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Archive for December, 2008

I have added ‘Gardasil Deaths, Injuries & Money’ by Barbara Loe Fisher to the Background Information page.  For more information about the issues raised in the article,  including links to other relevant information, visit her blog.

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I am a fit healthy 26 year old woman. I exercise almost everyday, eat a healthy balanced diet, have never smoked or taken drugs and only drink socially. On 15th October last year I experienced my first bout of pancreatitis although at the time, I just thought it was a gastro virus. The stomach pain came on quickly and lasted approximately 24hrs on and off. It was a bloating stomach pain that I have never experienced before and at times I felt as if my stomach was going to explode. When the pain eventually subsided, I experienced chest and shoulder pain for about 24hrs. I went to the doctors to have this checked and she put it down to a virus.

On the 8th February, 2008 I suffered the same stomach pain again followed by chest pains. Two days later this pattern repeated itself. I saw the doctor and again we put it down to being a virus because I’d had the flu the week before and nothing else seemed apparent at the time. The third attack was two months later (20/04/08). This time my doctor decided to test for pancreatitis. My amylase blood result was 792 (normal levels are from 1-100) indicating I had suffered a bout of pancreatitis and indicating that this was the cause of my previous episodes.

My doctor referred me to a gastroenterologist and after several tests (x-rays, CT scans and an MRI) over several months and even a second opinion, no physical causes for pancreatitis have been found (ie. Alcohol, Gallstones, physical defects, increased levels of calcium or triglycerides in my blood etc).

Around this time, my mother heard an ABC radio report that the TGA was investigating three cases of young girls experiencing pancreatitis after having had their Gardasil injections. I checked the dates of my Gardasil injections against the stomach pains. My first injection (04/08/07) was trouble free as far as I can remember. My second, on 06/10/07, was nine days before my first attack and the third on the 17/04/08 was 3 days before my third attack of pancreatitis. I reported this to the TGA and they are still investigating the potential link.

On 24/08/08 (after I’d once again had the flu) I had an attack which was so severe, I was rushed to hospital. My lipase level was 2913 (normal is 1-60) and I was placed on an IV and remained in hospital for four days. Still no cause for the pancreatitis was found.

I have now had 4 attacks of pancreatitis over the past year…two of which occurred days after I received the Gardasil shots. I have never had pancreatitis before and believe the link with the Gardasil injections is not coincidence. I want to highlight the need to investigate this link and hope to raise its profile as more cases may exist however, the women like me, haven’t either identified an attack as pancreatitis or associated the potential link to the Gardasil injections.

Although I currently feel well, the pancreatitis has significantly affected my life over the past year and especially my plans for the future. I was planning on travelling and working overseas next year but now can’t get travel insurance. I would welcome any discussion on the topic as I think women need to be made aware of the risks. Had I known of the potential link to contracting pancreatitis, I would certainly have reconsidered my decision to have the Gardasil injections.

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I received my first and only Gardasil vaccination at the end of April this year. I was at my GP’s for a general check-up, but my doctor mentioned that I would be turning 26 in the next week and it was my last opportunity to have the free vaccine. I have Crohn’s disease, which is an auto-immune disease, although I am on no medication and have been symptom free for two years. I explained to my doctor that I am very careful with what medication I take, because of my Crohn’s, and he told me that Gardasil would not cause an autoimmune reaction. I was told that the only risk was of an allergic reaction. So I had the injection and expected that everything would be fine.

Initially I felt nothing unusual. However within 24 hours I noticed that the numb, sore feeling in my left arm had spread to my shoulder and neck. I had difficulty sleeping that night because it felt as if I had attempted to lift a piano with my left arm. The next day I began to have difficulty breathing, my left side hurt with each breath I took and I began to feel light headed and had difficulty walking. I was also beginning to notice that my left hand and left toes were beginning to cramp and curl up.

I went straight to my doctor due to my difficulty breathing. I nearly passed out in the waiting room. The doctor was spectacularly unhelpful. I was told to go home and have two Panadol. I later found out that he believed I was having a panic attack and it was all in my head. So I went home and continued to wheeze and popped painkillers.

When I woke up the next morning I was unable to stand. My left side, from my hand down to my foot, was curled up and was continuously cramping. At this point I probably should have gone to the hospital, however I was so frustrated with the reaction of my GP I didn’t feel it would be particularly useful. I was in bed for the next five days and was unable to walk further than the kitchen. I had incredibly sore muscles all down my left side, couldn’t take a normal breath and had cramps and pain from my neck down to my feet.

I felt that I was getting better the week after that. But two weeks after receiving the injection it became so difficult to breathe and so painful that I went to straight to the emergency room. I was very frightened at this point. Two weeks before I had been fit and healthy, and by this stage I was limping around the house like a stroke victim, wheezing and worried I was suffocating.

At the hospital I underwent x-rays, blood tests and an MRI. I was told that the lining of my left lung had become so inflamed that it was rubbing against my chest wall each time I breathed. My right lung was fine. I had the Head Consultant looking after me, and he was very certain that I must have had some mysterious unfindable virus, and that the pain in my arm and leg was referred pain from the pain in my lung and that Gardasil had been tested and was safe. I was released with no diagnosis other than ‘pleurisy’ and more pain killers.

I was sick for so long. All up I took two months off work, unpaid. I barely got out of bed for a month. Breathing was painful for at least two months. I forgot what it was like to breath without pain. I became depressed. When I did go back to work, I was completely exhausted and became stressed very easily. It took five months before I could work a full five day week. My left side was a mess. When the pain in my lung decreased a little, I became very aware of the ongoing pain and numbness in my left side. I saw a neurologist who confirmed that I had neurological damage to my left side, five months after receiving the injection.

I can now catch things with my left hand, but it is still colder than my right and quite clumsy. I can no longer play the few chords I used to be able to on the guitar. For four or five months I felt as if my left side was suffering from MS. My co-ordination has only returned slowly, like I’ve suffered a stroke at the age of 26. If it had been my right side as well as my left I would have needed a wheelchair.

It’s been seven months since I received the injection and I am still feeling exhausted far more easily than I used to. I no longer run to work and I don’t have any energy for much of a social life. I work a full week and then a four day week each fortnight and just make it through it. My left side is getting there slowly. I still feel far flatter than normal, as if some important neuro-transmitters have been all used up. I have never been so sick, and I still have not received any diagnosis other than ‘an auto-immune reaction, resulting in inflamed lining of the left lung and nerves on the left side, with a temporal connection to Gardasil injection’.

I was incredibly angry at the various doctors at one point, now I simply feel resigned. They do not know what damage this vaccine does and they do not really want to know. I still haven’t had the guts to look into all the damage it has done – I have not yet gone to the gynaecologist. I am worried that I will have one or all strands of HPV. Given that all my other linings have become inflamed it seems unlikely that my cervical lining fared any better.

To get myself back at it, I’ve done what I did when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which is to visit my awesome acupuncturist whenever I can afford it, eat very well, eat a lot of anti-inflammatory herbs and food (fish oil, ginger, tumeric, saffron), and drink a lot of water.

The truth is that western medicine does not seem to understand immune disorders and this vaccine seems to cause immune reactions – so I never had much hope that any doctor would cure me. Obviously my existing auto-immune disorder put me at a higher risk of having such a severe reaction to Gardasil. If I had been aware that this vaccine causes auto-immune reactions, there is no way I would have taken it.

My advice is that if you have a history of auto-immune disorders or a family history of such disorders, whether it’s just irritable bowel syndrome or MS or rheumatoid arthritis, DO NOT HAVE THIS VACCINE. I believe that if I had had my second dose, it probably would have killed me. I hope that as more information comes out, less women will suffer from these side effects.

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My daughter, Elisabeth, is a month from 13 years old. She had her second Gardasil shot on 10/8/08 while under the weather with a sore throat. I did not even think about side effects. I trust my doctor and many of her friends have had it. Anyway, starting on Nov 1 (3 weeks from the shot) my daughter began having stabbing pains in random places throughout her body. The first week or two they were painful and annoying but somewhat infrequent throughout the day. They progressively got worse and more frequent. After two to three weeks of these pain, she was nonfunctional. In the evening, she lay on my lap and cried, at times squeezing my hand so hard I thought she would break it. One day I had her keep a log so I could quantify the pains. She did not go more than 20 minutes without a stabbing pain. Most often they were cycling: one in her thigh, then her neck, then her arm, toe, etc. Evenings and nights were very hard and pain medication made no difference (tylenol with codine did nothing). The autoimmune blood work came back negative. We had an MRI done, but I have not received the results yet.

In the process of searching the web, I began to think that perhaps it is a reaction to Gardasil. Several girls in our neighborhood have had weird neurological symptoms that came on suddenly and were severe. I am in the process of talking with the moms to determine if they too had the Gardasil shot. My husband teaches at a high school and when he mentioned our daughter’s situation, all the girls jumped in and said that they all suffered weird pains like this after the shot. I am going to try to collect info from their parents to see if I can get some back up on this. I think that since the symptoms did not occur until 3 weeks afterward, many would not connect it to Gardasil, so they don’t report it or connect the dots. Proving causal relationships is close to impossible with these types of things, which lets the companies get off the hook. But we need to keep pushing.

My daughter’s pain has significantly decreased. It is almost completely gone. So the reaction seems to have lasted a month. She seems to be having just mild pains now and much less frequently. I just hope that my story can encourage someone. You begin to think you are crazy but you know your daughter and know that something is wrong.

Laura

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Useful Website

Health campaigner Cynthia Janak’s website has a lot of information for people struggling with the side-effects of Gardasil. It contains some really interesting articles and personal stories.

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My name is Ian Kay and I am from Adelaide, Australia. I am the grandparent of Jade, a beautiful young 16 year old girl, who has over the past 18 months had to go through a complete life style change. The complete story is quite long and emotional but I will keep it as brief as I can.

It all started in May 2007, about a week after Jade received her first Gardasil injection. Jade started getting severe lower abdomen pain on the right hand side. It was tolerated for a week or so, then she was hospitalised. No cause was found however they decided to remove her appendix.

Jade was no sooner released from hospital when she started getting severe lower back pain and paralysis of the legs. She was once again hospitalised and treated for pain management. This time her stay in hospital was 6 weeks. She was released just before her 15th birthday in September 2007.

Jade was advised to get her second Gardasil injection. She received the injection, and within 2 hours she had paralysis of the legs. They just gave out on her while she was walking along.

During the last twelve months, Jade has had continual back pain which starts at the lower back and moves up her spine to her neck. She has lost the use of her legs on many occasions, but until recently she could usually use them again after a night’s rest. She has suffered severe body spasms of which she has had absolutely no control, as well as chest pain and breathing difficulty.

About five weeks ago, one day after her 16th birthday, Jade was swimming in her family pool with her younger brother. When he noticed she seemed to be in trouble, he called out for some help and Jade was pulled to the side. At this point she had no use of her arms and legs, and was unable to move her neck. I feel a tragedy would have occurred had her brother not been in the pool with her. She was taken to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital here in Adelaide and was once again admitted. Within a few days, she regained the use of her arms and neck muscles, but up until now she still does not have the use of her legs.

Jade has been humiliated in hospital. Some nurses believe her condition is within her mind and treat her poorly. She hates being in hospital and would do anything to get out.

Since being in hospital, Jade has had an MRI and lumbar puncture all negative results. She has been having Physiotherapy everyday to try to get her legs working but very little is happening. She always suffers acute pain after a session and is medicated to help.

Yesterday (25/11/08) she had a fairly tough physio session and as a result she started to get severe back pain. Within half an hour her pain turned to chronic back pain and no medication was able to relieve it. After three hours of screaming the hospital ward down they injected morphine into her blood stream, eventually she calmed down and went to sleep. This lasted for about four hours and when she came to she was once again in screaming pain. They injected two more shots of morphine into her this did not arrest the pain, they then gave her something else which knocked her out. I am frightened what today will bring.

During the course of the last 18 months, not one medical person would say that Gardasil was responsible for her condition. The moment you mention it, they all clam up. We have no doubt that this injection caused this young girl’s demise, she was a perfectly healthy sports loving girl prior to being immunised.

What do we do now? The Doctors here don’t seem to know what to do, they give Jade pain relief but do not treat the cause. I am not a Doctor but I can see that all her problems seem to be coming from the area of her central nervous system in her back. She has seen neurologists and they dismiss her condition. No one will seem to go outside of their square to investigate the source of her pain.

Thank you for reading my story. Jade’s parents and grandparents are being told by the system that they don’t know what is happening. How scary is this.

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