Kristin Nelson, Physician Assistant
First Dose of Pfizer on 11/12/21
Q: What was your life like before you got the vaccine?
I’m a 37 year old physician assistant, mom of 3 young children living a healthy active life.
Q: What was your reaction, symptoms, & timeline?
November 12, 2021- I went to the employee health at the hospital to receive my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine after the hospital mandated the vaccine for all employees. Within 5 minutes of receiving the vaccine, I fell unresponsive. A rapid response team was called. My heart rate was elevated at 146, my blood pressure was 160/88, and I developed a rash/redness on my chest. I was aware of my surroundings and what was occurring but could not respond, could not follow commands, could not open my eyes, could not squeeze someones hand, and did not respond to a sternal rub. I began having convulsions on the right side of my body. I was taken to the trauma bay downstairs in the emergency department. The convulsions continued on my right side. I was given 1 dose of Valium (anti-seizure medicine), the convulsions continued. I was given a second dose along with a muscle relaxer; the convulsions subsided. After sleeping for 2 hours I returned to ‘normal’. I was encouraged to be admitted for observation. I declined as I wanted to return home to my children and I have a 9 month old whom I nurse. My husband is a physician, and the medical team felt comfortable with me going home since my husband would be home with me. The following day I was post-ictal. I slept for much of the day. On November 14th and 15th, I returned to normal and enjoyed my days. Then on November 16th, 4 days after the vaccine administration, while I was at a restaurant with a friend and 2 of my children, I had seizure. EMS was called. By the time the paramedics arrived, the seizure stopped and I was improving. Once again I declined going to the hospital as I was improving and I had 2 of my children with me with no way for them to return home. After an hour of resting at the restaurant, I felt comfortable to drive the 10 minute drive home where I rested for the remainder of the day. I made an appointment with a neurologist for the 18th. He suspected I developed ‘vaccine induced focal seizures’ and I was started on Keppra. I took my first dose of Keppra 500mg that night. The following day, three days after the seizure at the restaurant, on November 19th, shortly after waking I didn’t feel right. Immediately after waking I took a shower. Directly after the shower I felt fatigued and went to lay back down. My daughter who turned 4 years old just 2 days earlier was calling for help to put on her shoes. I walked across the house to put on her shoes and put them on the wrong feet. I didn’t process it at all until she started complaining her feet hurt in the shoes. I wondered ‘how did I just put her shoes on the wrong feet and not even realize I was doing that?’. I corrected the shoes and she was picked up moments later by my neighbor whom I carpool with to be taken to preschool. I went back to bed- at 8:30 am. I then began having right sided weakness. I thought I was having a stroke. Within 30 minutes I could barely move my right arm and leg. I text my friend to ask her to bring me to the ER. When she arrived, I could not put on my sandals, and I needed help walking to the car and needed lifted up to get in the car. I live 7 minutes away from the hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, I could not stand. My right side was completely limp. A stroke alert was made and I was quickly evaluated. After the CT Head was conducted my right leg began to shake. The workup for a stroke was negative. An EEG was conducted and revealed left hemisphere focal seizures. I was admitted to the hospital, given 3 doses of IV Keppra, and discharged home. It’s now been 13 days since receiving the vaccine. I continue to experience seizure like activity daily, although it is improving with the Keppra beginning to reach a therapeutic level in my body. I continue to have transient numbness and tingling on the right side of my body; occasional twitching of my right arm and leg; and slow mental processing.
Q: What is your life like now, after getting the vaccine?
As a previously healthy mom of 3 with no significant past medical history, I am now on seizure medication and am unable to drive for at least the next 6 months. Now after receiving the vaccine because my work mandated I receive it, I am out of work as I now experience focal seizures.
Q: Share your experience with any medical care and any diagnoses you have received:
I was diagnosed with left hemisphere focal seizures
Q: Was your reaction reported, and what was the response?
I am currently awaiting medical records from the hospital prior to reporting it to VAERS
Q: Is there anything that has helped, and have your symptoms improved?
Keppra 500mg twice a day
Q: What do you wish others knew?
Like a COVID-19 infection, some people suffer a runny nose while others are hospitalized and die; the vaccine affect everyone differently.