Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content

Amy Idzior

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

I was a very active and outgoing person. I was a highly ranked and award winning teacher for students with autism. I gave presentations in the community to help with autism awareness, taught in an intense self-contained autism room that I loved, and had my own son with autism that I helped get through college. I went camping and boating every weekend, ran races from 5K to a half marathon, went to concerts and community events, and had a huge group of friends that kept me busy from Thursday night to Sunday evening.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

I had extreme symptoms of Covid in March 2020 but since it was new I did not qualify to receive a test or treatment. I was told to assume I had it and stay home for 2 weeks. I was sick for 3 weeks and after I still did not feel great for the rest of the year but was getting better and more back to myself.

On 1/30/21 I had my first Moderna Covid shot. I was very sick for 3 days. Then I had my 2nd shot on 3/3/21 and again was very sick for 3 days. I began to feel like I did after Covid where I did not have energy and it was hard to breathe when running.

On 7/26/21 I went to my family doctor PA to see if there was anything we could do to help with my symptoms. Basic blood work was done and a pulmonary lung test was done, but nothing came back showing why I would feel that way. I kept pushing through and then 11/15/21 I saw my endocrinologist for my thyroid lab work. I explained how exhausted I was and how it was difficult to breath at times. He said my labs are fine and my thyroid ultrasound only showed I had an atrophied thyroid so there was nothing for him to do.

On 4/4/22 I had a virtual appointment with my family doctor thinking I might have a sinus infection. I had a red left eye with a bad headache and pain that went from my eye to my lower sinuses and jaw. I was put on an antibiotic, but that did not change anything. I also went to see an optometrist. She said my vision was fine other than the lowest glasses prescription if I wanted them and I had Episcleritis so she gave me steroid eye drops. I saw the family doctor NP on 5/2/22 because I still had the same symptoms after my antibiotic ended. She put me on a new antibiotic and oral steroids. This is when I started to get really sick.

Over the course of a month I developed recurring Episcleritis that would only improve with daily steroid eye drops and now they are not working so my eye is pink all the time. My vision became blurry and she explained after a exam that my ciliary muscles in my eye have weakened. I developed intense tinnitus in both ears with random clicking. I went to an ENT and I now have tensor tympani myoclonus and mild-to-moderate high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss again, with no physical reason for my issues. Both the eye and ear doctors said they feel it is an autoimmune issue. Over the course of a week I went from a typical heart pattern to developing intense PVCs where my heart stops, pauses, then booms to restart. I had testing done by a cardiologist and there is no physical issues to explain my new issues or the intense pressure I feel in my chest, neck, and left arm. I went to the ER by ambulance when I woke up from a nap unable to breath more than shallow breathing and could barely talk, having extreme PVCs even on a new beta blocker, and absolute physical and mental exhaustion. Again, testing done but nothing blaring for an issue.

Having no explanation for my issues, my family doctor would only refer me to a psychiatrist and would not sign my FMLA forms as I had missed 2 weeks of work. I was DEVASTATED! I love my job and could not believe he gave up on me. His NP called me and said she believed me so she was willing to sign the FMLA forms and do my MRI scan of my head and give me referrals to specialists. My sister is an RN and was able to connect me with an internist who took over my care. We did a CT of my neck, back, and pelvis. Again, nothing found. But instead of making me feel like I'm losing my mind, he continues to help and check on me. I did a sleep study (waiting on results) because I stop breathing at night but do not snore (possible central sleep apnea), referred me to a rheumatologist (waiting on blood work results). X-rays show I now have I saw a neurologist recently. Again, waiting on blood results and having a MRI of my neck and back next week. I am having an EMG and possible spinal tap after that if needed. I am hoping to find the key disease causing all of this before I have irreversible damage. If I exert myself at all, even just eating sometimes, my body shuts down. My current symptoms are:

* recurring Episcleritis with eye lid droop and blurred vision

* tensor tympani myoclonus and mild-to-moderate high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss with tinnitus

* brain fog, light headed, very weak physically and mentally, exhausted all the time

* pressure/pain in my eye, head, jaw, left side of my neck, and left shoulder

* periarticular osteopenia with inflammatory process, narrowing of DIP and PIP joints bilaterally consistent with arthritis in my hands

* pain and swelling in my joints that comes and goes

* PVCs and shallow breathing that often stops when sleeping

* light headed and difficulty walking due to leg muscle weakness as well as tingling feelings

* esophagus contracts and finally relaxes when eating

* depression because of the symptoms and not taken seriously at first, not the other way around where my mental health caused me to have psychosomatic issues (took deterioration to these physical to be taken seriously)

* every week I get new symptoms and keep getting worse, but I just sit home waiting for the next appointment, test, or result

* missed all of the end of the school year fun events and it was so frustrating but there is no way I can go anywhere

* my friends come to see me and they are shocked at how sickly I look with my eye, purple under my eyes, weakness, hoarse voice, and I lost 10 pounds even though I eat and sit around

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

* I changed to an anti-inflammatory Paleo diet, no alcohol * I started beta blockers (25mg AM and PM) and klonopin to help me sleep (just .25mg) but it does cause really low blood pressure (88/65 at night) so looking into that * only staying awake for 4 hours then resting/napping so I don't get too tired * steroid eye drops to keep the inflammation down for now * friends in the medical community who advocate for me to get appointments/testing quicker * being vulnerable enough to take help from friends for house work and dinners * meditation, calming hertz music, doing little things I enjoy at home * salt baths and light massage * talking with a therapist and friends to vent but then changing the subject to try to enjoy the day * videos and cards from my students and friends to cheer me up

Which solutions were not helpful?

* being told I need a psych eval and being dismissed by my family doctor * running standard blood work over and over instead of doing specific things that would indicate autoimmune disease or neuromuscular issues * pushing through and thinking I just need to will this away * being embarrassed and stubborn to not take the help * I feel the initial steroids made things way worse once I got off them. It's like it just exploded in my body.

What would you like others to know?

This is not in your head and you need to keep fighting until you find the right doctors and treatment plan. You are not alone!
  • I certify that the statements made in the above submission are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.
  • I agree to allow React 19 to share my testimonial publicly on its website, social media, or webinar platforms. I further understand that my testimonial will be posted publicly and React 19 cannot prevent third-parties from sharing it once public.
  • I agree to notify React 19 immediately should I discover inaccuracies in my testimonial in order to maintain the integrity of React 19's advocacy platform.
The individual experience shared above is offered for informational purposes only. React19 neither endorses nor recommends any treatment(s) noted therein. React19 does not diagnose medical conditions, offer treatment advice, treat illnesses, or prescribe medicine or drugs. It is strongly recommended that, prior to acting upon any information gleaned from a shared experience, you first consult a physician.