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Adam: "Getting the vaccine was the biggest mistake I ever made in my whole life”

Updated: Sep 2



The Insider:

Hi Adam! How old are you?


Adam:

Late 30s.


The Insider:

Where do you live?


Adam:

New York City.


The Insider::

Why don’t we start by talking about your experience with Covid-19. When did that occur?


Adam:

I got sick with Covid in March, 2020.


The Insider:

So right at the beginning of the pandemic, when not much was known about it, right?


Adam:

Exactly.


The Insider:

Did you know immediately what was wrong?


Adam:

Once I started coughing, I suspected it.


The Insider:

Were you aware of having been exposed to it?


Adam:

No.


The Insider:

Were you very sick?


Adam:

I would say moderately. I was coughing and for a few days, it was difficult to breathe. Like a bad flu.


The Insider:

Were you tested at the time?


Adam:

No. But I knew it was Covid, because I lost my sense of smell.


The Insider:

Did you go to a doctor?


Adam:

I called a doctor I know, but it wasn’t very useful. Had I not called, nothing would’ve changed. Except maybe it gave me a little peace of mind.


The Insider:

How many days were you sick?


Adam:

I was coughing for a good two to three weeks and had other symptoms like fatigue. I felt normal again after about a month. Maybe a month and a half. In that range.


The Insider:

Did you just rest while you were recovering? There was no medicine to take at that point, right?


Adam:

I had antibiotics so I took them, mostly out of panic. And just resting.


The Insider:

So were you able to resume normal life after a month and a half?


Adam:

Yes. I came out of Covid completely intact with just some damage to my sense of smell. It returned but not fully.


The Insider:

Did anyone else around you get Covid at the same time?


Adam:

Yes. My family got Covid. Everyone came out in one piece.


The Insider:

So did you assume you were immune from there on, or were you worried about catching it again?


Adam:

I was going back and forth on that constantly. The problem is that nobody knows, so my guess is as good as your guess, or anybody else’s.


The Insider:

What did you think when the vaccines first came out?


Adam:

I thought what everybody else thought: Who knows? Maybe they work. Maybe they don’t. My only thought about the vaccine was about their effectiveness in preventing me from getting sick again.


The Insider:

Had you had an antibody test?


Adam:

Yes. I got tested. And I had antibodies. I got a few tests. Most recently I got one early this year. And yes I still had antibodies.


The Insider:

When did you get your first Covid vaccine?


Adam:

End of April.


The Insider:

Which one?


Adam:

Moderna.


The Insider:

Where did you get it? A hospital or a doctor’s office, or at a pharmacy?


Adam:

A local pharmacy.


The Insider:

Did you have an immediate reaction to it?


Adam:

Yes. I immediately got a little vertigo. But I didn’t think anything of it. I thought it’s probably just a normal side effect of the vaccine. I was extremely wrong.


The Insider:

How long was it before your second vaccine?


Adam:

Exactly four weeks, as they recommended. I did everything as the CDC instructed.


The Insider:

What happened the second time?


Adam:

I got really bad vertigo. Much worse than after the first vaccine. I thought at the time, “Wow, that really sucks to have this terrible reaction when everyone else seems just fine.” Little did I know the vertigo was nothing compared to what was coming. Two weeks after the shot, I woke up to a loud ringing in my ears. I went to see an urgent care doctor that day. He couldn’t help me. I’ve gone to see a lot of doctors in the past six weeks. All the doctors are clueless. Some are telling me to wait and maybe it will go away. Others don’t know what to say to me. I’ve learned that this is called tinnitus [tin-nit-tus] and there is no cure or medication for it and it’s been wrecking the quality of my life since the day it started. The biggest challenge is falling asleep. Right now I’m only able to fall asleep on sleep medication.


The Insider:

I’m so sorry! That sounds awful.


Adam:

I have never felt pain like this in my entire life. It is constant. There is no stopping it. All I can do is mask it with other sounds or music or noise or white noise. But it never stops.


This is almost exactly how it sounds:



The Insider:

While preparing to talk with you, I was reading an interview in Healio with Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccinologist and the director of the vaccine research group at the Mayo Clinic.

He had the same physical reaction to the vaccine as you did. He says that 2,250 other people have gotten tinnitus from the vaccines. Have you read that?


Adam:

I have read it and I have contacted him and he sent a private email to me.


The Insider:

What are you doing now about the condition?


Adam:

I am still figuring it out. It’s still new to me so I am learning different strategies on how to live with it. I’m trying to be around noise as much as possible. I play white noise often when I work. The biggest challenge for me is sleeping. I’ve never had to take pills before in my life for an extended period of time. And now I can’t sleep without sleeping pills. I go to sleep and I want to sleep but the sound is like an alarm clock that stops me from falling asleep.


It’s basically torture for me. I’ve spent my whole life falling asleep to silence and generally avoiding loud noise. And now I have to retrain my brain to sleep with white noise, which has to be loud because the sound in my head is loud. So far I have not been able to do so. Only sleeping pills work and they of course have very unpleasant side effects. So far I have not found a successful strategy to cope with it and my whole life is basically on pause.


The Insider:

Have you talked with other vaccinated people who have had the same reaction?


Adam:

Yes. I thought that perhaps the fact that I had Covid before is the reason this vaccine had such a crazy reaction for me. But I already know two people, one of whom I know for sure had the Pfizer shot, and they developed exactly what I have and both people never had Covid. So this makes me think that the fact that I had Covid is irrelevant. It’s the vaccine itself that’s causing this insane reaction in a small percentage of people. Though we don’t know how small because they haven’t released any numbers and there are people who are probably not reporting it and just suffering in silence. I have no idea how many people get this and the CDC is not telling us. I don’t know if it’s 1 out of 1,000 or 10,000 or 100,000.


The Insider:

Is this something Moderna and Pfizer should be warning the public about?


Adam:

Absolutely! I can’t emphasize this enough. Though I doubt anyone would get this vaccine if they knew this could happen to them. It’s like, will you go swimming if there’s a 1% chance of a shark being in the water? But at the same time I also want to say I’m not an anti-vaxxer. The vaccines save some people from death. For me this thing was pure poison, but it is obviously okay for most people. I understand that Covid can also be very dangerous but it seems to me most people survive Covid just fine just like most people survive the vaccine just fine. So I don’t have any recommendations on whether one should take the vaccine or not. I’m not a doctor or an expert on vaccines. I’m just relating my experience. For me it was the biggest mistake I ever made in my whole life.


The Insider:

I am so sorry! That’s devastating! Is there anything else you would like to add?


Adam:

I’m just hoping that some genius somewhere will figure out a cure for this curse immediately. And I hope that the FDA quickly passes a new treatment called Lenire that is now available in Europe. It’s expensive but people have said that it helps them, Though it is not a cure, it does seem to provide some relief and audiologists seems excited about it. But FDA has not approved it yet. Personally, this Lenire treatment and a new pill that I know they’re working on are the only things giving me hope right now.


My wish is that before you get a vaccine. there was a way to first be tested to see if the vaccine is compatible with your system. We’re all so unique, but they’re keep doing this one-size-fits-all approach on us. I guess this could be applied to all medicine. The era of personalized medicine needs to begin, where we’re all treated according to our own unique biology.


TWO WEEKS LATER



The Insider:

Adam, this is going to be part of this week’s cover story.


Adam:

Very good. I’m honestly not trying to sway anyone either for or against the vaccine. I just want those who are responsible to acknowledge that it causes this painful side effect, and most of all I want them to tell us how to get rid of it. I just hope the doctors are right and it will go away on its own eventually.


The Insider:

Has anything happened since we talked?


Adam:

Yes. Perhaps a very slight improvement in the sound. Maybe I’m just getting used to it a little more, but during the day it bothers me less now. I still can’t sleep without a pill but I found a pill that lets me sleep longer with fewer side effects so that makes me feel better. And I just spoke to a close friend and he told me some news. He just spoke to someone who knows someone who got tinnitus in January from Moderna. And now it’s August and they said they’re feeling better. So obviously this is very encouraging for me. Maybe the doctors are actually right and it’s inflammation that goes away with time.


Thankfully, it’s calmed down a bit lately. I don’t hear it as loudly as before.


The Insider:

Thank goodness you’re feeling a bit better!


Adam:

Yes, I’ve been feeling more optimistic the last week and especially after what my friend told me yesterday. But until I feel normal it’s all just hopeful thinking.


The interviewee's name has been changed at his request for personal and professional reasons.



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