Photo credit: Center for Disease Control

(Note: I’m not a medical doctor, and this post is my opinion based on my experience with the Covid vaccination.  It is not meant to be prescriptive or directive for others.) 

From the beginning of this pandemic, I suspected there would be a new trail of autoimmune diseases left in Covid’s wake. I’ve follow Anthony Williams, the “Medical Medium”, since 2017 and I agree with his assessment that autoimmune diseases are caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, sometimes in combination with other factors or bacteria (see his original book The Medical Medium for details).  I wasn’t surprised to hear about the Covid “long haulers”, the folks who overcame Covid, but experience continuing symptoms after the main thrust of the illness is over.

I’m immunocompromised to begin with—but with zero heartbeat or breath symptoms… except for when I had severe anemia– and I’ve been with Covid-like symptoms since my first vaccine dose late March.  I now have sudden rapid heartbeat followed by shortness of breath (even when sitting still), “metallic” headaches that feels like I’m wearing a buzzing tin foil helmet, and overall fatigue.  It’s now hard for me to open a heavy door or climb stairs.  According to NPR, some long haulers have “POTS” (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), a condition that effects blood flow (resulting in occasional rapid heartbeat and lightheadedness).  This is ringing my intuition. Some long-haulers had to step down from working a job because POTS symptoms interfere with life that thoroughly.

I didn’t have Covid, I don’t know if I have POTS, but I did get the Pfizer Covid vaccine.  It’s all feeling long-haul-ish to me.  There are medical interventions for POTS, but I won’t be following anything medical unless I feel desperate.  I overcame severe anemia 2 years ago through nutrition and supplements, assessing improvement through blood tests and gradual increase in exercise.  To help my new post-vaccine cardiovascular/heart-related conundrum, I’m increasing iron, D3, and B12 intake through food and supplements and getting to know the Wim Hof breathing exercise—both meant to increase oxygen flow to the brain (via red blood cells). 

Hormone-free beef liver is back on the menu.

Unless I improve, I won’t be swimming, roller skating, running, or dancing anytime soon this summer. Even long walks are out of the picture. My new long haul is now the one where I carry groceries up the stairs.

The symptoms interestingly live in the 4th chakra, the heart/lungs area of the body.

I meet regularly with a community of folks with autoimmune disease, and no one else has experienced the vaccine like I have. Because I’ve had anemia before, I feel confident that my body can make it through this long haul. In an ideal world, I’ll be dancing on the other side.  For now, it’s one breath and one step at a time.

My heart goes out to all those—ALL those around the world—who are in need and want of the vaccine and those battling Covid.

What has your experience been? I’d love an email or comment.