• Madeline Johnson

Anonymous: "On the 29th of March I had my first Astra Zeneca covid vaccine in the UK. A usual fit and healthy 21 year old girl, that worked out 5 times a week. I was finishing my degree at the time and had all the usual flu type symptoms post vaccine which went away within a few days. All was well until my next vaccine… June 14th, precisely 12 weeks to the day, I had my second dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Now aged 22, I had finished university and just started out at my first job. Immediately after the vaccine my mouth was flooded with a bloody, metallic taste - like I had bitten my tongue and again experienced flu-like symptoms which lasted a few days. As the days went on I was feeling more and more lethargic and my breathing and heart rate kept spiking. July 6th rolls around and I wake up gasping for air, heart rate through the roof, sweating uncontrollably and very unsteady on my feet. 111 was phoned and an ambulance was sent straight to my house. I had a temperature of 38.9 C, pulse rate of 126, high blood pressure and a newly developed heart murmur which had shown up on the ECG. I was then taken for my first ride in an ambulance to hospital. My stay in hospital lasted a week, I had lots of different scans and tests which they told me all came back negative - result! However, I couldn’t get my heart rate down below 120 and still felt rubbish overall. Having just started out in my new job, I went right back to work and was again starting to feel rougher and rougher each day. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, almost like someone was trying to break out, I was extremely dizzy and would black out when standing. It would take me 10 mins to climb the stairs as my heart just couldn’t take it. Going from a resting heart rate of 55 to 120 is a big jump and I wasn’t too fond of it. July 29th, I was sat at my desk at work and feeling extremely rough. I was finally persuaded by my colleagues to phone 111 and again, an ambulance was sent, this time to work. I spent another few days in hospital where the doctors looked over my tests again. This time they found a huge amount of blood and fluid in the sack around my heart, which was somehow missed the first time. I was diagnosed with pericarditis and PoTs. I was prescribed colchicine (an aggressive anti inflammatory) in hope it would remove my symptoms. Having reached the end of my prescription, I wasn’t feeling any better and was struggling with my heart.

New symptoms have developed over the 2 months since having my vaccine:

  • Hair falling out in handfuls

  • Bruising extremely easily

  • Shooting/ stabbing and aching pains across chest

  • Palpitations

  • Heart murmur

  • Breathlessness

  • Joints becoming stiff

  • Inability to handle hot or cold foods

  • Nausea

  • Shakiness/ tremors

  • Dizziness

  • Brain fog

  • And many others

I am now waiting for a referral to a cardiology specialist and we will go from there, I was told I may have to be on beta-blockers. My life has been turned upside down since having the vaccine, I am certainly not an anti-vaxxer, like many of us, I just wanted life to go back to normal."

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  • Madeline Johnson

"I am a nurse. Worked in an ER and a children’s hospital on the front lines when the pandemic started, in March. In December I picked up extra shifts doing drive thru swabbing at the hospital. I had been swabbed many times prior to December and all tests to that point were negative. We were the first to be offered the vaccine at our facility due to high risk nature of our work. At first, I did not want the vaccine. It was too new, no research, no case studies. Truthfully I was terrified. However I had treated COVID positive patients and seen the horrifying symptoms of that. So I decided to get the vaccine to protect myself and my family from the illness. My son is a Type 1 diabetic and has heart issues. If he got this illness it would not be good for him at all. December 19 I received your first shot, Pfizer.

By Christmas Day I woke up with blisters on my toes and one finger. I reported the start of my symptoms via the CDC app on my phone everyday. Each day the blisters got worse. Toes then became blue, numb, painful , swollen. Saw a doctor Jan 2, via video visit. He said I had “ COVID toes”. Either I was positive with Covid. Or I had a reaction that mimics the symptoms from my vaccine. Went to employee health. The denied it was from the vaccine. Had me swabbed for Covid. - negative. All members of my family were tested. - negative Jan 8 , received second vaccine.

(Hospital name and Doctor's name crossed out for privacy)

Feet worsened literally within hours of that vaccine. Blisters were red/blood like/ then purple. petechiae formed on tops of toes. Blueness worsened. Toes cold. All of Jan and February battled with my hands and feet. March - blistered cleared. However, circulation issues became worse. Tips of toes and fingers became numb. For hours at a time.continuous Legs cramps. Joints ached. Heart palpitations started. Shortness of breath started. Severe fatigue.

I did not tell anyone about what I was experiencing, only a few family members. Some people did not believe me, or shamed me for getting the vaccine. So I decided to stay silent. Primary physician did not know how to treat. Gave me medicine for neuropathy. Started on baby aspirin to prevent clots. Referral to : cardiologist, vascular surgeon, ultrasound to rule out DVT. Nerve conduction study. Blood work for literally everything and anything. My primary doctor could watch my toes turn blue in under 2 minutes. He was amazed. He did not treat covid patients so this was all new to him. I had all the testing done, saw all doctors, and specialists.

Conclusion: could be several things : they all agree I had a reaction whether it was a auto immune response or symptoms that mimic COVID from the vaccine. Doctors visits and notes that state that will be sent as well.

(Photos above are screenshots sent in of the Doctor's notes taken during her visits. Press the arrows to see all the images).

Blood work came back fairly normal. Except the clotting factors and the formation of the blood cells. I had a holter monitor placed (a type of portable electrocardiogram (ECG)) for 2 weeks and the results are still pending. Echocardiogram: normal. It was not a large artery disease or a heart issue. It is a small vessel disease. Which is effecting my circulation to hands and feet. So the vaccine is changing my blood / thickening it and closing vessels to my extremities. This could last another day. Or a year. Or never go away. They just don’t know.

Medicine: Norvasc - to open up my vessels. Causes dizziness at times because I have normal bp. And it gets low due to this medicine. Aspirin 81 mg daily. To prevent clots Gabapentin- for neuropathy - I chose not to take. Due to some of the side effects.

As of today : my feet hurt all day. Every day. They turn blue as soon as I wake up. Continue with leg cramps. Numbness. Pain. Swelling. My hands , fingers turn numb. I drop things often. I work as a OR nurse now. I push through the days but it is difficult. I continue to see my doctors. I work out everyday. I try to eat right, rest when I can, do the best I can.

I just recently chose to speak out on social media The amount of people with the same symptoms is astounding. Now I don’t feel so alone. Thank you for taking the time to listen, share and repost! Rae Anderson "

If you'd like to follow her journey, check out her instagram as seen below or @bluenrsfeet

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  • Madeline Johnson

"Hi, my name is Miranda and I’m 26 years old. I got my first shot of Pfizer on May 5. Prior to my shot I was in perfect health. I’ve never before had any seizures or any neurological issues. In fact, I hardly ever get sick in general. I was eager to get my shot and do my part in protecting myself and the people around me from Covid. The first 3 days after getting it were fine, I had no side effects at all. On the night of the 3rd day I was on the phone with a friend when all the sudden I felt a wave of sickness run through my body. It’s hard to describe how it felt but I'd never felt so awful in my life. I remember trying to just focus on what my friend was saying to me but all I could feel was my body shutting down. My arms went tingly, my stomach had an awful feeling in it. Then suddenly my consciousness changed. I felt like I was in a dream. I was having a hard time communicating with my friend so I told her I just had to hang up. I had never felt a feeling so strange and awful in my body so I began to panic. Soon after that my body started to shake. Mostly in my legs, which I found to be odd. I still thought the whole weird feeling was just a really bad panic attack even though I knew I had no reason to be having one in that moment. Since I’d never had a seizure in my life I had no idea my body was showing symptoms of having one. Since I thought the shaking was from anxiety I tried to meditate and do all the things I could think of that help me calm my anxiety but nothing was working. I had the tremors for about 45 minutes that night before they subsided and I was able to fall asleep. I still had no idea what happened and thought since the shaking stopped, it was just some kind of panic attack. My intuition was telling me that it was something more than that though. I went to urgent care the next day where they ran some test. One of the first things my doctor asked me was if I had recently gotten a Covid shot. All of my tests came back normal but my doctor said I wasn’t the first person she’d had come in with similar symptoms after receiving their shot but obviously couldn’t tell me exactly why it happened.

She told me that receiving my second dose would ultimately be up to me and that I should maybe consult a few more doctors for opinions. The weeks following the episode really solidified my decision not to get the second dose as I feared what it would do to my body. I felt awful for about 3 weeks following. I was getting tremors still although not like that first night, but now mostly in my hands. They were very light but very noticeable especially as I was trying to work. I would feel like I was going to pass out often. The strange dream like feeling would come back randomly. It would give me massive brain fog and I’d have trouble communicating. These moments were terrifying because I wondered if feeling like this was going to be permanent. I’m happy to say that all of these symptoms went away slowly. I didn’t do anything in particular to heal myself besides just trying to eat very healthy, drink a lot of water and rest as much as I could. I was really trying to naturally detox my body. I stayed away from caffeine and sugar as much as I could as I noticed these things would trigger the neurological responses more.

I’d say by June I felt pretty much normal again but definitely shaken and traumatized from the whole experience. I just wanted answers. I wanted to know if anyone else out there had a similar story or reaction. I realize now, after seeing more stories that I had a mild reaction compared to a lot of people. I feel lucky but also fear for the people that had to endure this and will continue to. I know we all just want more answers. We just want validation for our experiences. We were all trying to do what we thought was the right thing. "

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