Hi, my name is Nicole and I am 22 yrs old. I was graduating from college in 2007 and would no longer be covered under my dad’s insurance at the end of the year. My dad told me about the Gardasil vaccine and thought it would be a good idea for me to get it before I lost my insurance.
I had my first shot on August 13th of 2007. I felt fine after receiving it and had no side effects…yet. The one thing I did notice is that it left a little mark on my arm, almost like an ink dot.
On September 8th, 3 weeks and 5 days later, I was driving to work and had just driven onto the expressway. The last thing I remember is looking for traffic and getting over into the left hand lane. I started coming to when I felt the paramedics grabbing me, but I couldn’t see anything. I asked what had happened and they told me that I had been in an accident and not to move. I was terrified and immediately started to cry in disbelief.
I was rushed to the ER. When my family arrived, they told me that luckily I had not been in an actual car accident. When my dad went to get my car, he said that it was half-way parked on the median, like I had intentionally parked it there knowing that something was wrong, but I do not remember anything. I went to the doctors and they were just calling it a syncope since no one was with me to verify what had happened.
After that everything was fine, and for the most part back to normal, but I still couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to me that day. I was scheduled for my next vaccine on October 15th, when the nurse came in I asked her about the dot on my arm and wondered if anyone else had ended up with one after receiving their shot. She told me no and that she had never seen that before, just chuckled and said “well hopefully it doesn’t happen this time”. But after I received the second one I noticed that I had another ink dot. I didn’t understand why that would happen, but I just brushed it off.
On November 9th, 3 wks and 4 days later, I was in my room talking to my sister on the phone, the next thing I know I am hearing my Uncle Bill say my name, but again I couldn’t see anything. I finally got my vision back and saw my Uncle Bill and paramedics standing in my room staring at me. I had no clue what was going on, I asked what had happened and they told me that I had a seizure. I didn’t want to believe it! But I guess my niece heard some weird noises coming from my room so she walked into my room to see what it was, and saw me on my bed convulsing and making a weird noise, so she called 911.
I was taken to the ER again and cried even more. I just didn’t get what was going on, I had never had serious health problems, so why now? I started thinking back to the incident in my car, and calculated the days. It just seemed a little strange that 3 weeks and some odd days after receiving these vaccines I had these 2 episodes.
After the second seizure, I had tons of tests done and everything came back normal, so I was really confused. Now I am on medication and have to see a neurologist, and I am uninsured, so my dad has been paying out of pocket to pay for my visits, but luckily I was able to get assistance for my medication and no longer have to pay for that, and believe me it is not cheap.
After all of this I had nothing else happen, so I was thinking that I was in the clear, but then on Easter of this year I had another seizure, but it only lasted a minute or so, which is very short compared to my other two.
This whole experience has been very hard on me and my whole family, and I still cry about this a lot. It just makes me feel like I will never be the same person that I was before all of this, the healthy woman with so much ahead of her. But it is sad to say that I am one of the luckier ones compared to some other stories I have read, especially those of younger girls.