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Vaccine Injury of W.U.

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

I was thriving in my job at a hospital setting as a doctorate level psychologist seeing the most complex trauma clients, supervising pre-doctoral interns, providing training in my areas of expertise to staff and interns, etc. I was there 20 hours a week and working from home in my private practice 20 hours a week. I was running a busy photography practice on the side. I was sharing equally in parenting my 2 teen sons. I had some health issues for sure, but they were managed well with supplements and a couple meds.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

I got my first vaccine -Pfizer dose 1 on 7/20/21. I had been advised by some of my doctors to avoid it because of my high sensitivities to other meds and prior severe adverse reactions to things (fluoroquinolones for one). I was living with a well-managed ongoing headache (NDPH) that I had had since June 16, 1996, fragrance and formaldehyde allergies, seasonal and animal allergies, rashes, sinus infections, fructose intolerance, Raynaud's, and mild asthma.

However, my employer was not allowing me to work from home and I was struggling with severe allergy to fragrance in the workplace and fear of catching COVID (hospital setting). They were requiring all of us mental health professionals to be vaccinated by a certain date or risk losing our jobs (one I had been at for nearly 20 years). They were refusing to accept my doctor's exemption note. Additionally, my niece was getting married in Maine after postponing by 1 year and was requiring all guests to be vaccinated to attend. The rest of my entire family was vaccinated and attending.

So, against my better judgment (I had avoided flu vaccines x 4 years due to doctors recommendations), I said, "F" it and went to Walgreens around 9:30 pm on my way home from work and got the vaccine. Within the hour I was noticing my headache developing. Within a few hours it felt as if someone hollowed out a heavy bowling ball, put it onto my head and squeezed it like a vise between my temples for added effect. It hurts most through the midline between my temples, the lower occipital area in back by my neck and on my forehead. This headache was at a level 7 out of 10 that night and has remained there for just over 2 years, with zero relief. It is now called New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH). This is the same type of headache I had already been dealing with on my forehead alone - at a level 3. There is no treatment really, though I have tried 4 different medication trials. By the end of the same night, I had tinnitus for the first time and that has also never gone away. I am very sound sensitive, having hyperacusis, so this adds to my daily torture and makes it very hard to fall asleep. My insomnia is crazy since getting this vaccination.

I have gradually developed Peripheral Neuropathy in my feet over the past few years, so they burn, hurt/ache, and have numbness much of the time. It's been hard to go on my long walks in nature to decompress and do my photography hobby. I had to quit my long-term hospital job because it got too overwhelming to be there, my anxiety continued to rise and I was forgetting things, struggling to learn new electronic record systems and new policies, etc. The long drive there and back after 12-14 hour days (55 minutes each way) was awful because of my fatigue from the insomnia. I feared falling asleep at the wheel. I am now working from home, seeing only 20 clients a week and greatly decreased the amount of professional photo shoots I do. I don't even advertise for those any more and just take a few here and there that seek me out. I have super high anxiety now before every photo shoot, which I didn't use to have.

Earlier this year, I noticed a weird large "floater" in my right eye. It was concerning enough to go for a vision appointment. I have a Vitreous Detachment. Lovely. Add that to the list...No fix. May get more. It still floats around though I'm adapting to it.

I no longer attend my child's sports events (volleyball, basketball) due to being overwhelmed by the sounds and stimuli in indoor gyms - makes my head throb. I turn down social invitations consistently, disappointing my husband and others. When I do go out with friends or close family, I use up my limited energy really quickly and am extra tired the next few days. I hate having invisible disabilities. No one understands why I can't do things or go places and when I do, why I wear an N95. It sucks.

I have had very dark moments where I don't want to do this anymore. I also just learned that the shooting pains in my feet were related to the neuropathy and that this would only worsen, which made me feel some hopelessness and "why me?!", when I'm usually more of an optimist. That's my story.

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

None yet.

Which solutions were not helpful?

2 others I can't think of right now
Botox is next on my list because CGRPs have too many possible side effects for me and are not likely to be of much benefit since my headache is not migraine.

What would you like others to know?

There are FB support groups for others who develop a headache that never goes away. It has a name. It's called New Daily Persistent Headache.

People with lots of medical issues, allergies, sensitivities to many things (especially medication side effects), MTHFR gene mutations, please take pause. Avoiding COVID by masking may be easier than dealing with permanent disabling adverse effects caused by vaccine injury.

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