Gardasil: The day our daughters life changed
By Courtney's Mother, Crystal Butler, Massachusetts, USA
My daughter, Skylee, was a healthy young lady prior to vaccination with Gardasil – she had the occasional cold but no major health issues. Like many of her peers, she enjoyed music and going to concerts. She enjoyed being a teenager simply hanging out with friends in and out of school. All of this changed after she was vaccinated with Gardasil.
Skylee had her 13 year old physical on 21st August 2013. Her doctor recommended the Gardasil vaccine. I didn’t know much about it, so I texted my sister-in-law, who is a nurse, and asked her if she was going to get it for my niece. Her reply to me was yes, she had already had this vaccine. Then, I asked the doctor who strongly recommended it. She said she was going to get it for her daughter as soon as she is old enough. I figured it must be safe if they are both recommending it.
I was unaware of all the side effects that are listed in the prescribing information pamphlet that the doctors do not show patients as that comes inside the box containing the Gardasil vaccine. I was only aware of the minor side effects listed on the paper they hand out that lists pain, swelling itching and bruising at injection site, as well as fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and fainting. I allowed her to get her first and only dose of the Gardasil vaccine.
Twelve days later, on the 2nd of September 2013 Skylee’s symptoms started. She had pain down her entire spine from the top of her neck to the bottom of her tailbone. This pain increased as time went on. Every couple of weeks she would get new symptoms, some lasting days, weeks and even months.
These symptoms included:
- Pain through her whole back, including her arms and legs; shoulder pain
- Chest pains, stomach pains
- Headaches, stabbing pains in her head
- The need to constantly crack her fingers, toes, ankles, back and neck
- Chronic Fatigue; weakness; walking from class to class is too much sometimes; shortness of breath
- Dizziness; seeing green and red spots; the words on the paper moving at times and not making sense; not being able to comprehend what she is reading; constant need to move her eyes
- Nausea, vomiting, and fever
- Dry eyes, dry mouth
- Light sensitivity, has to wear dark glasses inside the home and at school
- blurred vision – at times unable to read or write because of dizziness, vision problems, (teachers and her peers have to read and write for her)
- Jittery, mood swings, fast talking, forgetfulness, irritable
There have also been some strange episodes when all of a sudden Skylee will have a blank stare and is unable to speak or walk. During these times she can hear and see what is happening around her, but unable to move. She can laugh and is able to move her eyes and moan though, so we have found a way to communicate with her during these episodes. The episodes last from 15 minutes to 2 hours. She has had numerous episodes in many places including the ER, school, home, in the car, and in the shower.
There was one time when we were taking her for bloodwork and Skylee was – well, out of it. We had to pick her up from the truck, put her in a wheelchair and then put her back into the truck the same way after the tests had finished.
All of the symptoms listed below she has experienced over the past year. Sometimes she will have only a few; sometimes it will be ten at once. Symptoms can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months. What is so strange is that the symptoms are always changing with new ones still showing up.
- Burning eyes;
- Hot flushes, night sweats, heavy periods;
- Tightening of her chest; tingling in arms, legs, fingers and toes;
- Poor balance; motion sickness; room spins; difficulty in focussing;
- Nose bleeds; eye pains; easily bruised;
- Legs, hands, feet and ankles cold to the touch;
- And many of the symptoms identified above
The one symptom she has had every day after that one injection of Gardasil is the constant pain the entire length of her spine. The pain usually runs between 8 and 10 on the pain scale. When she takes Aleve or Ibuprofen the pain level goes down to a 6 on the pain scale. She has to take these medications daily.
Skylee has been to see numerous doctors including the Pediatrician who she has been with since birth, two different neurologists, a spine and sport facility, an orthopaedic specialist, a urologist and eye doctors, a rheumatologist and physical therapist and a holistic practitioner.
She had to be taken to the ER on three different occasions. She has been subjected to many tests including an MRI scan, X-rays, ultra-sound, full eye examinations and numerous visits to the laboratories for extensive blood work including testing for heavy metals.
The results of all of this testing and some official diagnoses are that Skylee has a complex cyst on her left kidney which will be monitored every 6 months; her EEG’s showed seizure like activity with very sharp brainwaves and spikes in her brainwaves.
They also discovered that she has an arachnoid cyst on her brain which has been followed up, and thankfully it is not growing. This will continue to be followed up annually to make sure it does not increase in size. We have been advised by the neurosurgeon that this cyst would cause a different set of symptoms, mainly a change in her coordination level.
Skylee also has vitamin D deficiency. The results from the heavy metal testing were high.
In addition to the above she has been diagnosed also with these disorders:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome;
- Chronic Pain Processing Disorder;
- Depression – this has only come about because of all that has happened to Skylee since she was vaccinated with Gardasil;
- Psychosomatic disorder – this is what they would prefer to be the official diagnosis.
Skylee has been on a few treatments and in a lot of cases these have been stopped because she had an “episode” at school not long after taking pain medication. She has also been offered Prozac and Amitriptyline for Fibromyalgia and the latter for chronic pain/depression which we have refused.
Gardasil has changed Skylee’s life
She has missed 56 days of school since her injection and has gone in late a lot. She was dismissed from classes multiple times for not feeling well or having to leave school to attend doctors’ appointments.
Skylee often says she feels like she is 80 years old. She is unable to live life like a normal teenager.
She needs constant supervision due to her “episodes,” so she cannot go places with friends on her own. Skylee cannot shower alone as being alone. Her ”episodes” make it impossible. I sleep with her in case she has an episode during her sleep.
Skylee’s biggest complaint through all of this is the inability to read and write due to the dizziness, head pressure, vision problems and stabbing pains in her head. She says she would rather deal with daily pain rather than not being able to read. It is embarrassing for her to have to rely on her teachers or peers to read and sometimes write for her. She feels she is a burden to the other students and is holding them back from getting their own work done.
Through all of this she tries to keep her spirits up as much as possible and not let Gardasil get the better of her.
We are now in the process of getting Skylee a tutor through school so she can stay at home and still get her 9th grade education. She does not really want to stay home with a tutor. She would rather be at school with all of her friends. She is very outgoing and gets a long with everyone but we feel this is the safest option for her as of now.
Gardasil has affected our family
Because my daughter cannot be left alone due to the serious health issues she is experiencing, I have had to quit my job. I had been with this company for almost 6 years.
My husband, Wayne, has also had to leave his work early and some days has missed work altogether.
I don’t sleep in bed with my husband as I now have to sleep with Skylee just in case she has an ”episode” in her sleep.
Skylee’s illness demands we sometimes pay more attention to her than her 11 year old brother (Sabastian) and I’m sure that must bother him.
I know it sometimes bothers Sabastian to see Skylee deal with all of the things she goes through. He too has had to miss school or be dismissed early because Skylee has taken unwell or had to go for a doctor’s appointment.
The Gardasil vaccine has changed Skylee’s life in so many ways and we do not know how many more symptoms will show up and change her life even more than it has already done. Our whole family has been affected by this vaccine and all of our lives have been turned upside down that terrible day in 2013.
If only the doctors would recognize Skylee has gone from being a healthy young girl to an invalid when the only major change in her life occurred on the day she had that single shot of Gardasil.
This story was originally published on Sanevax, and can be read here