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Crystal Poulin

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

Before the vaccine I was a pretty healthy 35 year old mom of 2 kids and a teacher. I was active and on the go. I was happy. I enjoyed spending time with my family. We would go hiking often, take family vacations, and take nightly walks around the neighborhood. Other than having some allergies and stomach acid issues, all was well. After the shot, I can no longer go on walks, walk up my stairs, go on vacations, or work.

Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.

On January 29, 2021 I immediately became dizzy after the covid 19 vaccine. 6 hours later I had a horrible headache that felt like something was crushing down on my cheekbones. This headache did not let up for 7 weeks straight. On Day 3 post Vaccine, I got very nauseaous and dizzy. Every night around 4pm I would get very dizzy and it would last a couple hours. On Day 10, I began having heart palpitations, high blood pressure, tachycardia, diarrhea with pale yellow stools, I had tremors, twitching, a weak heavy feeling in my legs, chills, frequent urination. These symptoms lasted a few weeks. I lost weight. After this initial onset, every 3 weeks I became dizzy with a headache, frequent urination, twitching, and heart palpitations. By May, I had constant chest pain with sharp stabbing pains on the left side, and achy sternum, and shooting pains to my left shoulder and underarm with swollen underarm lymph nodes. I had a major flare up of symptoms in July that lasted 6 weeks with a new symptom of adrenaline dumps at night and squeezing of my heart. 2-4 weeks after a flare of symptoms ended, I would end up back in a flare again for another 6-9 weeks of horrible palpitations, chest pain, erratic heart rate, squeezing, twitching, frequent urination, headache, weak legs. My palpitations made me dizzy. I couldn't lie flat or my heart would pump errarically and I would feel like I was going to die so I slept sitting up. I was awoken constantly for hours as soon as I would start to fall asleep from adrenaline dumps. I couldn't squat down without getting dizzy. Just standing, my heartrate would increase to 136 bpm and cause bad chest pain. My chest, throat, and esophagus would feel inflamed and burning, but not from acid reflux. It felt like someone was ripping my chest from my sternum out. I sometimes felt choked and short of breath. In between flares, I continued to deal with constant chest pain, intermittent palpitations and squeezing, and erratic heartrate. I am now at the 2 year mark and there have been some improvements but some things have worsened. I cannot have any stress or exert myself in anyway or I have weeks of squeezing in my heart and chest. I also get a feeling of a band around my ribs that constricts my chest, heart, and breathing. Its scary. If any kind of heat touches my chest, hot air from blow dryer or outside, steam, or hot water I end up in a flare. I can't use my chest muscles at all, so no cleaning, mopping, sweeping or I end up in a flare. If my chest gets touched to much it causes symptoms.

Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms

Some symptoms resolved on their own with time- dizziness, the crushing headache, the weak heavy legs. I am on a beta blocker, Propanolol, which has helped the erratic heartrate and most of the palpitations. It does not prevent the squeezing but it will help lessen them. If I go into a flare then the Propanolol loses its effectiveness. Red light therapy helped the sternum pain but caused more aderenaline dumps. High dose Vitamin D has helped with chest pain and reducing length of flares. Boswelia Serrata has helped with chest pain. Beet juice helped with the squeezing at first but I cannot stomach it. Nac and milk thistle did help to bring down my liver enzymes.

Which solutions were not helpful?

I am stuck on Aspirin, if I wean off, I go into a flare. It does not help with any symptom relief, though when I try to wean down my chest pain increases. Colchicine did nothing except for make my liver enzymes high. Ivermectin did not help. Arcalyst has not seemed to help much. Famotidine and Zyrtec have not helped my symptoms. Neither has magnesium, Vitamin c, quercetin, nac, milk thistle, stinging nettle, or a sugar free carb free diet.

What would you like others to know?

I try to stay positive but some days really bring me down. I keep trying new things and looking for doctors who will help me. Hopefully, one day, those of us affected will be able to figure this out and heal.
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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.