I am a mother to four children and prior to my vaccination, I worked full time in customer service.  I can’t tell you how much I loved my job!  I was a fairly active person.  I loved walking my dog and swimming and my social life was important to me too.  I always had something or other planned.  My health had always been good.  I wasn’t against getting the vaccine and they told us that if the adults got it, the children wouldn’t have to.  I wanted to protect the wee ones, not just my own children.  I took my first Astra Zeneca on 18th March 2021 and had moderate side effects for about 5 days.  I didn’t feel too worried as we had been given a leaflet saying this was normal.  That night though, I had one of the most uncomfortable nights sleep of my life.

 I had a fever and was unable to regulate my body temperature and ached all over, despite taking ibuprofen and paracetamol.  A cough developed and I had a strange pain behind my eyes, but carried on as usual.  I got my 2nd Astra Zeneca on 15th June 2021.  After two weeks I started to display a huge list of symptoms that intensified over the next few months.  I was experiencing bad headaches, nausea, migratory chronic pain over the majority of my body, dizziness and disorientation, like my brain didn’t know what it was doing anymore.  I’d get major brain fog and have problems remembering things.  I had notable weakness down the right side of my body with the sensation of pins and needles. My legs began to jerk, jump and shake out of the blue and I would often lose my balance. I borrowed a friend’s set of crutches in order to move around.  One day I noticed my face was drooping on one side, my facial muscles were just not working and I couldn’t control them.  I have no energy, I feel sick a lot of the time, have toothache, earache and even my vision is deteriorating.  The list of my symptoms seems endless.  I was diagnosed eventually with Functional Neurological Disorder and the doctors say they can’t rule out mini strokes.   A referral was put in for me to see the pain clinic as they believe I may have central chronic pain disorder too.  I am on several pain medications but nothing seems to help.  The only way to describe it is like a toothache from my hair down to my toes.  Some days I can’t even leave my bed and I have trouble sleeping because my body jerks.  I am worried I am scaring my own children.  This has had a massive impact on my mental health and sometimes I feel suicidal.  I also have bad asthma, that any scent can set off and can’t stand strong smells. I can’t take part in any of the activities I used to, and my mother has to do the school run for me.  Life is extremely hard for me at the moment but I will keep fighting and won’t give up!