I’m 50 and married with 3 boys – 11, 13, 16. I design, make, and sell jewellery for a living and have done so for 32 years. I love being in the outdoors and hunting am reasonably fit, I ride my bike to work most days, and once a month I go to my King country cabin to go hunting – Before the vaccine, I could carry out a 50kg deer and could do a 15-20km walk in a day – I would be tired, but I could do it, I was one to outwalk my friends.
My only pre-existing condition prior to this was Gout which I’ve had bouts of over the years, and it has been quite painful.
I didn’t really want to get the vaccine as I felt something was not quite right about it and a lot of things just didn’t make sense, but I had vulnerable family members, so wanted to do my part.
I received my one and only Pfizer vaccine on the 5th of September 2021, with no immediate side effects. We were in Level 3 or 4 lockdown at the time so weren’t going to work and were sitting around home. 5 days afterwards the vaccine, I felt a big knot in my back and at about 4pm I asked my wife to try and massage it out. At about 8pm my chest started hurting, 10pm it got more intense and by midnight I had shortness of breath too. By 1am, I had told my wife I needed to take myself to hospital – it was the most excruciating pain I’d ever experienced. I drove myself because, as Aucklanders know, an ambulance can take 12 hours to arrive.
My pulse and blood pressure were quite high, they stuck monitors on me and asked me what I had been doing that day, I told them I’d been sitting at home all day – we were in lockdown. I mentioned the only thing different I’d done in the day’s prior, was had the vaccine. The doctor (didn’t want to jump to conclusions and said, “We don’t know that it’s that”. The cardiologist then confirmed it was vaccine-induced Pericarditis. In the same visit, the Registrar also said to me to “make sure you get the second dose – covid is worse”. They gave me Morphine for pain relief, which made me feel sick, so I asked for Codeine instead. I was discharged at 8am with a script for Codeine and Colchicine, and 3 days later, the pain was gone.
My GP called me a few days later, I told her I ended up with a vaccine injury. She’d asked me what it was like, and I told her the pain was intense, like nothing I’d experienced, and she said that the diagnosis didn’t sound right for the pain I’d said to experience and said she’d get in touch with the hospital and came back to me. She called me back some time later agreeing that the diagnosis was right and the Cardiologist who diagnosed me was a reputable one. I believe she was trying to be deliberately obstructive to try and get the diagnosis altered, I feel this because we also experienced similar behaviour with my son’s injury, and she labelled me as an anti-vax too.
I thought my pain was done with after the days following the hospital visit, I did some research after that and learned I shouldn’t exercise for 3-4 months (no-one had told me this at the hospital though). I knocked off all exercise for around 3 months after diagnosis and started some In December, doing some training with mates walking 10-12 kms with packs on our backs, which would have been a walk in the park for me prior, but I was really impacted and noticed my decline of fitness and strength.
I then slowly started back doing normal things Mid-Feb, but I don’t’ have the same stamina or strength that I used to and am not able to carry the things I used to. I only experience symptoms (tight chest and chest pain) when I exercise. I stopped taking Colchicine after the 2 weeks, it’s harsh on your stomach and food goes straight through you, which I think many people experience.
I got covid about 2 months ago and ended up with a nasty cough after 3-4 days of headache, body aches and fever, then took about 10-12 days to come right. What I experienced with the pericarditis was significant – covid, was not that memorable. I wasn’t afraid of covid at all.
I have a new GP now, who has referred me to ozone treatment. I’ve had 5 treatments and my son, Noah, has had 8. They suck out 250mls blood, then oxygenate it, it goes through UV light and back into your body clean. It’s very expensive but has really helped.
I turned 16 a month ago but was 15 when I had the Pfizer vaccine. I used to be able to play sport easily and was fit, but all that has changed.
I had it on 29th August 2021, about a week before my Dad had his. I had it because I wanted to protect my family and at the time, It was really new but there seemed to be no downsides – Then, about a month afterwards, what had happened to Dad, happened to me. I started getting back pain like he had, and within 2.5 hours it went from my back to my chest, it became hard to breathe and I was having chest pain, so we went to the hospital.
I had to do a covid test because of my symptoms and was admitted to emergency ward. When I had been in the waiting room for A&E, we saw 4 out of 10 people who were there with the same symptoms as me. The doctor we had was good, and told us it’s most likely a vaccine injury, but none of my tests were conclusive so they couldn’t say with certainty that it was. Then they told me it wasn’t from the vaccine.
I remember in the beginning having to take the empty wheelie bins in, which was a 25m walk, then I had to lie down for half an hour – I felt really dizzy and like I was about to faint. I went back to hospital another 2 times within 3 weeks for bad discomfort, which I ended up stuck with for a while. The third time I was there, they’d left me in the waiting room with chest pain for 8 hours with an IV line in my hand.
My GP was very hesitant to give me any kind of vaccine related diagnosis and I ended up being told different things over many appts with her. Initially, that I had bad posture, then that I had asthma, and then that it was psychological – like I was manifesting it or something. After 7 visits of her being so ridiculous, she referred me to a Paediatric Cardiologist, although I’d been treated as an adult each time I went to hospital. The guy I ended up seeing was the head Cardiologist at Starship. He said he couldn’t see anything wrong with me, but that “Something’s not right”, and told me ‘good luck’ – basically.
My Mum then found a place that does Ozone Therapy, and we went just before Christmas. They take your blood out and put ozone in it then put it back in, I also had vitamin C and other infusions there too. I’m still doing them and find they’re helping. The guy at the clinic also referred us to a different cardiologist.
The first time we saw the new Cardiologist, he gave me an ECG, Echocardiogram, and some other tests, which came didn’t find anything, and also referred me for an MRI which I had done in Mid-April. He said he would check with colleagues in the USA and ITALY about what they were seeing, as they’d had an earlier vaccine rollout – He did not doubt that it was a from the vaccine, but other public health professionals have been very hesitant to admit it’s a vaccine injury. I don’t have any markers for a Myocarditis or Pericarditis diagnosis, so they don’t know what to test for. He prescribed me Colchicine and said to take it for the 6 weeks until I saw him again and he’ll be able to determine whether it was viable to take it.
I found it hard only being single vaccine, I got turned away from subway and other small businesses, so couldn’t do much. In January I got 4 month exemption which has now expired, so I’m glad the mandates were retracted as that feels like a big weight off me in a way.
With my schooling, for most of Term 4 we were in lockdown, so I was at home anyway. We’d come out of lockdown around the last 2 weeks of school, and I only ended up going to school 1 day but had to go home after a couple of hours as I couldn’t breathe under the mask and was struggling. I stayed home for the rest of the 2 weeks we had left. In term 1 of this year, I missed around 1.5-2 weeks all up, for doctors or other medical appointments and not feeling up to it because of my symptoms. Often, I’d show up and have to go home due to pain, fatigue, and a high heart rate. Term 2 has been better though, and I’ve not had any time off so far.
Some of the chest pain has definitely gone, but not all. I still get it 3-4 times a week and when I do, it’s pretty uncomfortable. I have been walking to school this term which I think has helped with my recovery. Sometimes my heart rate will get up to 180 bpm and feels like it’s about to explode – I suppose I’ve become used to having a high heart rate – It’s only when it feels loud or gets a heavy feeling, it’s bad and I have to stop.
I have my follow up appointment to see the Cardiologist this week for my results so I’m looking forward to seeing what he says.