My name is Rachael, I am 52 yrs old and I live in a small market town in Lincolnshire. I am a mother of 2 grown up boys and have been with my husband for nearly 30 years. I am a retired Midwife and work as a Staff Nurse. Prior to the covid-19 vaccine, I was fit, happy and healthy and not on any medication.
Although I had my reservations about the vaccine, I felt very pressured to have it due to being a healthcare professional, to protect my patients, my colleagues, and my family. I was a carer for my elderly Nan who was 102 yrs old at the time who I cared for throughout the pandemic. How could I live with myself if I killed her from C0v!d The media coverage, the emails and environment at work made me feel we would die or kill someone if I didn’t get the vaccine.
I had my first and only dose of Pfizer on the 21st of December 2020. It was a Monday, a day I don’t usually work as I go to my Nans to shower her and sort out her medication, but it was the busy Christmas period and I was the only person who could cover the shift.
As a nurse we were priority alongside the elderly and most vulnerable. At the end of the working day, we were advised to take the leftover vaccines as they would have to be thrown away due to their storage requirements, a waste of national health service money and resources.
A doctor called me into the room, there was another member of staff recording my batch number and details onto a laptop. I was not given any information about the mRNA vaccine. I trusted the science. I trusted the GP who
administered it, but as soon as he gave me the shot, I remember looking at his face and I felt immediately scared, knowing there was no going back now the dose was inside me.
I was injected it in my left arm, which is still sore today if I rub the exact spot. I can still pinpoint where it went in. After I left the hospital I went straight to my Nannas, telling her that I’d had it now, and that she was going to be okay.
Nine days later my whole world was literally blown apart in a way no one could imagine. I wish I could go back and change it all, take the vaccine out of my body. I now have a disability for the rest of my life. I was on annual leave from work when it happened and, not under any stress, just at home enjoying
Christmas with my family.
I was on the phone to my friend just chatting, when I suddenly lost my hearing in my left ear mid conversation. I moved the phone to my right ear and back again and started to panic as I could not hear ANYTHING. I tried not to panic and tried to keep calm thinking it might be the radio-waves from the mobile phone? I told my friend I couldn’t hear anything and said I would ring her back later, quickly ending the conversation.
I got up out of the chair and tried to walk to my husband in the kitchen but couldn’t walk straight, my head was swimming and a feeling of dread came over me. I told my husband I couldn’t hear and attempted to make my way up the stairs to lie down, I couldn’t walk up the stairs properly, like
someone was pushing me down, the force was so strong. I somehow made it to the top and felt so dreadfully nauseous, luckily the bathroom is at the top of the stairs and when I got there I began vomiting immediately 4 or 5 times before making it to bed. I took a herbal sleeping tablet around 9pm
and fell asleep.
I woke up and immediately touched my ear but there was absolutely no feeling in the lobe or pinna area but worse than that a HORRIBLE pressure in my ear like when your ears won’t pop on an aeroplane but a 100 times worse! But even worse than that, I had developed what I now know as catastrophic tinnitus, the noise and pressure were paralysing to my head and body, it was like I was in
a horror movie. I needed to get up to go to the toilet, but that awful pushing down/nausea was there again.
It was now New Year’s Eve, the worst possible time to be seen in the NHS! And I felt so poorly and petrified the thought of trying to get a GP appointment was too overwhelming. Luckily a GP saw me at 11 am, I explained my ear had suddenly become dead, I couldn’t hear a thing out of it and my lobe etc was completely numb. I told him about the pressure and awful noise. The GP
looked at me as If in disbelief, I asked if he was going to refer me to the ENT Drs but felt he didn’t know what to do except tell me to go to the Accident and Emergency Dept. He gave me a prescription for Betahistine to stop the nausea and dizziness.
My husband was waiting outside, I felt so unwell I said please just drive me to A&E 26 miles away in Lincoln. It was packed, I was seen by a junior doctor who examined my ears, did grip tests on my fingers and made me follow her finger with my eye. I was informed that it was Labrynthitis and it should clear up within 3 weeks. So again I was sent away with no treatment. I later found out this was in fact a MEDICAL EMERGENCY and I should have been treated by ENT straight away.
I left A&E, going back to the car, as I’m a staff nurse I work with a Urologist Dr who is a friend of mine and my husband. My husband had rang to ask him if he knew any ENT Drs I could speak to whilst I was in A&E. Luckily he did have an ENT friend who worked at Scunthorpe hospital and she rang me at 3pm.
When she rang she was very angry and in disbelief at the lack of care or treatment I had received. She said this is a medical emergency!! She sent a prescription via text to our Dr friend and we went to his house to pick it up, it had to be written on a piece of A4 paper and I wasn’t sure the pharmacist
would accept this. The Dr included his GMC for verification.
By 5:30pm on New Year’s Eve. I was panicking, frightened and ill. Miraculously I got the prescription which included a massive course of steroids, Anti-virals, antibiotics, tablets to protect my stomach, anti sickness, there were so many I took them immediately. That evening I developed a tingling and weird sensation in the left side of my face, and was petrified I was
developing facial palsy. The sensation went away after a day or two.
As I laid in bed that night, unable to sleep with the loud ringing inside my ear and head and pressure in my ear, I realised just how much the system that I’d worked nearly 30 yrs for had seriously let me down. No tests, no investigations, no treatment, no care. It was the Hungarian Dr friend and his Polish ENT friend who had come to help me, not the NHS.
The following morning (New Years Day 202I) I rang 111 as I still had not been seen by anyone or investigated by the NHS with this serious medical emergency. I felt I was treated dreadfully by the paramedics who I was passed on to, one lady was so rude saying things like “What do you expect us
to do? You already have treatment so what’s the problem” I was in no way able to argue in my state and felt traumatised and frightened to be left alone with this. After some arguing I was given an appointment to be seen by the local out of hours GP.
This again ensued a fight as he said the Dr who prescribed the medication should be looking after me even though I explained his Drs and his trust had misdiagnosed me and sent me away with no treatment or follow up! He bleeped on the on-call ENT Dr at Lincoln who said they would see me the
following Thursday. It was New Year’s day and I was devastated to have to wait. What was happening to me?
On Monday morning at 8am I received a call from Lincoln County hospital who asked me to confirm I had visited A&E on New Year’s Eve and that they needed to see me urgently at 11am. Someone must have spotted that I had attended with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSNHL) and
was wrongly sent away with no treatment. There was a Consultant and a registrar in the room. The Consultant told me it was a blood clot which made my hearing disappear so suddenly within an hour, if it was an infection (which I didn’t have ) hearing tends to be lost over days.
An urgent MRI was ordered and I was sent for an audiology test. During the test I couldn’t hear anything in my left ear, just raging noisy destructive tinnitus. After the test I said to the man ‘my ear is dead isn’t it’ He replied it was, i begged him to please please take the pressure and the noise from out my ear, I was beginning to get distressed by this point, but there was nothing
he could do. I fell into my husband’s arms sobbing.
I had the MRI the next day, which was very traumatic, my head locked in a box and subject to unbearable noise in my right ear which now hears completely differently due to loss of stereo. Everything is much louder in the good ear and unable to detect which way sound is coming from. My deaf ear, screaming with tinnitus. The MRI came back clear.
I researched SSNHL, the first test that should be carried out are blood tests to rule out causes of SSNHL (I have absolutely no risk factors for this condition by the way)
I rang my GP again the day after the MRI to complain as to why no blood tests were done, they only arranged some again after fighting for care. They all came back negative. By day 9 of the tinnitus hearing loss and immense ear pressure, I couldn’t cope anymore. I was unable to get away from the noise, It was constant distressing relentless nauseating torture. I basically went mad. I was hysterical, sobbing and screaming to my husband to “please take this
noise away’ I was crawling on my hands and knees screaming begging and pleading for him to make it please stop. I was having to stop myself smashing my head up against the wall. My children were in the house, the situation was so distressing for everyone.
I rang a friend working in Grimsby A&E to beg for help “She was so shocked and upset ‘Rach, you’re frightening me” I was hysterically distressed and scaring everyone around me. She said to make my way to the hospital and would meet me there. She was allowed into the hospital with me as she was a
staff member. I was sitting rocking backwards and forwards holding my ears and sobbing endlessly.
The Dr spoke to the ENT Dr but said they couldn’t do anything for tinnitus. He talked about the crisis team but I knew they couldn’t make it stop.
By this time I was out in the car park, it was late and I was hysterical, the noise and pressure consumed me, I wanted to die. I begged my husband and my friend to just let me die. That night I ended up in the hands of the crisis team who sedated me and sent me home with an appointment to
see a psychiatrist.
At the appointment I was still distressed rocking and crying I did not like the Psychiatrist, he was uncaring and when I told him I want to be my normal happy, singing, dancing self again he said “that will never happen again” He started me on antidepressants sedatives and sleeping tablets, the later
two for two weeks.
I spent 6 weeks in bed, I couldn’t move. Paralysed by the tinnitus and distress.
The only way I got through those weeks was to plan my own death. The thought of death was the only thing that gave me any comfort. I thought of everything, but also the fact if it didn’t work I could be in even worse a state.
Yet planning it was the only thing getting me through, I would say to myself “it’s alright Rach, you’ll be dead by next week” when I had finally decided the method date and time. I really don’t know how I ended up at the GP’s alive but I did. I was crying hysterically, had lost 2 and a half stone in weight and could not sit still with agitation. The poor practice nurse did not know what
to do with me and went to get the GP.
He was fantastic and prescribed me strong sedatives to be taken 3 x per day. I believe I had serotonin syndrome from the first antidepressant and had stopped taking it a few days previous I think. I had been seen by a community mental health nurse who saw me agitated, moving constantly, not eating at all, sobbing, crying, and drinking pints of juice, my heart rate never below 115 bpm at rest. She said I needed an urgent medication review. I haven’t seen her since and I’m still awaiting that medication review!!!
The GP started me on a new antidepressant and sleeping tablet. Since then, my life has been s**t, I paid privately to see an audiologist in Sheffield and bought a hearing aid where I can hear a low rumble of the sea through bluetooth.
When I’m distressed with the tinnitus I have a sedative, lay down and listen to the sea noise but it doesn’t cover the catastrophic chronic complex tinnitus.
I’ve paid privately for a year to see a top tinnitus psychologist @ £175.00 a session (there is nothing on the NHS for serious tinnitus suffers and the psychologist did this for me at a reduced rate as an NHS worker) I am on maximum psychological treatment, I see my GP regularly and I’m still not good.
I am still currently off work and was assessed at work by the Occupational Health Consultant who recommended that I be treated under Disability at Work Act. 2015. Tinnitus support groups are a no go, I’ve been warned not to go on those sites, due to the mental health factors, it’s not a support group but a place for depressed, scared and desperate individuals.
I’m now living through 18 months of this absolute hell. Chronic tinnitus and left sided deafness affects all aspects of my life and my life has changed beyond recognition, physically, psychologically, socially and emotionally. I still cry most days and I have severe depression and PTSD. I also get blasts of tinnitus in my right ear too and my right ear drum goes into spasm a lot, like a butterfly in your ear.
The tensor tympani muscle also clicks a lot in that ear which I never had before Pfizer. I will have this and left sided deafness catastrophic tinnitus and likely depression for the rest of my life. There is no cure
It has affected my family and friends in a huge way, I don’t want to speak to anyone sometimes, go out or do anything anymore. I have uncontrollable muscle twitches. I was also rushed into hospital with a massive headache, loss of vision, zig zag lights in my eyes, they thought I was having a stroke but CT was negative and they said it was a migraine. Funny how I’ve never had a migraine or one problem with my head or ear before the vaccine.
I’m coping better with my tinnitus compared to when I was suicidal and hysterical, but now must get used to the new me, the new life I’m forced to live. I’ve never been on medication until now, never suffered mental health issues and would never once have dreamt of ending my own life.
All for a vaccine I did not need, for a virus I had a 99.9% chance of surviving. I am so angry now. I want answers.