Our story begins in late May of 2007. I took my daughter Nina to the pediatrician for her 12 year old checkup. During the visit the doctor proposed that I have Nina receive the first vaccine of Gardasil. I immediately told him that I was not well informed about this new vaccine. He reassured me that it was fine and better to get it while she was young. I trusted my doctor. As we left the office, I had this strange feeling come over me. I started to question myself about my decision to allow the doctor to administer a vaccine that was new to the industry. My daughter was 12 years old and what was the rush to protect her against a sexually transmitted disease? Maybe it was mother’s intuition, but I suddenly felt sick to my stomach.
The Early Signs of Illness Post Gardasil
In early July, Nina started complaining of her hair falling out. Nina is beautiful Italian with long thick brown hair. As a mother of three, and Nina being the youngest, I often play down any medical concerns of my children until I see a true problem. I put her to ease by telling her that with her amount of hair it is common to see more of it in the shower or on the bathroom floor.
Over the next few weeks Nina started to complain of flu like symptoms. She would wake up very fatigued and nauseous. The symptoms were intermittent, but becoming more regular as the weeks passed. I did start to notice an abundance of her hair on the bathroom floor. I was becoming concerned. By August, her complaints were becoming more severe. I took her to the local Med Express and they told me she was very dehydrated and they administered IV fluids. Nina felt great and I felt relief.
The next morning, the symptoms returned. She missed the first week of the new school year. The next week I started driving her to school because she was too sick to get on the bus. The school was only five minutes away but by the time we got there she was already too sick to get out of the car. My first thoughts were maybe she was having some type of anxiety about her seventh grade. It did not make sense to me. Nina was a very active child who was always laughing and playing with friends. Her relentless love of basketball always kept her on the go. She played on three different teams.
A Mother’s Intuition
She tried to muddle her way through the first semester of school, but was losing the battle. She was becoming ill at all times of the day. She would sleep on the bathroom floor hoping not to vomit one more time. I made repeated visits to the pediatrician’s office and pleaded with them to help our child. Thoughts were running through my head as to why she became ill so suddenly. Then I remembered my mother’s intuition moment and realized our world began to change after the Gardasil vaccine. The pediatrician was in agreement that we would not proceed with the second dose of the vaccine due to Nina’s illness.
Searching for Help
The next year was filled with illness, doctor’s appointments, diagnostic tests, multiple medications, multiple diagnoses, and many, many disappointments. We were told she was suffering from, Vestibular hypo function, Meniere’s disease, tonsillitis, and last but not least, a mental illness.
My husband and I were baffled. No matter what medicine the doctor’s prescribed for our daughter, her illness continued to invade her body and turn our worlds upside down. We finally caved in and took her to see a psychologist. The psychologist commended Nina for dealing with this confusing illness in such an adult manner. She reassured us that Nina seemed well adjusted and saw no reason for any type of treatment. How could our healthy child who played basketball 24/7 and aspired to play basketball in college dwindle down to a chronically sick child who was now on home bound study with no social life? Most of her friends drifted away as her illness seemed invisible to them, as there was no visible signs such a blood spouting from an artery.
We then decided that the traditional medical community was not helping so we decided to try a naturopathic route. We were told it was coming form an adrenal problem and were given vitamins, detoxifying foot baths, and massage therapy know as Reiki. All were complementary, but did not give her any long term relief.
Time marched on and in April of 2009 we stumbled across the television show Mystery Diagnosis. This particular episode was describing Nina exactly. This was the first time I had ever heard the word dysautonomia. I immediately went to the internet to research this illness. I found no specialists in the Pittsburgh area. I began calling every specialist within the United States and faxed all of Nina’s medical information to their offices. We took the first available appointment from the first specialist to return our call.
Finally a Diagnosis: Dysautonomia
Nina was finally diagnosed with dysautonomia by Dr. Hassan Abdallah at The Children’s Heart Institute in Reston, Virginia. As sad as it may sound, we were delighted to finally have a name for her illness. The pieces of the puzzle were starting to come together. Dr. Abdallah started her on blood pressure medication, followed by a vasoconstrictor medicine, followed by a medicine used for people with Attention Deficit Disorder. These medicines all help push more blood to the heart and brain, thus making her illness less violent. Typically, people with dysautonomia do not perform well in the morning. It takes hours for their bodies to function and begin their day. Even though we had a diagnosis for Nina, we still could not get her back to functioning like a teenager. We continued our battle by getting a second and third opinion from The Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Medical Center. It was at Case Western that a doctor finally admitted that they had seen an increase in dysautonomia since the Gardasil vaccine was introduced.
She also takes melatonin to sleep at night. She constantly has issues with low Vitamin D which requires a prescription dose of the vitamin periodically. She takes an anti-nausea medicine as needed. She has recently been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and insulin resistance. She combats all this by pushing herself to exercise with a trainer who specializes in strength and heart rate monitoring.
I have researched Gardasil and the facts against it are astounding.
- Why would the FDA place a vaccine on their fast tract program (which means it only requires six months of research) if this vaccine was being administered to little girls?
- Why are there over 2000 class action lawsuits against the manufacturers because of debilitating side effects and even death?
- Why do the manufacturers constantly ignore the facts of websites such as Truthaboutgardasil.org?
- Do they really think that all these people are just complainers and really don’t want to have a normal life?
We are currently seeking information about a new procedure called Transvascular Autonomic Modulation. It is an invasive procedure where they feed a catheter through the jugular vein and stretch the nerve fibers near the vagal nerve. This is said to reset the autonomic nervous system, thus giving patients relief of symptoms. It does have a 75% success rate. It is only performed by an interventional radiologist in California.
Six Years Post Gardasil
Nina was on the home bound program for high school. She never got to play on her high school basketball team. She never got to attend any proms. Regardless of the adversity she faces, she managed to graduate with a 4.0 GPA. She now attends the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg as a full time student. She struggles through each and every day with the perseverance of a soldier. Her strength and relentless integrity to live her dreams inspires everyone who has the pleasure of knowing her. The light at the end of the tunnel is that most people with dysautonomia will out-grow it. The doctors agree that Nina’s case is severe and it may be much longer before she gets relief from most symptoms.
Lessons Learned From Gardasil
Gardasil has taught us some valuable lessons. First, never think your doctor knows everything. They are human. They work for you. If you have questions, never stop asking until you are satisfied. Always trust your gut feelings or mother’s intuition. We are better people because of this illness. We no longer take life for granted. Our days of long hours at the gym watching basketball games and striving for the most points and the biggest scholarship have been traded in for a day of no pain or a friend who cared enough to spend some time doing nothing with Nina just because she is a fun person when her symptoms simmer down. Never judge a person with an invisible illness. Everybody carries some type of a burden in their life. Lastly and most important, we trust God has a plan and we will continue the battle until his will we be done.
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Hormones MatterTM is conducting research on the side effects and adverse events associated with Gardasil and its counterpart Cervarix. If you or your daughter has had either HPV vaccine, please take this important survey. The Gardasil Cervarix HPV Vaccine Survey.
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