I am a huge believer in vaccines. I understand there are chemicals; I understand there is no such thing as a perfect vaccine. I understand that people fear them, and I know and expect that like anything else in life, there are risks. But the thing I understand most is that kids like mine might not have survived childhood if many of the so-called 'childhood illnesses' had not been nearly eradicated over the past few decades in this country. My older kids are extremely healthy, never sick and bounce back quickly from just about anything. I don't vaccinate them because I'm worried they will die from the chicken pox. I vaccinate because the kid who bags our groceries might have CF. I vaccinate because I don't want my kiddos to give a 'harmless' chicken pox bug to their grandmother. To get to the point - I vax my kids to be part of the solution, to protect the high-risk people by NOT spreading the diseases so many parents believe are 'no big deal'. Maybe they aren't to your kids... but to mine, your child, our friends children, are all protecting my sweet girls by NOT getting these bugs.
However, this post isn't meant to be a debate on vaccination. After our EEG last week, Audrina began to develop a runny nose. Over the past 4 days she has been congested but nothing major going on. Tuesday I commented how she seemed better, but by Tuesday night was coughing a lot. She coughed in cycles of 10-12 coughs in a row, she would turn red in the face because she couldnt breathe. Then she would have no problems for hours. Because I'm a nerd for keeping up on the news, I'm aware that there is a pertussis epidemic going around this year. I also know that catching it when you are less than 6 months old is very dangerous. The older girls have had all their vax's and Addison has had one pertussis, leaving her more suspectible to infection as well.
This morning, Audrina's heart rate started to go out of control - she was 215 laying next to me resting. I got her down to 180 and once she took her medication, got it down to within a more safe range. She's been doing fine with her heart the past few weeks so I knew something was up. This afternoon I took her to the pediatrician, and I explained her symptoms. Her pediatrician frowned and I knew instantly what he was worried about. We got a swab done for whooping cough. We have a stat chest xray that we should have the final word on in the morning. Audrina is high-risk for fatality from complications of whooping cough, because of her age, underlying conditions, and prematurity. He ordered us to start azithromycin immediately so that we could catch it early if it was whooping cough.
When I got to the pharmacy to pick it up, I was told the pharmacist found a potentially life threatening drug interaction with one of her heart medications. So now she can't take the most effective thing there is for pertussis. Hopefully overnight they will work on figuring out what our options are. Her culture likely wont be back for a few days, so it will be a lot of just watching her symptoms.... using oxygen as needed if she is struggling.
We had a very upsetting experience with the xray - our tech was in a huge hurry to go home and basically slammed Audrina's cheek shut in the positioner because she was trying to move as fast as she could. I got upset and explained that Audrina can't hold her head as well as a typical baby her age and to please be careful. but we still had an incident. I am sad to say I will be calling to report this person tomorrow. They should not have this job if they think its okay to manhandle a tiny infant because they are in a hurry. Below is a picture of her cheek taken about 10-15 minutes after this happened. It made me really upset since we were already really nervous about her possibly having something scarier than a cold.
1 in 200 healthy babies who contract pertussis before 6 months of age will die. I do not want my baby to be a statistic. We are all hoping and praying that this is not anything more than a simple summer cold. I can want that to the moon and back, however, because of her fragility we have to treat it like its something far more dangerous until we know for sure. I never dreamed a cough could be that deadly. :( Please keep my tiny princess in prayer for a fast recovery from whatever this may be.
Also, please pray that big sissy Addison doesn't get it either - she's having a hard time understanding why she can't be kissing and hugging on her baby. I will keep everyone posted when I can.