Pfizer # 1: FK0115
Pfizer # 2: FL1072
I’m 21 and live with my fiancé Sean. I’m currently studying a Batchelor of Arts in Politics and Philosophy full time, am a Football coach also now work in retail. Other than a few sports related concussions and being diagnosed with PCOS at 18, I’ve always been relatively fit and healthy. I’m conscious of my health and fitness so have always monitored my heart rate and had bloods done every 3 months for the last few years. I pride myself on staying well and have been very specific about this because of my sports.
Last year I worked as a receptionist in a physio/chiropractic office. My boss was really understanding about people’s choices regarding the vaccine, they knew I didn’t want to have it. Because of my PCOS, I already had concerns about fertility and wanted to wait as the vaccine was so new. Covid hadn’t been around long, and I’d done researched vaccine testing and knew any impacts to fertility wouldn’t be known for some years (normally testing is 5-7 years). My employer got to a point that he couldn’t let me work without it, plus I wasn’t allowed on Uni grounds without it either. I waited until I had to.
Sean and I had our first Pfizer vaccine on the same day, the 16th of November 2021 (I was 20 at the time). I didn’t think anything would happen to me but knew it had risks. I was lightheaded and dizzy afterwards and had a sore arm. I also felt pretty awful having done something I didn’t want to do.
We both got the second Pfizer vaccine on the 8th of December 2021 at 12:30pm. It was administered in my left arm and went tingly straight after and by the end of the 15 minutes, it felt like I had a dead arm (like someone had punched it). I didn’t tell them at the time because everyone says their arm hurts. I dropped Sean back to work afterwards, he hadn’t had any reaction. I felt dizzy and lightheaded on the way to drop him off and went home. I thought I just needed to eat, so had something when I got home, but throughout the day I felt worse. I had a headache, my whole body was hurt, I felt generally unwell and was out of breath walking up or down stairs (not like me at all).
By the time Sean got home at 5:30pm, I had a fever, I was sweating and feeling really cold. I had water and went to sleep. I thought this was normal and just what happens. I’d felt really angry that I’d been pushed into having it and was having this kind of reaction, but I also felt scared because I’d researched adverse events on CARM as I’d been concerned and wanted facts. I’d seen that what we were being told was one sided. I woke up at 1:30am, I couldn’t breathe – I felt like I was in a tent and all the air around wasn’t enough. My chest hurt and I tried to move to get up, but my heart felt like it would beat out of my chest. I tried to go to the bathroom (5 steps from the bed), but I couldn’t, Sean had to help me. I didn’t want to be dramatic and go to the hospital, so I called Healthline who put me in contact with a practitioner. They told me if anything gets worse to call an ambulance – It got worse.
Sean drove me to ED, and we got there at 2:30am. There was a covid testing tent outside the hospital to test everyone before they were allowed in the hospital. Sean wasn’t allowed to be with me, so I was there on my own and he sat in the car in the carpark. I lined up and waited an hour in the cold before getting into the tent. They asked if I had covid symptoms. The symptoms I’d developed since the vaccine were on the list, so I said Yes. I was told “I don’t know if I can let you in”. I tried to tell them Healthline had told me I needed to be seen, but they said test results take 2 hours. I could see people going into the hospital (such as someone who looked like they’d been bottled), while I was waiting to go in. I was annoyed I hadn’t called an ambulance – maybe I would have been seen quicker and not have to be here. It was 4am when they finally took my heart rate which was 140bpm resting (I’d been telling them this was happening since getting there) I was then taken into the hospital.
They wheeled me into a room, put stickers on my chest, a cannula in my hand, and gave me some really strong pain killers (I don’t know what they were), it was all happening at once. I was trying to convince them that this was from the vaccine and not from covid. They took bloods and did an ECG. The first doctor refused to connect it to the vaccine when I asked him about it. He said, ‘Sometimes this happens to young adults”. I wondered how then, in my 20 years had I not known anyone who had experienced this and had never heard of what he was telling me, yet I knew 2 people who had high heart rates after the vaccine – both were told they were exercising too much.
I was going in and out of consciousness, so the nurse got me to call Sean in. There were only 4 nurses on, and all the rooms were full. A new doctor came in at 9am after a shift change. I asked him if this had anything to do with the vaccine, he said “It seen it could, but we have to be careful who we diagnose with Myocarditis too close to getting the vaccine, if we diagnose it too soon it will cause vaccine hesitancy”.
One of the nurses also mentioned she’d seen other young people come in with the same symptoms – I’d felt angry they were putting hesitancy before diagnosis! They discharged me with codeine and no information on what to do or how to heal my symptoms.
I took a week off work and Uni and got a Fitbit to monitor my heartrate, then my stomach started to be really sore all the time. I lost my appetite and every time I ate it hurt and I’d have to go to the bathroom straight after – there was also blood in my stool. I went to the doctor on the 21st of December and got bloods done. My resting heart rate at the time was 90bpm (prior to the vaccine it was 65 bpm – I track it because of sports). The blood results said that my body wasn’t absorbing nutrients. I was prescribed Folic Acid and had still been taking the codeine as prescribed (I had 3 weeks’ worth). I’d felt a bit better when taking it, but when it ran out, I felt worse than before and had awful withdrawals where my skin all over my body felt bruised and like my head was being squashed – and this was coming off it after taking it as prescribed. It didn’t fix anything, it just masked it.
On 18th of January 2022, I went to the doctors as nothing was improving. I still had blood in my stool, and I wanted to know where I was going to from here. I was told to drink water and rest; They didn’t treat me at all. One of my family members thought I should contact ‘The Health Forum’, so I emailed them on the 2nd of February. They took my details and said to report it to MedSafe, and I reported my injury that day but have STILL never had a response back.
On the 11th of February I had an appointment with a different doctor. She sent me for a bunch of blood tests and my platelets were high. 200-300k is normal. The first test came back at 350k, and I ended up going back every week for retesting, but the levels kept increasing – 400k, then 450k and in May they were 500k. They said it’s because of the covid and that’s supposed to happen, but they said “As long as it doesn’t reach X” but when the result would reach that level, they just kept changing the marker and increasing what the ‘ceiling’ was.
The doctor called me back in on the 14th of March saying we needed to do more tests and she’d refer me to a Gastroenterologist and that there’d be a 2 week waiting list, she advised I was listed as priority 2 (to be seen ASAP). I didn’t think I could afford to go private as my health Insurance said it only covered 80% of specialist appointments & was capped at $80.
The stomach issues got really bad in February. I was having diarrhea and would go to the bathroom thinking I would need to go, and it would just be bile and blood. This happened a few times a day every day. A lot of the time my pain level was 4/10 and I’d get episodes which escalated to an 8/10 and I couldn’t really do anything. I tried a FODMAP diet, and knew I had a few intolerances, but whatever I ate it continued happening.
I tested positive for covid on the 29th of March, we’d been somewhere that had a positive case. My first RAT test was negative, but I’d done a second one and swabbed my throat as someone mentioned it’s more accurate. I’d had a headache, sore throat, tight chest and body aches – This was slightly worse than what I’d had in February 2020 in Germany (which doctors suspected must’ve been covid), Europe was only starting to get cases then and there was a positive case where we were – I’d had a headache, fever and body aches and Sean developed the same 2 days later but we’d kept travelling as it was in the early days of covid.
My stomach was still having issues and every day that I’d had work, I wouldn’t eat until I got home. Even if I had straight veggies or straight meat, nothing was good – It affected my life greatly (not going out and the aftereffects of eating anything). At the end of May I had an ultrasound and CT scan. The CT scan showed signs of diverticulitis. There are some older men in my family with diverticulitis. I haven’t had wholegrain in a long time because I knew it affected me, and anything else that affects someone with diverticulitis I’d already cut out before I knew that I may have it.
I started having bone broth and supplements which improved things a bit, the blood in my stool is not there all the time now. I also stopped taking painkillers of any kind and it’s actually made things better – I’d always feel worse when they wore off after taking them, but now they’re out of my system I’ve found the pain less and more manageable, which is surprising.
Early morning on the 17th of June 2022, I woke up in pain and went to hospital. They told me I had an inflamed kidney but couldn’t figure out why. They prescribed me antibiotics and Panadol, but I wasn’t getting better after a week, so I went to my GP who gave me a CT scan and ultrasound. Both showed issues with my colon (which had led to a second colonoscopy referral). It showed that my kidney was slightly inflamed but again they couldn’t figure out why, so they told me to just take it easy and sort of forgot about it in the process of sorting my colon.
I’d heard from the Gastro late June, but by mid-June I’d already decided that It was getting ridiculous and just decided to go private. When I went to make the appt, they said I could either do a consultation and colonoscopy, or just a colonoscopy on its own (additional costs to include the consultation). I booked in for the colonoscopy on its own on the 15th of July – My insurance covered half but it still cost me a few thousand (The soonest I could have a consultation in the public system was the 15th of August). They told me after I’d just woken up from the general anaesthetic that I may have developed diverticulitis, but they’d taken some biopsies, the results would take about 3 weeks, and to make an appointment with my GP when they’re ready.
My heart rate has been high all the time, so I have to be careful what I do. When I lie down I get a sharp pain in my chest, I can’t breathe for about a minute and then it goes away. I have the pain a few times a day. I’ve been having more leafy greens and omega 3 and other things in my diet that people have suggested to help, but I don’t know what else to do about it. It had gotten worse, but it’s now plateaued and not getting any better and I’d never been referred to a cardiologist either. My last doctor was very dismissive and avoidant, but my new doctor is very attentive, and had sent me to a different gastroenterologist.
This journey has been really frustrating as we’re trying to buy a house and plan our wedding. I should be excited and celebrating these things, but in the back of my mind I’m conscious about not celebrating too hard to avoid my kidney or heart being affected. I can’t relax or have a few drinks and dance, I have to manage everything, and it’s caused unnecessary stress. I believe people need to make an unbiased decision and if those with injuries like me are speaking out, then others will be able to see every side, not just the side that’s telling you ‘it’s incredibly safe’. I hope I can encourage others to think critically.