My Health Story

My Health Story
Photo by camilo jimenez / Unsplash

Growing up, my parents never had to take me to the doctor. I was a healthy kid, except for the standard few colds, head lice, chickenpox... the usual 'carrier monkey' lurgy children usually contract.

Wait, there was that one time, I was stung by a blue-bottle jellyfish, and had to be taken to a clinic for urgent treatment, but that's about it.

Oh... actually, there was also that time when I was helping mum with the dishes (aged 2), and I got my finger stuck in the sink chasing the bubbles down the drain.

The fire brigade was called - they had to cut the sink out around my hand!  

They took me & the kitchen sink to the hospital for my finger to be cut free! Scared my poor parents to bits! But I got a teddy and the story front page of the local newspaper... now that's a great little anecdote I enjoy sharing.

'Good Friends in a Jam' Circa 1993

Philippines Mission Trip

It wasn't until the age of 19... I was going to go on a mission trip to the Philippines with some people from church in the year 2010.

There was a list of things I was given to do in order to be ready in time for the trip. Among them was to get all the tropical inoculations - they included tetanus, & diphtheria shots.

After receiving the necessary injections, in the weeks that followed, I became extremely unwell; I contracted mycoplasma pneumonia - spent 3 whole weeks completely bedridden - I couldn't even take myself to the toilet.

I developed chronic fatigue (which was borderline narcolepsy) - I kept falling asleep at my desk. My employers thought I was lazy.

But, I also started experiencing cardiac episodes. These episodes felt eerily familiar to the symptoms of a heart attack.

Many an ambulance was called to come to my aid.

The time I received Staff Member of The Month

Suffice it to say, I did not go on my mission trip to the Philippines... claimed my travel insurance, and stayed home.

The symptoms I experience include chest pain, tachycardia, palpitations, pallor, clamminess, unsteadiness, weakness, dizziness, heavy limbs, shortness of breath, and extreme fatigue.

These episodes were met with many calls to paramedics and rides in the ambulance to the Emergency Department.

I had been v@ccine injured. For the last 12 years, I have experienced these episodes frequently, and I still experience symptoms daily.

After all the ER visits, taking joy rides in ambulances, and copious doctors appointments, I was often met with little concern from the attending doctor.

I'd get one of the following responses: 'ah it's probably anxiety', 'it's probably a panic attack', or 'well you're not having a heart attack'.

But I was sent off for every cardiac test under the sun: ECGs, holter monitors, stress echos, chest x-rays, lung function tests, CT angiograms, and echocardiograms.

V@accines for Nursing

For years this continued - I worked as a carer in aged care while finishing my studies to become a nurse.

Aged Care placement 2013 with some of my colleagues & clinical educator

My condition was made worse when I had to have all the necessary v@accinations to be eligible to go on placement to finish my nursing, but also to catch up on all the v@accines I didn't have as a child.

The following v@accinations were given to me over a 2-month period: The flu shot, MMR, Boostrix (Pertussis, Diphtheria, Tetanus), Priorix-Tetra (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella-Zoster), Hepatitis B (Energix-B - had to have 3 times because I didn't "seroconvert"), ADT (Diptheria, Tetanus - why I had this twice, I don't know), Priorix (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, was given to me twice), and finally Hepatitis A (VAQTA).

Syringes with different medicines in yellow, red, orange and transparent colors lie on a blue background. The medicine. Vaccine. Covid 19. Coronovirus. An injection. Drugs. The close plan. Top view.
Photo by Diana Polekhina / Unsplash

I can't tell you how many times my colleagues or patients found me having one of my episodes.

But is it really a surprise? After having been injected with so many heavy metals, toxins, and adjuvants in such a short period of time?

At the time, like the next person, it didn't occur to me that my mysterious health condition was because of the v@accines.

I came to this conclusion much later.

Due to my nursing studies, having an understanding of the medical terminology helped me research what I was experiencing, but I couldn't find anything or any group of people that were experiencing what I was.

So eventually, I stopped searching for medical answers. I just put it out of my mind and stayed in denial, but my condition continued to get worse.

As the saying goes, 'nurses and doctors make the worst patients'... well I reckon I'd be the poster child of this statement. 😑

I threw myself into being the best nurse I could be for my patients. I would go to work before my shift and leave well after I was due to clock off.

Often going in outside working hours to provide musical entertainment for the residents. All the while, putting my health at the bottom of my list of priorities.

Getting closer to answers & treatment

At the last aged care facility I nursed at, after finding me in corridors on the floor more times than I care to admit; my colleagues and patients on different occasions-, convinced me to advocate for myself and get answers.

In the early months of 2018, I changed my GP - found a holistic doctor down on the Mornington Peninsula. I described my episodes to her and she did something, no other doctor had done before... she took my heart rate sitting down and then when I was standing. 🤯

The doctor proceeded to tell me she thought I had POTS - Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (a condition that falls under dysautonomia).

I finally had something to go by! So... I turned to research.

In April of the same year - the electrophysiologist/cardiologist my new GP referred me to, recommended I have a Tilt Table Test (TTT) - that was like no other test I had before, and guess what...?

This test induced an episode that was recorded and witnessed by the cardiologist!

On April 26 I was diagnosed with Neurocardiogenic Syncope - aka, Neurally Mediated Hypotension (try saying that 10 times fast!) as a result of the Tilt Table Test. I was making progress- but still didn't have all the answers.

I was advised to wear compressions stockings, salt load (eat tonnes of salt - I know, seems contradictory when one has heart symptoms, go figure!), and drink 3-4 liters of water every day.

PLUS...

I was prescribed medication to keep my blood pressure up - Midodrine - expensive stuff, only available through a compound pharmacy, they were $1 per capsule and I had to take up to 5 of them, daily!

The cardiologist also prescribed Flecainide which was for the heart flutters I was having, but instead, they gave me bad tremors, so bad that my handwriting looked like I was writing with one of those old battery-powered squiggle pens. (Remember those things?)

Meds
Photo by Hal Gatewood / Unsplash

The Alternative Route - Holistic Medicine

And so, my journey of trialing different expensive medications and doctors and naturopaths continued.

I saw a few different naturopaths, each of whom had very different explanations for my symptoms and episodes.

If you're an Aussie, you might remember the HBA ad on insurance coverage for alternative therapies...? If not, here's the link to refresh your memory. In my house, we affectionately referred to my first naturopath as the 'Fish Slapper'.

The first naturopath concluded my symptoms were due to magnesium deficiency. This was an entirely possible explanation - about 70% of my symptoms were similar to the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

But after loading up on expensive magnesium supplements for months, there was little difference made to my symptoms and suffering.

The next naturopath I saw told me my symptoms were due to a fungal infection in my heart and that I should get an anti-fungal and take that for a prolonged period of time.

That just sounded too far-fetched but also required pulling the wool over my then-GP's eyes in order to get the prescription.

Not only did that not make sense to me, but it also didn't sit right either. So I didn't even bother undergoing that one.

It wasn't long before I got tired of not feeling better, and I was only getting poorer! Some of the interventions recommended to me managed only a minor portion of my symptoms but weren't making a dent in feeling like a healthy girl in her mid-20s should.

I had no sick leave, due to how many days I had off - the chronic fatigue was the most debilitating than anything else.

I required 10-13 hours of sleep every night and would wake up and still feel tired. Anyone who's had heart problems can attest to feeling this kind of fatigue. The average healthy individual would take for granted how much energy one requires to get out of bed, shower, and get dressed.

However, this is not something I take for granted anymore.

Making the Decision to Retire

In October 2019, I decided I would leave my nursing job, I was still suffering from chronic health issues, but I was also burned out and grieving (having lost many people close to me in a few years timeframe).

So I handed in my resignation to my employers, only to be met with a proposal to stay on but work in an auditing role.

I welcomed the idea, because hey! - I still needed an income until something could be sorted out with a government sickness allowance.

So for the next 3 months, I worked in an office at a desk, hopeful that I wouldn't need to make any more trips to the hospital by way of ambulance.

My parting gift to Grand Cedar - made a convincing case for a Defib in the home

That was wishful thinking!

My episodes were even more frequent than when I was doing medication rounds. There was one week there when my colleagues called the paramedics twice! I went off by ambulance to the hospital on the first call-out, but refused to go on the second call-out - wasn't keen to have to send my parents on a run around fetching me from the hospital and my car from work.

Talk about how stubborn I am!

Upon reflection, hindsight tells me the worsening of my episodes and their frequency was probably due to the postural drop - going from sitting to standing only to fly up the set of stairs to conduct interviews with residents.

Well, you live and learn.

By January 2020, I decided it was time to hang up my stethoscope until I could improve my health and quality of life. I remember making that decision at work one day - I came back from my lunch break to write my resignation letter in one of my work notebooks, photocopied it, and handed it to management.

January 31st, 2020 was the last day I worked as a nurse. Then in March 2020, we were met with the pandemic. I knew my time in the healthcare system was finished and I was officially retired by May 2020.

Lockdown provided me with all the time in the world to throw myself into researching v@accine injuries, how they're manufactured, and also ways to heal myself naturally.

@awelloilednurse

And sadly, I’m not the only one. Go to link in my bio for my full health story. #realnotrare #autoimmunedisease #mecfs #neurocardiogenicsyncope #fyp #chronicillness #chronicfatigue #myalgicencephalomyelitis

♬ original sound - standup.page

I'll share with you how, over the last 10 years, I have made significant changes to facilitating my body to heal in an upcoming post - keep on the lookout!

If any of what I've shared has resonated or you yourself have experienced debilitating health issues that medicine can't help with, subscribe to my website, because I'll show you how you can improve your condition too.

Thanks for reading about my little health struggles.

*I dedicate this post to the dear friends I found in my patients at Grand Cedar, those who have passed on, and those who are still with us. You know who you are. I thank you for your love, concern, and stern discussions for me to advocate for myself and get the answers I needed to restore my quality of life. I love you all dearly, and will always carry you in my heart.