Saturday, August 25, 2007


My intended post today was going to be about my big and bright girl, who turned 18 months old this week. I wanted to talk about how sweet she is,
despite her tantrums,
how smart and grown up she is,
and about her amazing sense of humor. But instead, this post is about something else.

I'll have to admit that up until this weekend I've been 100% pro vaccinations. To me its always been a no-brainer, because the serious illnesses they prevent are definitely worse than the possible side effects from the shots themselves. And for all the many shots my girls have gotten, that has definitely been the case. Never once have they had any adverse reaction, nor even been fussy afterwards. I suppose we've been lucky, because that changed yesterday.

We had Bryn's 18 month well baby checkup. The appointement went well. Her stats were as follows:

Length: 32.75 inches (above 75th percentile)

Weight: 24 pounds 13 ounces (55th percentile)

Head: 47.5 (above 75th percentile)

She is right on track developmentally, and the ped was amazed at how advanced Bryn is verbally. (I've added a cute video clip at the bottom of the post, assuming it works) After the exam came the shot. I've never been to bothered by the shots, and as a result my kids don't seem too upset either. She only needed one this time, the DTaP booster. She's had it 3 other times before, and had no adverse reactions. Naturally I wasn't too worried this time either. The nurse came in with the needle, and I explained to Bryn that she was going to get an "owie". It would be a quick poke - it would hurt and it was ok to cry - but she could squeeze my hands if she needed. But it would be over really quick and afterwards she'd get a bandaid.

The shot was over quickly, and Bryn barely wimpered. She was very proud of the bandaid though, and was happily showing everyone where her "owie" was.

After the appointement, we headed straight over to gymnastics. Usually Bryn loves gymnastics, and happily participates in (almost) everything. But yesterday she cried and just wanted to be held. I wasn't overly concerned. She'd had a tummy bug earlier in the week, and so I assumed she still wasn't feeling better. I tried to get her to participate, but after realizing she was in no mood, I just held her for the remainder of the class.

She ate a good lunch and was very tired, so I put her right down for nap. She even took a nice long nap, but when she woke up something was wrong. When I went to get her she had goosebumps and was shivering. And the poor girl just wanted to be cuddled. I held her as she moaned "why, why, why". It would have been cute if it hadn't been so pathetic. I decided to give her some Motrin, and after a few minutes she seemed better. She even ate a good dinner, but she was still very tired, so she went to bath and bed right after we ate.

About 11:30pm, she woke me up screaming. I went to get her, and she was burning up. I took her temp in the ear, and it was 104.9. So, again I gave her motrin and also tylenol (G tends to spike fevers, and I've found the best way to combat them is by giving a dose of both meds). We rocked in the chair in her room to wait for the meds to work. As we sat and rocked, I heard her tummy making strange noises. I should have taken her to the bathroom then, but I decided it was nothing. How wrong I was. She literally exploded - there was undigested grapes and spinach everywhere. So gross. I had to strip both of us down, and clean the carpet.

After the puke episode, I pulled out the literature from the doctor to see if it gave any suggestions on dealing with her. It did say that 1 child in 50 could experience vomiting and 1 child in 16,000 could experience fevers of 105 or greater. Great. Leave it up to my child to be one of the rare ones. But there were no suggestions on how to treat her, other than to take her to see a doctor. And since it was after midnight, I didn't feel like driving 20 miles to the nearest ER to wait 1/2 the night for them to treat her just as I had been.

So we waited for the fever to go down - but it never did. After about an hour, I assumed she'd thrown up all the medicine. I gave her a second dose, and the fever started dropping. She fell asleep in my arms, and I put her back to bed. She woke just one more time, about an hour later. She was drenched in sweat, but she felt cool.

All day today she's run a fever of around 100.9, as long as I've kept the medincine in her. Without it, she's up around 104. Poor girl is so sweet though. Ben and G went to a water park today without us, and I spent the day cuddling and loving her.

Its been rough though, and I can't help but feel a bit guilty. I feel like she's sick in part because I allowed the vaccination. Rationally I know that the vaccinations are needed. But its hard to watch her feeling so horrible. I don’t know that I’m anti vax now – in fact I know that I’m not. I definitely plan to continue getting my girls’ shots on schedule. There are far too many worse complications were they to get sick. But I am going to be more cautious from now on. My doctor’s office also suggested that I contact the health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Report, because the CDC likes to keep track of statistics. She does need one more booster in this series too, and I’m definitely going to talk with my doctor about the possibility that she could get even sicker next time. I am grateful that she didn't have a more serious reaction, and that she'll be ok.


Megan said...

Poor Girl... I hope she's okay. We've had fevers from shots, but nothing quite that extreme. I know with the vaccination it would have you question, but I wouldn't blame the night/day purely on that. Being that this was a booster I would think of other options. It could have been the bug, or perhaps the fact that her little immune system had been down from the bug caused the reaction. Did the doctor know of her previous bug & could that have been it? Or did they think it was from the shot?

I know what you mean about questioning vaccines. But after this ordeal with Hannah & being pretty sure it was from a parasite, I KNOW that the vaccine & possible side effects have to be better to deal with than the illnesses!!

Chelsea said...

That is so sad to think about her saying "Why, why?"
:( Talk about heartbreaking as a mommy!

I tend to agree with you though, that the illnesses the vaccines prevent are almost always much worse than any side effects from the shots themselves. And I guess that's true what Megan said, that there's no way to be sure that her reaction was from the vaccine and not another bug that she happened to get at the same time. Maybe there was a sick kid at the doctor that passed something nasty on?

Christie said...

I'm starting to think you guys are right - that is is just a coincidence. Now that she is puking and having diarrhea - 5 days later. UGH WIll this child EVER be heathy? It sure isn't a good start for fall.

Megan said...

So totally random thought here...
I know breast is best, but do you ever say: Hey, I breastfed you, you are supposed to have a good immune system? That's our joke around here when Hannah is sick, & I tease that I'm not nursing the next baby to compare the 2.. hehe. I wouldn't really do that, & who knows how sick our kiddos would have been w/o nursing.

Jess T said...

Sorry about that! That really sucks. :( Poor girl.