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Vaccine Triggering Symptoms? Looking for help and advice

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Miss Metta, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Hi all
    I am wondering if anyone has had problems with the vaccine triggering or exacerbating symptoms. I've just been through a horrible time, am due for my next vaccine in a wee and am looking for stories and reassurance or ways to cope.
    I got my first Pfizer vaccine 2 weeks ago. I was happy about it, and felt a bit elated. I saw the vaccines as something we've waited a long time for (I'm in Australia and we are way behind the rest of the developed world with vaccines)and a way to eventually get my life back, because I've more or less been isolating since March last year, which is having an effect on my mental health.
    Anyway, I thought I was going to be ok. But two hours after the vaccine I was cleaning out a cupboard and noticed that I felt really weird. I felt drunk (and I don't drink anymore), my face started flushing and I felt unreal.
    I felt some twinging in my chest that I didn't pay much attention to but had the thought maybe it was my heart.
    The next day the chest pain intensfied and I got horrible heart palpitations, and also got a little bit in the way of expected side effects like shivers and fever, but not much. The worst side effect was it seemed like the vaccine had triggered panic attacks and I had to take Ativan to try and settle. (which I rarely use). I was also experiencing suddenly feeling faint; the blood would leave my face and I would feel woozy and sick. I took paracetamol to try and help with all this.
    On day three the chest pain and palpitations and feeling faint was still really bothering me and I was in conflict with myself because I couldn't decide whether it was actually something wrong or it was anxiety/panic. In the back of my mind was fear that it might be my heart.
    My father died of a heart attack at age 50 and now that I am 55 I feel sometimes I'm on precarious and borrowed time. I also had it in the back of my mind that the vaccines can cause pericarditis or myocarditis - even though it's rare and supposed to be more common with the second dose and in much younger people, I think I was still worried about this.
    Eventually I got my husband to take me to ER and they did an ECG and blood test (I was told if my heart had been damaged in the last 3 days it would show up in the blood test) and of course it was all normal and sent me home.
    The doctor said he thought I had costochondritis, inflammation of the chest wall as a result of the vaccine.
    I continued to get chest pain and palpitations and flushing, and rashes flared up and my skin became ultra sensitive sometimes took paracetamol and sometimes took Ativan - I could not work out what was going on, was it anxiety in overdrive or was something wrong or was it just costochondritis? For a week I was wound up and a mess. What if the Dr missed something?
    I was tempted to go back to ER again but I didn't.
    I then went to see my Dr and she said she was not concerned, she thought I could have the second vaccine. But for Pfizer, the second is supposed to be worse than the first and I said I don't want to go through that again.
    I also got another ECG done, plus more blood tests - all normal. Because I also got kidney pain as a side effect I am going next week to get an ultrasound.
    Honestly I have driven myself into a mess with this.
    Anyway today is day 14 and this morning I finally felt more like myself, even happy, though I still have chest pain. I also found that doing any weight training worsened the chest pain a few hours later.
    I am scared of the next vaccine, but I also think I've worked myself into a state of worry and anxiety about it. I feel like the only way I want to take it is to be in hospital and being watched by nurses!
    The first experience was awful.
    Or was it? I still am not sure if all the multiple side effects I experienced (more than listed here) were actually side effects or anxiety, because I only got a little fever, nausea, and no headache which are the expected ones - though a lot of fatigue, but again, I get that with high anxiety, too.
    If I remove the chest pain, flushing and palpitations (not mentioned as side effects) and feeling faint then what I have left is actually a mild reaction and the next one could be worse which is scaring me.
    I thought I was ok about the vaccines but maybe I had some doubts and fears. My husband on the other hand had AZ not Pfizer, and he got side effects but he just took it all in his stride. I look at him in awe and wish I could be like that.
    I feel like the vaccine itself triggered the internal alarm systems.
    I still have chest pain but have now looked into costochondritis as a symptom of TMS, and it is (I"m still not doing upper weight training, lower only).
    Can anyone help me with stories or reassurance? I know I need the next vaccine but the thought of going through another 2 weeks of such intense distress is enough to put me off.
    I think I need to know that I'll be ok, that I"m safe. There's a niggling voice that says "what if?" "what if?" Yet I know that if I catch Covid the "what if" is more dangerous.
    I even think getting my kidneys checked next week is just me looking for reassurance (I do have some mild kidney pain but suspect it's back pain/TMS because I've had it before during a rough time and it disappeared the day I knew the situation was goign to resolve), but it flared again with the vaccine.
    Please help, I am hoping others can share stories or insights or wisdom that it's me, not the vaccine and that it's ok to get the second one and how to get myself through (I do already meditate daily).
    An over-arching feeling with all of this is feeling terrified and very vulnerable and child-like. I am trying to reassure myself but it doesn't seem to be enough.
    thanks all


    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
  2. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Metta,
    I believe that in the Pfizer trials they determined that the 2nd jab should be given 21 days after the first. However, it seems that better protection is likely to be had by leaving a bigger gap between 1st and 2nd jabs...this article talks about the 'sweet spot' being around 8 weeks https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-57929953 (Covid vaccine: Eight-week gap seen as sweet spot for Pfizer jab antibodies) (and here in the UK, at one time, they were leaving it for 12 weeks, but part of that was to do with vaccine distribution and a political decision, although I read that some preliminary research suggested that a 12 week gap might be even better). So, anyway, my thought is that you could consider delaying your 2nd jab to allow your remaining 'after jab' symptoms to further dissipate and to give yourself a mental 'firebreak', which might serve to help you to feel better about getting the 2nd jab. (Obviously, while you are only single jabbed you won't be quite as well protected against covid as being double jabbed, but you might decide to take the risk and mask up and take other precautions where you can.)
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
    Miss Metta likes this.
  3. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Thank you for this. I agree, a delay might settle me down. The issue is it's hard to get Pfizer in Australia, the vaccine rollout has been a shambles. I'm lucky to have gotten my first dose 2 weeks ago (it will be 21 days for the 2nd). I'm lucky in that that I do not have to go anywhere and can stay at home (though this is impacting my mental health) and when I do go shopping, I double mask; I'm very careful like that. My main cause of exposure could be husband, as he works outside of home but has now had two shots of AZ (though could potentially bring it home to me). He is working outdoors and mainly with the same few people so I'm not at huge risk of catching it were I to wait. However, despite a lockdown, cases are still rising. I am not keen on getting the second dose when I still have chest pain, it tells me my body isn't clear yet. I will speak to my Dr this week. It's possible that unless I get it this week, there won't be appointments until October (past the 8 week mark) but I like the idea of waiting a bit. I am also really keen to hear if other people had pain or symptom flare-ups due to the vaccine, I want to feel less alone and like a weirdo.

    There is one other thing that crossed my mind: recently (about a month ago) I made a break-through with foods that I hadn't eaten in years because I thought they gave me bad reactions, discovered this is a lie, and can now eat them and since then I've had an elated feeling and sense of freedom and power about it. So I'm wondering if all the vaccine side effects (the unusual ones) are 'symptom imperative' in disguise because I do feel like I'm a bit 'hyperfocused' on the vaccine and that it's TMS and a 'distraction' because I just got over the food one after 20 years. Thanks again, the article was interesting.

  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Metta,

    I am sorry for what you're going through. Here are some thoughts.

    I love BloodMoon's advice to give yourself some time. With that, only you can make the "threat assessment" of how much exposure you risk in the meantime, before that second shot.

    I think it is great that the ER doctor took you seriously and did come up with a diagnosis, which (!) can also be TMS according your research. Wouldn't you know it! ;)

    I cannot dismiss vaccine injury. It does happen.

    I think vaccine injury wise, and stress wise, you're being smart to slow down the process and consider. This seems humane. It is probably true that some folks are more prone to vaccine injury, so if this is something physical, then you may have a caution signal. It is also true that on an overall risk assessment, the vaccine is statistically safer than the disease, by orders of magnitude, and I suppose especially for you as 55 year old vs a 25 year old. The exact dangers/numbers with the vaccines are not easily found or in the media, unfortunately.

    At some point you have to work with imperfect numbers, and you also have to consider the numbers you can find out, one of which is what is the protection of one dose? I guess what I'm saying is it may be really helpful before you take the next (if you do) that you have your head really clear. Something like "I get that there is a chance of injury, but I am willing to move forward because the numbers look like this _____" Or, "I won't proceed because I am already worried about vaccine injury, and I don't want to increase my fear."

    If the second shot seems like a bad idea, then there are therapies, like Ivermectin, Vit D, melatonin, gargles, nasal sprays, etc. which if you look into it, might give some protection ---like N95 masks, outside the vaccine path. They are more of a hassle, take research, less respected, more on the edge of things...

    I'm not giving medical advice. Here a bunch of experienced docs provide a protocol that can be used with or without vaccines.

    By browsing around on that FLCCC page you might find a doc in Australia who specializes in Covid, and who might also double as a vaccine specialist. Wouldn't it be great to talk to someone who knows vaccine injury, knows the patterns, and tells you "based on what you're experience is, I think you're fine to proceed!"

    I want that for you!

    Good luck in your path, and I hope you can give yourself lovingkindness in this time. I really think it is possible to get your head settled before making the next move, despite the apparent stress.

    BloodMoon likes this.
  5. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I see that you are only 55 and this study was done on some people who were 80+, but it indicated that (at least in that age group) a 12 week gap between Pfizer jabs was actually more beneficial https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2021/05/covid-pfizer-vaccination-interval-antibody-response.aspx (Delaying second Pfizer vaccines to 12 weeks significantly increases antibody responses in older people, finds study). In the UK millions of people have been double jabbed with a 12 week gap between 1st and 2nd jabs. Our Government only fairly recently changed it to 8 weeks, mainly because they were concerned about the sky rocketing increase in new covid cases due to the more infectious (now dominant) Delta variant sweeping the country, and wanted to boost people's immunity more quickly to keep them out of hospital for fear of overwhelming our National Health Service...And, although I am of the opinion that members of our Government have behaved like a bunch of clowns re a lot of the decisions they've made in dealing with the pandemic, I think the decision to allow a gap of 12 weeks was actually based on some scientific advice of it being liable to be an okay thing to do. So, waiting until October for your 2nd jab may not be detrimental to you (in the UK vaccination is keeping the vast majority of the double jabbed out of hospital and the majority of our double jabbed had their jabs 12 weeks apart) and it may even be of benefit to you in the long run -- But, of course, as Andy says, 'only you can make the "threat assessment" of how much exposure you risk in the meantime, before that second shot' and decide what gap between jabs you'll opt for, should you decide to have a 2nd jab. Like Andy, I too really think it is possible to get your head settled before making the next move.

    You're far from a weirdo! In the UK we have the 'yellow card' vaccine adverse side effects reporting scheme and there are 100s of people who have reported 'unusual' side effects after having had the vaccines - Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. I can post you a link to those reports, but what they don't (in the vast majority of cases) indicate is whether those adverse side effects were/are likely to prove to be long term or temporary. If you do look at the 'yellow card' reports, you would also need to bear in mind that, although great in number, the reports are in the context of over 80 million people that have been vaccinated in the UK and over 70 million of the over 80 million have been double jabbed; but that said, there is still the aspect that there may have been under reporting as using the 'yellow card' scheme is not compulsory.

    With regard to 'after jab' symptoms possibly being TMS, this article says "over 30% of the people who were enrolled in the control arm of the Pfizer vaccine trial reported headaches and fatigue, despite not being injected with a vaccine" https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/07/prof-francois-balloux-the-pandemic-has-created-a-market-for-gloom-and-doom (Prof Francois Balloux: ‘The pandemic has created a market for gloom and doom’) -- Albeit headache and fatigue are not your current symptoms of concern, this does indicate that so called 'psychosomatic' reactions caused by fear are a possibility.

    I don't know if they are doing it in Australia, but some countries are considering mixing jabs or are already doing so -- 1st dose one type and the 2nd jab another type. I believe it's happening in Germany (and their Chancellor, Angela Merkel, opted for her jabs to be mixed). I haven't read a lot about it, but I think preliminary research seems to indicate that it provides better protection than 1st and 2nd doses being of the same type, but that it may increase temporary adverse side effects...So, that's something that you may wish to consider (because perhaps you might feel happier to have the AstraZeneca as your 2nd jab) or you may not want to consider at all (in the light of the possible increase in temporary - or otherwise - side effects).

    I too am facing an extremely difficult dilemma in respect of getting the jabs -- A rare autoimmune disease that I suffer with might possibly be triggered by the vaccines into becoming a much more serious version, but no one (not even my doctors) can tell me whether that will or is likely to happen or not (as no one knows what triggers off the serious version of the disease in people like me). Therefore, for what it's worth, I more than empathise with your situation.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  6. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Re a nasal spray https://www.healtheuropa.eu/covid-19-nasal-spray-effective-against-variants/109674/ (COVID-19 nasal spray effective against variants) (the active ingredient, carragelose, is already used in some nasal sprays already on the market in the UK and Australia and maybe in other countries too).
  7. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Thank you Andy, for replying, I think just having people acknowledge this has been helpful. I've felt so alone. There's such a push push push for vaccine at the moment that having what I think was a negative reaction when it's supposed to be such a good thing has made me feel very much on the outer, so I've appreciated that you guys have taken the time to reply.
    When you have a history of TMS and panic, it can be hard to sort it all through, and I keep telling my brain," this is serious, we can't not have the vaccine if all you are is anxious, because it's a serious disease".

    I looked at the link, thank you, but alas, no Dr in Australia, and when I did further research, it seems an doc in Aus who Rxes Ivermectin will get into deep trouble. Even though I now believe there's evidence to suggest it works, until the mainstream approves it - which may happen, but not for a while - I can't get it.

    Looking around the site then somehow led me off to a site I hadn't seen before 'Doctors for Covid Ethics' and this one scared the hell out of me because of these doctors warnings about the vaccines has triggered fear again. I no longer know what to think or believe. I don't know if these people are fringe or actually have real merit.

    I think my risk is relatively low. Our cases are not completely out of control yet and mostly confined to a few local government areas. I don't have a day job (not until lockdown ends at any rate), can buy everything online, and go out maybe twice a week to an open air market or for a medical appointment, and I'm a stickler for masks.

    Isn't this just so TMS personality? That part of me that wants to do the right thing and be a 'good' person: never go out (or hardly), get vaccines, always wear masks, no, make that a double mask (can only get Kn95 here at the moment) and tape it around my face to keep it on and for double protection....wash hands a zillion times a day...

    Now that I've had some distance, I still think a good part of my symptoms were symptoms of panic: chest pain, palpitations, flushing, maybe even the feeling faint, but not sure if the vaccine actually caused it by causing an adrenalin surge which triggered a panic reaction in my body, or whether it was my thoughts about the vaccine at the time.

    I still feel like everyone else is dealing with their vaccines far better than me. I still have chest pain, which was made worse a few hours after I finally tried an upper body weight session, but didn't do any direct chest work like bench press; back and shoulder work was still enough to flare it up. So I'm positive it's not my heart .

    I'm speaking to my doctor in two days, three days before my next dose. I am fairly certain what I am experiencing is an overdrive of fight/flight and that she will say to go ahead with the next one. Availability of the Pfizer shot is an issue in Australia, so to put it off might mean losing out for a while.

    Given my age, the risk/benefit is a no brainer: although I'm healthy, not overweight and no co-morbidities, I know that Covid is an awful disease for many, and I already take Vit D and zinc, but Ivermectin is not available to me, I've been on boards where other Aussies are asking the same thing. In time, it might get approval .
    thanks again

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  8. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Hi BloodMoon

    Thank you for
  9. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    your long reply; you've clearly done a lot of research and I appreciate receiving the benefit of that.
    You mention the trials and the placebo reactions; as I get further and further away from my date of vaccine, I'm thinking more and more that many of my reactions were a fear reaction.

    Or, the vaccine triggered an adrenalin response in my body which created panic attacks (I've had this happen if I get really run down or depleted - my body will start going into panic surges).
    I did find a few people on another TMS group who had similiar fears, relayed their stories, and this has helped me feel a lot better. And I also found on Reddit (a while ago, I'm not spending every day researching this stuff, it's doing my head in)
    a thread from people who also had the same symptoms as me ,chest pain, palpitations, rush to the ER, Dxed with costochondritis. Some, like me, still have it a few weeks later (which is why I'm speaking to my GP before the next shot).
    But it was a bit reassuring to find other people who did have the same thing and did the same thing as me - go to hospital - and some seem like they got over it.

    Re Government decisions during the pandemic and clowns: ours too mate, ours too. Which is why we are in this pickle. They didn't order enough vaccine, the AZ became public fear number one once blood clots were reported, we had no outbreak at the time,
    the vaccine roll-out was nick-named 'the stroll-out' for how slow, clumsy and inept it was (eg, physicians receiving only a few vaccines each) and our PM when criticised said, "It's not a race". Well what the bloody hell was it then, if not a race?!
    A race to get everyone vaccinated before the next outbreak! So they screwed up big time.
    So we've gone on our merry way for months with no cases and now all of a sudden a delta outbreak in the laxest state (in terms of lockdown strategies) of Australia and now there's this huge panic for vaccinations and no one
    can get an appointment anywhere. Meanwhile, truckloads of AZ sit on shelves going to waste because everyone is too scared of blood clots, all waiting for Pfizer. As the outbreak increases, that hesitancy is now waning and some people are getting the AZ.

    So now there's this huge outward pressure on everyone to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, from the Govt and the media. This is important because it's adding to my sense of panic and urgency. I am actually one of the 'lucky' few who happened to get a Pfizer
    dose in July, and only because I listed my name with my local GP practice and when Pfizer came in, I was in. Most people have to wait until Sept/ October.
    I was soooo elated initially.
    I've hardly been out for 18 months and haven't got an outside job (apart from pet sitting which is canned at the moment because noone is allowed to on holiday) and the whole time, would not apply for ones taht came up
    even when things were good, because I said to my husband, "we are ripe for an outbreak, things are too lax". And I didn't want to be doing a public-facing job if that happened and we also didn't have vaccines.

    Which is what has happened. While everyone else went back to their lives, thinking we were ok, I remained hypervigilant. Sure, I went back to my painting classes for a short while, and the odd dinner with friends
    but I still mostly limited activtiy and we couldn't do much anyway, my husband had no work for quite a few months, even when not in lockdown. I just hung out for vaccines.
    In the meantime the scariest thing that I could think of did happen to me: while we were in lockdown, the first one, I had to go to hospital.
    I had appendicitis, but because of my history of TMS, I ignored the pain for 6 days, thinking it was just stress and anxiety and it wasn't.
    So I went into hospital twice, first time to get the inflammation down, second time to remove it. Both times I was scared of contracting Covid. I didn't.

    I had a lot of pain post-operation and fell into depression which remained for months and which sort of lifted by itself about 3 months ago.

    So I'm hypervigilant and alert all the time. I do meditate daily, I exercise, I quit drinking, I eat really healthy, I do calming techniques, but if anxiety hits it explodes and takes over. And then I feel ashamed of it.
    It feels narcissistic and self-indulgent to be terrified of things a lot, as if I'm so important and my life matters so much, because intellectually in the broader scheme of things, I know that it doesn't.

    Anyway, I'm rambling.

    Re AZ as a possible second choice. Yes I have heard of vaccine mix and match but our Govt is not heading that way any time soon. I also think that they do it the other way round, mRNA vax first, AZ second, not the way I've done it.

    I'm sorry you have an autoimmune condition; no wonder you know so much about alternatives, like nasal sprays. I too have a rare autoimmune condition but I haven't had a flare-up for so long, that I forgot to mention it to my Dr
    until you brought it up!
    Is AZ the better choice for you? From what I read, the mRNA vaccines can trigger autoimmune but I'm not sure about AZ or your age and recommendations for AZ for your age but I guess you looked into that.

    Thank you again for your detailed and thought out responses, I didn't know about the nasal sprays except that our govt 'official' line on it is that they don't work.
    That didn't stop me following on with further searching and finding plenty of articles like the one you linked to that seemed to have scientific backing.
    So I found one online and ordered it. It can't hurt, right?

    I am soothed and consoled by your information, the fact you shared, and I feel more empowered with better information and options.

    I hope you find a solution to your dilemma.
    Thanks again,
  10. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Our vaccine roll out has been relatively good, but we're lagging behind other countries now. At the start of the pandemic, our Government didn't take covid seriously...Our Prime Minister considered that it was just something that was happening 'over there' and it would blow over before it reached our shores, despite people dropping like flies in Italy; he was merrily shaking hands with everyone (wearing no mask)...and then he caught the virus and ended up in hospital on oxygen.
    That's the trouble with knowing that we are TMS-ers, we tend to dismiss everything as being TMS -- otherwise we'd be at the doctor's or hospital every two minutes!

    Having to go into hospital for surgery now or sometime in the future and catching the Delta variant is what's worrying me (I know I have gallstones, for instance). The staff will still be wearing masks, but they'll mostly be inadequate surgical masks or respirator masks that only protect the wearer and not the patient. I think that it will be very difficult to avoid getting covid in the long-term...One of our leading experts reckons it will eventually, in a few years or so, be like catching a cold (presumably only to the fully vaccinated though) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9756379/Covid-like-common-cold-flu-reach-equilibirum-years.html (Covid will be more like the common cold than flu and will reach 'equilibirum' in 'very few years' | Daily Mail Online).
    If you did want to wait the 12 weeks to allow yourself to feel better, couldn't you just make a firm booking for Sept/Oct? Perhaps your GP would allow this, given your circumstances?
    Oh, dear, sorry to give you/bring up even more potential concerns! I've found out that the more serious version of my autoimmune disease can be triggered by catching covid (there have been some case reports) so I'm erring towards getting my 1st Pfizer jab and have made an appointment for 10 days' time...Whether I'll change my mind and cancel it or not, I don't know...sometimes I guess you just have to get to a precipice to be able to decide.
    Thank you. And you're welcome. I obviously hope your chest pain will go very soon and everything will work out well for you, whatever you decide.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
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  11. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am enjoying reading this conversation. It moves through from moments of stress and overwhelm to points of facts, calm, introspection ---which we all know is important in TMS work, and in our own sanity!

    I get very angry at the inept response in my country, the US, to the Covid-19 emergency. Not enough (good) masks, guidance which shifts back and forth, anti-viral drugs like remdesivir rolled out with fast-track approval which has little efficacy (while CEO makes his millions on temporary stock bounce), suppression of repurposed drugs/therapies like ivermectin or Vit. D, fast-tracking a partly-tested vaccine, social media tribal hysterics... And frankly not a lot of very basic CDC science on virus survival, transmission, masks, therapies.

    The whole thing exposes the regulatory capture of our health system, cumbersome nature of large group processes, as well as our own human tribal tendencies. And, apropos of TMS work, shows the potency of fear in our minds.

    As a friend of mine, a Buddhist and psychiatrist aptly summarized: "The virus has given everyone a chance to know death. It has brought death into consciousness. Awareness of death is something we run from all our lives, mostly unconsciously."

    It helps me to see the reactions on all sides, whether it is scary stories on social media, or the clown-show of agency response, or my own fears and life choices in this time, as natural, unconscious responses to new, disturbing information, or "feelings I would rather not feel."

    Metta. I hope you can find a form of self-compassion for this. I feel this is superego activity, this attack on yourself for your anxiety, that you're wrong for it, that it is narcissistic. Sure, there is a narcissistic focus on self, and self-survival in all our self-introspection and fears, strategizing, anxiety. A human focus on self. But to me, your shame about this is something which can be worked with. I highly recommend to you (as I have for so many) Byron Brown's "Soul Without Shame."

    The superego always adds a confusing overlay onto the situation. As Dr. Sarno said in one of his lectures, the superego is the activity which keeps other emotions from becoming fully conscious. He said that when it "fails to distract enough" then pain and symptoms come in as the final distraction. I guess we could say the same about anxiety. It can be a distractor. But if I am ashamed of my anxiety, then I think ---and as I write this, I can feel the truth of this for me personally-- that I should waking up to what's happening, by defending my right to anxiety. I might really own that I am anxious, and "so what?!" Otherwise, I am lost in a more surface layer --the superego attacks. By working with the superego, I can get down to the other layers, which "want to be felt."

    To me, the superego is a closed door to each layer of awareness; it can be the gatekeeper. And shame is a good indicator that it is doing its "work."
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  12. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    I'm glad you are enjoying this conversation; it's helped me a lot, too. Whilst I have moved to a calmer place now, I did the worst thing possible the last 3 days - got stuck online reading and watching videos and terrified myself again about the vaccine and all the negative stories scared me witless again and just created more and more confusion.
    "This is why I didn't read anything before I got the vaccine", said my ever-stoic husband. I think he's right, of course.
    I'm looking for certainty when there is none.

    I too am angry at the English-speaking govts but also confused. I don't love govts but I'm not really mistrustful like a lot of extreme right are, either. I haven't read much stuff and just presumed that ivermectin hasn't been used because it hasn't been studied for use in this instance or found ineffective, yet I do come across stuff here and there that suggests it is useful and does work, and this just gets me more upset. But it's moot for me - I can't get it. Any doctor in Aus who prescribes it will get into trouble. I am heartened though that our TGA will soon approve monoclonal antibody treatment so they can't just be a group made up entirely all a-holes. I like your Buddhist friend's take on it.
    Thank you for this, I will look into that book. When you used the term, "superego" I immediately thought of my Dad. Both parents were a-grade purveyors of shame and belittlement as parenting tools and of course much of that is interjected into my own head voices - though I have now developed a compassionate parent voice of my own. I agree with you, I think the anxiety is a distractor but when I dig into it, all I can come up with is that I feel very vulnerable in life and in many ways, not secure. Not that there's anything that is ever secure, really! Thanks again for your comment - glad that as you wrote you achieved an insight!
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
  13. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Yes, I remember well bozo Boris ending up in hospital. I thought catching it might change his approach. Sorry you ended up with him. I have a friend in the UK, she caught alpha, then had AZ and had a long reaction (a week), had the second AZ, less reaction, then recently she caught Delta and it took her down badly, was very worried for her. She said, "I was just concentrating on keeping my O2 above 91%" so that she didn't have to go to hospital. This scared me. She's a bit older than me, 60, hardly goes out, but caught it anyway, her main co-morbidity is being a bit overweight, but she eats healthy, just is a bit over target on weight. It's been over a month and she's still very fatigued with brain fog etc. I noticed after the first bout that she seemed a bit slower, cognitively, when she did videos. She never mentioned it or said it was a problem, but I noticed it. This virus is a bastard, as they'd say here.

    Yes, and this time waiting it out backfired on me, I should have gone earlier. I genuinely had appendicits which, I feel, was actually anxiety triggered because I was so overwrought and hyper with the first outbreak last March and the lockdown. When they took it out, I was told it had a growth on it that would turn into cancer in about 5 years, and that appendix cancer was very hard to treat because of lack of symptoms until it's spread. So that appendectomy saved my life. Sometimes I wonder if my subconcious mind knew it was there and needed to develop appendicitis to get it removed. It was a shock. I think that's partly why I'm so anxious about health, now. Less than a year before that, in 2019, I contracted pneumonia from a routine exam because of the anaesthetic. Fortunately I wasn't hospitalised but it knocked me around for 6 months. I was told it was a 1 in 6,000 chance. So this is why I worry about things like rare side effects. Once you've been in that 'rare' category (rare autoimmune condition, rare contracting of pneumonia, rare pre-cancer of the appendix...) it becomes a higher probability for yourself. Reminding myself of stats doesn't always help.

    Gallstones, gah! I had mine out over 30 years ago, age 23, so yes, I can see your concern. Delta, from what I'm seeing about the ICU and ventilator rates here in NSW is not pretty. The chances of landing in such is quite high, by the looks. I agree with you, it will be difficult to avoid getting covid, however one thing I did do to cheer myself up ( and very glad that I did) was look up, "new covid treatments" and got a slew of up and coming potential new medications that might be with us as soon as 2023 so there's a chance we can take pills as soon as symptoms start. I didn't get my first outbreak of coldsores until I was 49 and it hit like a sledgehammer (getting herpes simplex as an adult can be very serious); I was given an anti-viral tablet for that, and I think covid will be the same. The great thing is companies are rushing to discover treatments. I think time and timing is everything. I would like to wait it out, because I can stay hidden, but I also can't. My husband works outside the home and NSW has not gotten this outbreak under control and it's spreading. 55% of people in my shire have had one vaccination, less than 22% have had two. I spoke to my GP and although she wants me to get some cardiac studies done (not because of the chest pain, but because of family history) she wants me to go ahead and get the second shot in 2 days time because she feels my reactions have been a good immune response - which she views as positive. She's not concerned. She also says that the media is starting to blow the myocarditis/pericarditis thing up and out of proportion, like they have with blood clots and AZ. She herself said she had a lymph node blow up in her chest and it stayed like that for 6 weeks, I think she said, and she's hopeful that I've had my dose of a strong reaction, and that that the next shot I'll be much better.
    This is what I am now telling myself: there's risks with the vaccines. Of course there is. But there's greater probability of catching Delta and ending up seriously ill or dead. It's a more serious and dangerous virus than alpha, and anyone who says they're just going to cop it sweet and let their immune system do the work is foolhardy, given the number of young, fit people in their 20s and 20s in ICU. The odds are only slightly favourable.
    I don't like being forced into this choice but here we are. The vaccines may turn out to be deadly, too. But it seems to me that unless one can live in a shack isolated from humanity, they're the best chance of survival. I've had to become pragmatic about this even though I'm still scared of the vaccine. I feel like circumstances are against that, now. I'd love to wait for Novavax or these new-beaut meds coming onto the market - but that's a huge risk and I can't keep living with so much anxiety and threat all the time.

    As per above, I won't be waiting for the vaccine, my doc wants me to go ahead and have it. I still have chest pain but it's been going on now for close to 3 weeks (made worse when I lift weights) and she's not concerned. The strategy now in NSW since they haven't got it under control is to speed up vaccination as quickly as possible, hoping to stamp it out that way. It may or may not work. We still do have a chance of getting it under control; Taiwan had 600 plus cases of Delta and they turned it around. We're in the 300's and climbing. There's still a chance.

    Re your vaccine. You're right, standing on the precipice can make the difference. I hope you go ahead, because unless you're able to super-isolate (and my friend was an introvert who hardly went out, and an ex-nurse, so was aware of proper PPE etc and she still caught it), if your gallstones catch in your duct, then it will be emergency surgery (not to frighten you, it's a reality) so IMO, self-care would be getting the vaccine in case you have to go to hospital.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
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  14. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think your friend is so very right. Something that I hope will come from the lockdowns is more empathy for those who are housebound due to illness and/or disability. Due to ill health (my symptoms aren't all TMS) I've been virtually housebound for many years, with little to no recognition from health professionals (and others) as to what that can do to one's mental health.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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  15. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, exactly. I not only have a rare autoimmune disease, I also have another condition that's rare, so when doctors say to me about symptoms that I'm concerned about and they say "it can't be that because it's rare" or about a medication that they want to prescribe me that can have really nasty side effects "oh, don't worry about that, it's sooo rare!" and won't discuss them at all, it really gets my goat.
    Thank you for telling me about your friend. I do so hope her long covid will improve. What you've said about your friend's experience and about your surgery and about my gallstones (I've had them since 1998, so I'm probably on borrowed time, albeit some people with loads of them in their gallbladders never need an operation...but you just never know your luck, or lack of it!) has helped me to feel that I am probably making the best decision in the circumstances.
    I didn't know that Novavax will be better than AZ and Pfizer. I'm guessing it'll better deal with the Delta variant. We're supposed to be getting it here, but I'm not sure when; it's not been approved yet. I shall do a bit of research on that to try and find out.

    Wishing you all the very best.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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  16. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Yes, that response is frustrating. "It's rare, so it can't happen to you" = also, "I can't be bothered considering it". When I was 27 I was Dxed with a rare infection after getting a tooth removed. It was so rare that the doctor who Dxed it said, "You're lucky, I haven't seen a case of this in 10 years, I only recognise it because I happen to be looking through old case notes the other day and came across it". I had 2 oral surgeries and 18 months of antibiotics. Looking back now, I was not taking good care of myself at all, but I often wonder, why do I get the rare stuff?! Is my subconcious trying to make me 'special'? Of course, if you look at statistics, given the billions of people in the world and the many disease combinations you can get, then there's going to be a couple of people who land a couple of 'rare stuff' events in their lives, and it doesn't actually mean anything, it's jsut the laws of chance distributed amongts billions of humans. That's what my now-rational adult tells me, anyway.

    I am not sure if you know about it or if it will even help, but I got a genetic drug profile done. This was not my hypochondria; when I mentioned to my doctor that a particular medication wasn't working for me, she mentioned getting a genetic drug profile done (she'd had one done herself and was all excited for it). It may not be on national health, it wasn't in Australia, so it is out of pocket, but it wasn't too expensive, as far as blood tests go. The test profiles you against many common drugs, including painkillers, cholesterol and blood pressure drugs, antidepressants, antipsychotics and a host of others. It highlights which drugs you are not likely to respond to or which ones should not be given at all. I did not know, for example, that I came up as a poor metaboliser of Warfarin. Not that I've ever needed the drug, but my grandfather was on it and it's a standard medication and I just would have assumed that genetically I'd be ok with it, but I'm not. Great to know, saves wasted time, money and side-effects! The report also showed that if I was to be treated with morphine, I might need much higher doses than usual, also a surprise to me. But I now have a bit of paper I can take to any hospital. It also helped validate something I knew, but thought might be psychological. I've always felt bad after taking NSAIDS (Ibuprofen and the like) but the report showed I'm correct, it's not just in my head: I'm a poor metaboliser of NSAIDs and to consider alternatives (it's annoying because NSAIDs are useful and available OTC. You may need to get the test ordered through your GP and it may or may not be on your NHS (it isn't in Australia but isn't globalised medicine just the best?) because it's still not all that expensive compared to some other tests. It may prove useful in helping treat your autoimmune disease correctly. Of course, drug intolerance isn't the only factor; lifestyle etc is too, but I thought I'd mention it in case it might be useful to you.

    I agree, and the circumstances are dictating everything. The vaccines are a risk, absolutely. But Delta is a more real and present danger and is a greater threat to everyone at this point. The percentage of people ending up in ICU is frighteningly high. As I mentioned unless you can avoid all humans always for another year or so (whilst we get perhaps worse variants or better treatments) then unfortunately I think there is no option. I know about Ivermectin etc and there is potential, but self-administering, what if it didn't work? It's not 100%, either. Imagine relying on it and it not working, you'd wish you'd taken the vaccine, is how I imagine most people would feel (except those who are perhaps radically anti-government, anti-medicine and dig their heels and would rather die than take Pfizer poison - and some of them are doing just that). Maybe I don't know enough about it all. I do know it isn't scare-mongering to say Delta is serious. It will likely take a wrong turn at the RNA path and morph into a pussycat at some point , but it's a roaring lion at the moment. Statisically, you are likely going to be ok from the vaccine. As am I, but I"m still anxious! ha ha
    will check in after 2moz
    best to you too

  17. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I shall look into this - thank you. I'll get it done if it's at all possible for me to do so here in England.
    Yes, it's so much more easily transmitted than the other variants - I read that with the original strain, you probably had to be close to a person with the virus for at least 15 minutes to contract it, but with the Delta it's only around 5 minutes.
    Yes, do keep me/us posted. My first jab's next Wednesday.
  18. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter


    So I got my second shot on Saturday and I was much, much better this time. I did crash on Sunday with fatigue and didn't want to get out of bed for a few hours, but by Monday morning I was doing well. Tuesday morning I was ready to work out again.
    Recommendations: paracetamol, food that's pre-prepared and doesn't require assembly, and a hot water bottle. If you get the chills, putting a hot water bottle under your feet slows them right down.

    I am now the proud owner of a government-issued vaccination certificate!

    In the end I got over my hesitancy by focusing on statistics and threat assessment, not the 'grey' areas of other treatments that are not available. I was still scared and anxious but as each day passes, that eases off. The chest pain disappeared just after the 2nd shot, too. It comes back a little here and there but mostly gone.

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll do ok. Statistics are on your side.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2021
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  19. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Many thanks for the update, Metta. I'm very pleased to hear that you are faring well after your 2nd Pfizer jab.

    My appointment for my 1st Pfizer jab is this afternoon and your posting has helped reduce my nervousness about it all.

    Since we last 'spoke' I found a recent statistical study done in the US that indicates that my rare autoimmune disease is unlikely to be exacerbated by the mRNA jabs, so that has also lightened my thoughts somewhat about risking the jabs.
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  20. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Hi BloodMoon
    I am SO pleased to hear that you found that study. If you get side effects, just remember, they will pass, which is what freaked me out the first time - feeling like they wouldn't. Because they didn't match the hand-out sheet, (which listed about, oh, five of them, I freaked when my side effects differed eg, the chest pain and palpitations - which are all gone, now (thinking TMS was in operation, perhaps). But you can get any number of things that aren't listed but are normal anyway. Good luck with your shot, if you feel upset afterward for any reason, feel free to PM me (though I know right now it is morning for you and evening for me). If you are worried, look up side effects to watch for and there's a list of a few allergic reaction effects such as all over rash, but not many. I believe you've made the best choice possible given the circumstances and the information we have at this time. If, down the track, they find something wrong with the vaccine, I will not regret my choice, because it was the best protection I had for myself at the time. Men tend to not get as bad side effects than women, anyway, so you're probably going to come back here and report, all good! Keep us posted.
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