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V.H. – Georgia

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

Entry Date: 6/25​/21

Preface: I have an autoimmune disorder (UCTD) as well as Mast Cell disease (MCAS) that has mostly attacked my digestive system, and have had it for many years. I’ve been stable for quite some time. I’m a full time systems engineer for Microsoft and I’ve learned to push through my health issues over the years. I’ve had zero neurological symptoms other than episodic migraines before the Covid vaccine. I have never had paresthesias or nerve related issues prior to April 9, 2021. I do not have any diabetes, pre-diabetes, I am not overweight, I don’t and never have smoked, I don’t drink alcohol. I have five children, having given natural childbirth to four of them. To put it bluntly, I’m a tough gal. I have received vaccinations in the past with no issue, including flu shots.

My husband had Covid as a first responder in July 2020 but I never developed it even after caring for him. Since I am pro-vaccine and I travel a lot for my employer, I did as much research and planning as possible before deciding to get my first vaccination through conversations with my fantastic specialists (rheumatology and allergy/immunology). Both specialists recommended premedicating and moving forward with the vaccine. After feeling confident from the conversations with my physicians, my 24 year old daughter and I scheduled our first vaccines for April 9.

April 9: premedicated with Zyrtec, singulair, and armed with my epi pens, I received the first Pfizer vaccine at 9:30am. My daughter received hers at the same time. Waited 15 minutes with no issues and were sent on our way. My daughter experienced a little dizziness but I felt fine. (Daughter eventually received both vaccines and had zero issues).

April 10, most of the day was fine, since it was Saturday I ran errands. About 10pm (around 36 hours post vaccine) I was reading and felt my right hand go numb with paresthesia like I had been sitting or leaning on it. I thought that was odd. Over the next 2 hours the paresthesia progressed to both arms, legs, hands and feet as well as the tip of my tongue. I was terrified and woke my husband up. He’s a firefighter EMT so checked my vitals and besides a racing heart from the fear of what was happening, they were stable. My employer provides virtual ER physicians, so I dialed in around 2am. The physician agreed that it was probably a “side effect” from the vaccine and was concerned about Guillain Barre. We determined together that although terrifying, this didn’t seem to be progressing past the initial bilateral paresthesia, but if it did, needed to go to an ER immediately and to follow up with my primary ASAP. The intense paresthesia continued for about 6 days before slowly beginning to ease. My primary began the task of a referral to neurology and getting me in somewhere, anywhere fast. The referral took over two months.

I’m now at 11 weeks post vaccine and still have intermittent bouts of the bilateral paresthesia in the same places as the initial manifestation, but the greatest intensity has migrated to mostly a stocking and glove pattern. It becomes painfully intense if my hands and feet get hot or cold (I can’t take a tub bath now), but is otherwise always there in some aspect. The slightest pressure on any part of my arms or legs will make them go to sleep so finding a comfortable spot for sleeping is challenging. I have a very hard time writing with my right hand, after about five minutes of writing the searing nerve pain is too intense to continue. I did report these issues to VAERS and VSafe but unfortunately I had zero response from either. My rheumatologist strongly advised against the second vaccine until after I saw the neurologist.

June 22, I finally got in with a neurologist after trying for two months. She does feel like this is vaccine related and is running tests to rule out a mild GBS, or an underlying neurological disorder. I will be having an MRI of my neck/cervical spine, nerve conduction study, and EMG since I’ve also had a lot of muscle twitching and drawing along with the neurological symptoms.

V.H. - Georgia"

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