25 Ryan

Ryan, 35, Manawatu-Whanganui.

I wrote this in February 2022.

I had my first vaccine on the 23 November 2021. I didn’t want to get it but I own a business in an industry that was mandated. I wasn’t worried about side effects. At the time I believed they were very rare and much adiue about nothing. I just didn’t think it was necessary considering my high health and extreme level of fitness putting me at the very low end of the risk scale for covid. I have a degree in physiology, and researched wildlife health impacts and controls (as a consultant) at the population level for both state governments and the private sector for a few years in Australia. After reviewing the literature (including the references on the ministry of health website) it was clear to me the vaccine had a negligible affect on reducing transmission so was confident it was only myself I was putting at risk by not having it.

Within 2 hours of getting the vaccine I noticed my chest had gotten tighter. Over the next 2 weeks I noticed regular (and large) heart palpitations had become more common (most noticeably at night). The palpations at night were often so big that they would wake me up. Throughout the day I noticed my chest would periodically get tight, numbness would occur in my left arm, and I also noticed infrequent (and short) but sharp chest pains (and sometimes a pain in my left arm). I also felt like my stomach was always full and had to try to force myself to burp to relieve some pressure.

Before my vaccination I was working out 2-3 times a day with high intensity interval training. I was extremely fit (and even ran for 5 hours in the relay for life). When I had my vaccination, I had read you need to wait 2 days before working out again so I did that. When I did my usual workout 2 days later I couldn’t finish it. I was breathless and it felt like I didn’t have the energy in my muscles. When the session ended I had to lie down. My overall health and fitness is still well below where it was. I almost feel like I now have a disability and wonder if it will ever get back to normal.

I noticed many people were experiencing similar symptoms and convinced myself they would disappear. I kept it hidden from my partner because I didn’t want to worry her.

After 2 weeks of these symptoms, I mentioned to my mother that I was having them and they weren’t subsiding. She pushed me to go to the hospital (which I did that day). I also hid this from my partner.

The hospital staff were very good, and when I said I was having issues with my chest, they asked if I had been vaccinated recently. I was seen relatively quickly, had an ECG and bloods done, and then had a consult with a GP.

The emergency GP advised that I had indeed had an adverse reaction to the vaccine and suggested I see my private GP for more guidence. I was advised to take panadol when I felt the symptoms come on but this didn’t alleviate it.

My private GP also advised me that it was an adverse reaction and referred me to a cardiologist. They also completed an application for a temporary exemption until I could see the cardiologist (in mid-Feb) and get the OK for my second vaccination. My application was declined.

I have been unable to attend baby scans with my pregnant partner, and I had to lie about my exemption / vaccine passport in order to keep my business a float. I also had to let go a beloved staff member who didn’t wish to be vaccinated which was hard on the business and I couldn’t hire anyone to replace them which mounted to the increasing pressure and forced me to work more hours.

The cardiologist requested that I buy a portable device to take ecg’s when I felt symptoms coming on but it was hard to catch them. When I finally saw the cardiologist months later, they advised that my heart was currently ok (without looking at any of my EGC’s) but had advised I had experienced inflammation of the heart. Because inflammation is a “symptom” and not an “injury”, ACC declined to cover the costs and I had to foot a $1000 dollar bill.

I used to stay up at night worrying that there was a heart attack coming on, that my partner would have to raise our baby girl without me, that my daughter would never meet her dad, that everyone would find out I was unvaccinated, that my business was going to go under and we were going to fault on the mortgage. This resulted in me having my first (and only) panic attack. I am usually a very chilled and happy-go-lucky person.

Over the last few weeks I have been experiencing pretty bad vertigo everytime I stand up or lie down, and terrible back pain but assume that this is not related to the vaccine.

haven’t been able to share my story publicly because of my business, and the fear of public lash back and government enforcement.

It’s now the end of February, and I still get the odd symptom every day or so but they do seem to be subsiding (though sometimes I wonder if that’s just what I’ve convinced myself).

There are probably other things I could say but this email is long enough and it’s been such a rollercoaster that I can’t remember all of it.

Thankfully I am no longer having symptoms from the vaccination, please let me know if you require further information.