IN APRIL 2021 and July 2021 I had covid jabs (the first AstraZeneca, the second Pfizer) both of which left me severely injured and permanently changed my life. I was left feeling I had no life, no future and no sympathy, as I wrote here. A year later nothing has changed except for the added trauma of navigating a disability system that doesn’t want to know me. Yet my reaction to both doses was both immediate and ongoing. One day a fit and healthy 47-year-old, the next I had great difficulty breathing, felt constant pressure on the chest, and full-blown tachycardia. I couldn’t walk, talk or swallow; my tongue was swollen – the list of my symptoms was endless.
I have been asked time and again: why on earth did you have the second shot? One, because it wasn’t AstraZeneca. And two, when I said I didn’t want it again, the hospital consultant responded, ‘Do you want to die?’ Ten visits to A&E, an overnight stay due to my heart not resetting and various consultants later, I thought I might. Yet I was told, ‘Well, there’s not much we can do . . . maybe you’re just anxious?’ All that was missing was Michael Winner saying ‘Calm down, dear.’ And that sums up the response I have received from the NHS since.
‘You’re just anxious’ is the repeated refrain for vaccine injury. Why do they resort to this insulting brush-off? My observation is that it’s the limited set of (convenient) tests A&E operates with. If these indicate you are not at death’s door, they can just discharge you. After that ignominy comes the fight with GPs over the phone trying to explain your symptoms and to get help, to which I was told: ‘There’s too many symptoms to refer you to a Long Covid clinic and you keep saying it’s the jab . . . maybe you’re just anxious.’ Believe me, I’d take anxiety over this any day! That’s not to diminish the cruel, debilitating impact of anxiety I now do have and for good reason, plus Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, much due to how I have been treated.
It was as though I am a liar and an attention seeker. One male gastrologist even commented ‘I think you’re looking for attention’ when I explained I was unable to swallow for seven months following the jab. Why was I, perhaps particularly as a woman, treated thus? It became clear that saying ‘it was the jab’ was a complete taboo within the hallowed portals of the NHS. One A&E nurse actually said: ‘You need to stop saying that’. Why? Was it too inconvenient a fact? Was it easier to treat me as a perimenopausal, anxious woman looking for attention than a patient in need of medical care?