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Brittany Steiger

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

Before getting the vaccines, I lived a normal and active life with no pre-existing health issues. I had been doing very well with fitness the year prior to the vaccine, and before my symptoms began, I was working out daily.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

After the vaccine, I developed dysautonomia and non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT), as well as mild presentations of neurological symptoms such as tremors and tinnitus. My symptoms began immediately following the 2nd dose of my primary series, but they were mild at first and escalated over time, as if some kind of immune response. At first, it did not occur to me to question the vaccine. I am pro-science and pro-medicine, and thought I was experiencing stress. I consulted doctors, but was told it was not possible to have this reaction and I was advised to proceed with the booster. After getting the booster in December 2021, my symptoms followed the same pattern before getting worse, which prompted me and finally my doctor to suspect the vaccine as a cause for the dysautonomia symptoms, having found no other clinical causes. Below a timeline of symptoms:

In the days following my 2nd shot, I devloped a mild tremor in my hands and sudden onset brain fog, exhaustion and severe anxiety. It was as if my body was stuck in "fight or flight". Over the next month or two, I began to develop palpitations and sensations of a racing heart, which at the time I attributed to anxiety. Over the next month or two, my hand tremors worsened and the muscle twitches and tremors extended to my face and legs. I began to have intermittent presentations of tinnitus and pre-sycnope which accompanied fluctuations in my heart rate. About 6 months after my series (around the time they suspect immune protection wanes) my symptoms rapidly escalated. My resting heart rate suddenly plummeted into bradycardia, my blood pressure dropped into hypotension and I had sudden tachycardia runs (150+BPM). The worst were these severe and strange episodes of racing/pounding heart, dizziness and full-body tremors which I believe to be adrenaline dumps. Those attacks were occuring weekly, to the point I could barely work (and I work from home). I sought medical care, which was difficult and largely unhelpful. Finally, ambulatory heart monitoring revealed that I was also having runs of NSVT.

My team of doctors told me the vaccine could not be responsible for this and advised me to get the booster. I reluctantly took the booster in December 2021. After the booster, my heart rate returned closer to baseline for about 1-2 months, following a similar pattern that occured between my 1st and 2nd shots of the initial series. Once again, around the time that immune presentation was thought to wane, I developed the same symptoms all over again and was having severe adrenaline dumps, tachycardia and tremors.

I have now been through several specialists, including two trips to the Cleveland Clinic. I've spent over $10K on a barrage of tests, none of which have revealed another clinical cause or pre-existing health condition. Finally, my doctor suspects the vaccine after encountering others with adverse reactions and has advised me to refrain from getting any further Covid MRNA vaccines. Thankfully, the longer time that passes following my vaccines, I am improving and haven't had an adrenaline dump in 6 months. But, I can no longer engage in rigorous exercise and seem to do best in a controlled environment. I've been fortunate to work from home, but as my company wants us back in the office, I'm not sure I'll be able to make through a whole day.

I would very much like to engage in a clinical study, as my symptoms seem tied to immune response and also hormonal fluctuations similar to those already confirmed by medical research.

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

I have been offered very few solutions, beyond testing to try and "rule out" other causes. I was prescribed a low dose beta blocker, which helped control the tachycardia and NSVT runs. However, I do not believe it alone is the cause of my improvement, because I was still having the adrenaline dumps even while on the beta blocker. It also comes with its share of problems, because it also lowers my blood pressure and pulse.

Which solutions were not helpful?

None of the POTS treatments helped me: compression, low-grade exercise, salt consumption, water/fluid intake. My symptoms are attributed under the umbrella of dysautonomia, but do not track with any of the most common forms of autonomic dysfunction, so doctors don't know how to treat it. Clonazepam: I was put on anti-anxiety meds, because doctors suspected panic attacks. Eventually panic attacks were ruled out and I stopped the benzodiazepene with no issues. Accupuncture: I tried accupuncture for a time. It's possible it helped, but I often felt much worse after and it was too uncomfortable to continue.

What would you like others to know?

I am pro-vaccine, pro-science and medicine. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am mentally stable, successful and not a psychiatric case. I’m just a person dealing with strange symptoms that have seemingly no other cause.
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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.