriptyline and meloxicam.
April 14, 2023- Brain fog continues and is quite bad. Numbness is still bad, and left leg hurts when I shave. Tremors in hands more often and legs jump a lot.
April 18, 2023- Hands and feet jumping. Especially right foot. Made me very anxious, I wanted to cry. Lately I am feeling anxious a lot. About everything happening.
April 30, 2023- Boughts of hand tremors continues
May 4, 2023- Diagnosed with voiding dysfunction and urine retention – (neurogenic bladder?) .She feels it is related to my nerve disorder. My bladder only empties halfway. I learned how to catheterize and will start with twice a day. In time, could be 5 times a day.
May 5, 2023- Appointment with Dr. Roda. Says I have Small Fiber Neuropathy with no known cause. Suggests PT. Talked to my primary neurologist Dr. Keszler and he said it is a software issue not a hardware issue. Functional neurological disorder.
May 15, 2023- Found out I have a kidney problem and am in process of finding a nephrologist who can see me sooner than 6 months from now. Have apt with my primary June 6, 2023.

On May 25, 2023, I notified my employer due to all my health problems I would not be returning to work. I applied for SSDI in December of 2022 and should know something in a month or so.

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

Rest, naps, and all the added medicine do help. But nothing takes things away. They are treating my symptoms, not the cause. They do not know what the cause is.

Which solutions were not helpful?

Physical therapy did not help. It increased my anxiety because it revealed more things my legs won't do anymore. Treating arthritis did not help.

What would you like others to know?

Don't give up. So many times I felt like I am going crazy, or this is all in my head. I know that is not true. But going 2 years getting sicker and sicker with no one being able to tell me why has created many thoughts and emotions for me. I want to be a voice. For myself and for anyone else like me. I want to tell my story to anyone who will listen. So many times I have asked if the covid vaccine could be the cause with the response we do not know enough about it to say one way or another. Or highly unlikely but not completely impossible. I am not angry. I just want answers. I want help and to help others who are suffering too. I want to connect to people who are going through the same things and can relate to my situation. I want to feel hope. I want to be a smile in someone's gloomy day.

Mostly I want other sufferers to know someone else cares. I care. I encourage others to take a stand and say I am NOT crazy. This is really happening to me. I can be that person, and I want to make a difference.

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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.