So...I have this huge debate going on facebook right now. Not really between me...as I am totally one of those people who believe everyone should have their own opinion...and I refuse to argue about it...but it's between other commentors. I must say, people are passionate about this subject.
The subject being...vaccinations.
I know, I am sure some of you are going to get all fired up over this, but I am going to clearly state my experience and offer no opinion...well maybe a little one.
When Brendan was a infant and had his first vaccination appointment, I was all set on giving him whatever the doctor recommended, totally in agreement for all vaccines to be given. I mean...it's the right thing to do for my child and the community...right? Or...maybe not.
So...he recieved the usual Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio and Hep B.
I do not remember exactly how long after receiving said shots...he went out. Like unresponsive to any kind of stimuli unconscious.
The doctor's eventually chalked it up to an allergic reaction to the Pertussis portion of the vaccine. Now...with the mixture...it is quite impossible to pinpoint the exact culprit...but as a young, new mother, not yet an RN with any experience...I took the doctor's word as gospel. And I have to admit...I do love my Pedicatricians and trust them immensely. They are highly regarded in this town and I have a close working relationship with them in the hospital.
So in future years...Brendan received the DT version...minus the Pertussis. So, yes...that means my son is not vaccinated againt Whooping Cough. It has concerned me through the years, especially when there was a supposed outbreak in this area...but what I witnessed when he was a baby was also very frightening...so I was always torn.
When Zachary came along 5 years later and was about to recieve his first set of vaccinations...I was advised to skip the Pertussis portion altogether due to his brother's (what they called) severe allergic reaction. So again...I complied...freaking out every time one of them got a cough.
To skip ahead...last week...Brendan went to the Pediactrician's office for yet more vaccines. It is time for his 7th grade boosters. Now, the office we go to does not offer DT...so we go to the Health Department for that one, however he recieved the MMR and Varicella.
A couple days later...he looked like this...
He awoke covered in a rash...face swollen, a fever and swollen joints in his hands which he complained hurt when he tried to open and close them. Poor guy was crying because he had no idea what was happening to him. All he knew is he looked awful and he hurt.
So, again...at the recommendation of his Pediatrician...off to the ER we went. I thought perhaps that was a little over the top, as he was not in any respiratory distress...but the fact that his hands and face were so swollen and his joints hurt...scared me enough to take the physician's advise.
In any event...it was decided between all docs involved that it was a probable reaction to the MMR due to the Measles-type rash and accompanying symptoms. He was given antihistamines and steroids.
This was on Sunday...it is now Thursday and most of the symptoms have resolved...he is just still a little spotted.
I am again finding myself torn to continue with the entire vaccination schedule...for both my boys.
I am obviously aware of the pros...but now have come in direct contact twice with the possible cons.
So the question to my Facebook friends was a simple To Vaccinate? or Not To Vaccinate? Then World War 3 broke loose on my Wall. Oy!