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Prone to Injury

In 2012, I received a Tdap vaccine. It was the first vaccine I had received in well over two decades and was new on the market. The former tetanus shot was designed to only prevent the effects of tetanus. This new shot also had the whooping cough, and Diphtheria vaccine added to it. It utilized a stabilizing agent for the nanomedicine formulation called polyethylene glycol.

Polyethylene glycol (C2nH4n+2On+1) is a polyether compound derived from petroleum. It is a miracle of chemical engineering and is used in numerous application; from manufacturing lubrication to treating constipation and pre-colonoscopy preparation. It also causes mild to severe anaphylactic reactions in some individuals who ingest or are injected with a substance that include polyethylene glycol.

I had all my shots as a kid. I stayed current on my adult vaccination when needed, with no issues and no reactions. As time and medical technology moved on, my body apparently didn’t get the memo to keep up. New bonding agents and activating chemicals were discovered to make vaccines more efficient as delivery systems and push their efficacy. The goal of vaccination is to render a virus ineffective from infection of a human host by stimulating the host’s immune system prior to infection. As more and more people have been vaccinated in our world, this has undoubtedly been the outcome.

Hours after my Tdap vaccination, I began to experience shortness of breath. As the days went on, it didn’t go away. I wheezed when I breathed. My hands and feet felt kind of fat. I really wasn’t sure what was going on. We had just moved into an older home, and I suspected perhaps there was a mold issue or a ventilation problem. I began to look for solutions outside of my body but to no avail. Days turned into weeks, and my newfound weezing was persistent, consistent, and troubling. I had no idea what was happening with me, so I scheduled a doctor’s appointment.

I arrived early to the office. I was ready to find solutions. I didn’t go to the doctor often. Only when I felt like I needed to but I was anxious to relay my story and begin a process of discovery. The appointment lasted 20 minutes, and by the end, I was walking out of his office uneasily. I gently protested his diagnosis of adult-onset asthma as I headed to the pharmacy to fill a prescription for an inhaler.

The prescription helped some with the shortness of breath but it didn’t do anything for the inflammation or the nagging feeling that my doctor rushed me out of the room with out helping me to find a solution. He just grabbed for what was quick and put a drug in my hand to manage the symptoms. With every day that went by my frustration swelled; just as my body was taking on a permanent physical inflammation.

Christmas arrived. It had been 3 months since my diagnosis of being asthmatic. I was learning to live with it. Going about my busy life of work, family, responsibilities, and obligations. I didn’t have time to challenge my doctor for solutions any further. My mother had come to celebrate the holiday with my family, and our incredible friends and neighbors had prepared a holiday seafood feast. It was going to be a night to remember, that was for sure.

Kevin is a retired chef, and we had formed a small group of people that pretended to dine at our own private restaurant a few times a year. It was incredible food and company. Tonight, he was treating us to Alaskan King Crab, mussels, scallops, and oysters. We were all excited. Having grown up in Alaska and the Pacific NW, these rare but bountiful meals were always a treat. I had grown up with seafood and shellfish. I loved it. Tonight would prove to be a turning point.

After dinner and several bottles of wine, I sat in a reclining chair, laughing and cutting up with the other guests. My head was swimming, and I was feeling light. People started to comment on the reddening in my face, and perhaps I should slow down on the wine. I laughed in agreement and then noticed that my hands were swelling. The conversation continued, and I didn’t think much of it. My face continued to change color. My cheeks got tight, and the room began to spin with conversation and laughter. My mother leaned over and asked if I was alright. I set my glass down on the floor next to me. I said I was fine, and I got up to go to the downstairs bathroom.

By the time I reached the stairs, my vision was closing in. I had to hurry. I was no longer heading there to splash water on my face. Like an animal seeking a private place to slip off into oblivion , I was desperate to reach the bathroom. I didn’t make it. I must have missed that first step because I was suddenly at the bottom of the half-dozen stairs clutching in desperation to the handrail. My wife and mother were next to me. Kevin was grabbing Benadryl. My throat was tight, but I could get air into my lungs.

My mother insisted on calling an ambulance, and I insisted she didn’t. I’m sure I wasn’t making rational decisions, but I insisted they were mine to make. I downed 4 or 5 Benadryl, and they helped me back to the chair to monitor me. The swelling was beginning to diminish. My throat opened up and I could breathe again. I determined I would head to bed. With a package of antihistamine in my pocket, I bid everyone a good evening and walked back to the house. I managed to live through the night.

Something wasn’t right. I had never had an allergic reaction to anything. Not a bee sting, hay fever, food of any type, hell, not even the chemicals I came into contact with through work. It made me overconfident, and it made me ignorant of the reality of such a reaction. I made another doctor’s appointment.

This one went just like the last. I got a new diagnosis and was sent out the door. I was now allergic to shellfish. That drew a line in the sand for me. It wasn’t so much that I disagreed with the doctor’s assessment. I just didn’t think he was doing his job. I began to work the problem backward. What happened to me?

I stumbled across the vaccine injury theory. A colleague at work was relaying a story about her daughter’s reaction to the HPV vaccine. After working for quite some time to determine the cause, they found an ingredient in the vaccine itself that harmed her. It made me think of my recent Tdap vaccination. I researched. I studied. I found supporting data and I compiled my information. I made a doctor’s appointment to discuss my finding and get some help.

An argument ensued between my doctor and me. As he insisted his diagnosis was sound and that I should avoid conspiracy theories. I became more frustrated. I wasn’t an idiot and I was also the only one who came prepared to the appointment with medical research from the Lancet and other reputable journals. He refused to even look at them. He insisted that vaccines and their ingredients very rarely caused such an issue and I was likely not one of them. I demanded to know how he could have come to that conclusion and urged him to look at the numerous cases there were just like mine.

I gently, but directly reminded him that his job was not to match my symptoms to the prescribed medicine but to match them to the potential cause of the problem. His job was to help me in my quest for healing, not pacification. I insisted he record the conversation and data in my chart and make a request to include my account in the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) database. He refused. I left.

The vaccine injury has changed my gut biome due to chronic inflammation. Over the past decade, I’ve had to eliminate certain foods if I wanted to avoid swelling, loose stool, or intestinal discomfort. I include turmeric in my daily vitamins to reduce swelling, and I am still seeking a path towards healing.

There is a risk in that kind of inflammation. Over time, it can cause cancer, lead to heart disease, or a variety of other serious aliments. I’ve not become an expert in the solutions. The rush of life has often stalled me in that quest until some incident forces me to take a deeper look at my diet and consumption habits.

However, I have developed a notable knack for understanding medical and statistical data. There is a direct relationship between the more people who take vaccines or medicines with synthetic substances and the number of people with injuries that come from them. New vaccines and the mandates that dictate their use will cause changes in that data. That is just proportional math, as this quote from Nature exemplifies.

The reality is not everyone can take a vaccine and expect to be injury-free. For those of us who discovered we’re prone to injury prior to COVID-19, we have a difficult choice to make. If we opt out of taking the vaccine due to the risk of injury, we can also expect to opt-out of certain aspects of society. In the case of vaccine mandates, that can include eating out, large social and cultural gathers, freedom of mobility, domestic & foreign travel, and even an ability to support one’s family through vocation.

For those of us who experience an injury due to vaccination, it’s imperative that we do not take such reaction lightly: Swelling, ongoing pain, breakouts, vomiting, disruption of bodily functions such as menstruation or bowl movements all need to be reported. Those reports will often fall on deaf ears as the reality of under reported data by medical professionals comes to light. Its a problem. If you’ve experienced any injury from medication or vaccination, you must insist that it be reported or report it yourself. Furthermore, you need to be able to consult a health professional about ceasing the perscribed pharmasutical. That’s an unbearable paradox.

It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that their voice is being heard. If not by medical professionals then by others experiencing similar issues. Forming collective groups in order to be heard is the best way to ensure change. Developing empathy for others is the best way to help.

Unfortunately, there are no easy fixes in the ongoing effort of creating an equitable society. Forcing vaccination is not a solution. As we work to protect one group from harm, we inherently harm another. We must take a breath and step back from this insanity of conformity.

For those of us who can not take the vaccine, we do not take such a decision lightly. We read. We research and put our knowledge of examining medical studies and journals to work. The data and the experts provide a clear perspective. What appears to muddle the path forward, is the roar of indignation against those pushing back on an authoritative message that stays ignorantly consistent; even as as the data and our knowledge on this virus and it’s solutions change.

Ultimately, we are all individually responsible for our own health and wellbeing. When we leave it to a doctor or authority to make those decisions for us, we leave our own wellbeing behind. Anyone working to manage the masses is not looking at our individual best interest. They can’t. They have the whole of society to create policy for. Unfortunately, creating solutions for only the whole or exclusively the individual will always harm someone. The individual must be allowed to take responsibility for themselves, and the whole must be far more empathetic and less authoritative to hear each voice.

The solutions are out there. Let’s work together to find them.

My current medical records and known allergies



A Medium publications that explores the intersectionailty of Resiliency + Equity + Systems Theory.

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Jeremy D. Tunnell, M.A.

Lead consultant with Co3 Consulting; trained in leading groups through dismantling whiteness, resilience conditioning & guided worldview expansion.