I am truly passionate about very few things. These things include my art, crochet, Faith, and my family. I always have and always will want the best for my child- just as every loving mother would. That is why I never missed a wellness visit until after that day. That is why I trusted my child's doctor.
I had always thought of doctors to be smart, well informed, warriors for life. I guess I sort of seen myself as not as intelligent. Just as I would think I was more creative than a doctor…I thought of them as more medically aware.
Every time I took my child to get vaccinated, I thought I was protecting her. I would address my concerns after each set of vaccines because of the way my normally happy child would cry for days after being injected. Her doctor calmed my nerves by letting me know it was “normal”. But everything was different at her 12 month visit. My gut was telling me not to let them vaccinate her… I told her doctor. He assured me everything was fine and there was no reason to delay.
That day she was given a series of shots that included the MMR (mumps, measles, and rubella). For the first time ever, she did not cry. She was happy. I took her to get her blood drawn that very same day to do the routine 12 month blood test. This was just to make sure her levels were normal, and that she was healthy. And she was until 5 days later.
All the sudden my daughter had a fever of 103. I knew instantly what was the cause. I quickly pulled out the papers the doctor gave me when giving her the vaccine injections. I called the doctors office and explained to them my fears. “Just like the paper says, 5 days after she was vaccinated, she has come down with a really high fever.” The nurses told me to give her some Tylenol and and a luke warm bath to see if it helped.. and told me to take her to the ER if it got worse. They assured me it wasn't from the vaccine.. but maybe she just had a cold. But my mommy gut knew better.
That night everything changed. My daughter was in pain. Her fever was up to 105. She was swelling up. Her eyes could barely open. She could barely move. She lost the ability to walk! She could barely breath. I was terrified!
I take her to the ER. We sit there for hours…. Her fever went back down to 103 and they send us home. They think she just had a cold. I told them what I thought was wrong… and they look at me like I am crazy. I could see their eyes roll as they quickly walk out of the room.
I take my baby home and do the only thing I knew would comfort her. I nurse her. As long as I was nursing… she wasn't crying. I called the doctors office the next day only to find out he was on vacation and would be gone for a few weeks.
After 5 days of battling a fever.. and wondering what was happening to my baby, the swelling got worse, and the rash started. She had what appeared to be full blown measles. Not only the measles rash, but symptoms of mumps and rubella too.
I called all the pediatricians in my area and they all tell me they are busy, and to take her to the ER if I am concerned. Finally I go to a local walk in clinic. But that is when it really got scary. Before this moment I had wondered if everyone was right. If maybe I really am just paranoid and I just need to let this bug run its course. Then the nurses came in… they were clearly terrified to be in the same room as my daughter. They attempt to take her temperature rectally but failed over and over because they were scared to touch her. My baby screams from the pain and I help the nurse. She quickly leaves the room. The doctor comes in. He says it looks like she has measles…. but “how?” he asked. I told him I believe she is having a reaction to the MMR vaccine. I hand him the paperwork I received when she was given the shot. Then he gave me that look…. like I was insane. He told me they needed to draw blood. He said they would be able to narrow it down to a virus or infection by seeing her blood platelet count. After about 10 attempts to draw her blood (pure torture for my baby) They finally found a vein. They told me her blood platelet count wasn't even half what it was a little over a week before.
We sit there for a few more hours and the doctor finally comes back into the room. He smiles and said “You are right!” He told me she had every reaction symptom to a T other than seizures and death. He told me that she was clearly a healthy girl and was fighting through the virus's that were attacking her immune system. He told me that we were at the tipping point of the measles virus and that things should start to ease after that day. He assured me she would learn to walk again…
Before leaving the doctors office, he wrote a note for her pediatrician. He explained to him all the reasons he knew she was going through a vaccine reaction.
When her doctor got back to town. Her rash was starting to fade and peal off. Her fever was gone. She could eat and walk again. I told her doctor everything we had been through and I gave him the letter from the other doctor. He laughed in my face. He told me “Reactions are rare but they are perfectly normal. I have seen this 3 other times in my line of practice. You will need to continue her vaccinations on schedule.” I quickly said “WHAT?” and looked at him as if he was wearing clown makeup. I told him the paperwork he gave me said that if a child has a bad reaction to the MMR, that they should NOT get another one…. because it would be dangerous! He then says “The chances of her having another reaction is very rare.” (kinda like the first reaction >eye roll<)
I cannot allow my child to be injected with this vaccine again. I will listen to the CDC with this one, and know that if they have a bad reaction… to not repeat it. How can a doctor brush it off as “normal but rare”? How can a doctor not even care to know why she had this reaction? What causes it? And how could I ever intentionally put my child through this again? Or even worse….
I am not against vaccines. I want my child to be healthy and protected. But I am scared. Until the CDC can figure out why some children react to this vaccine this way, I will refuse it. People can think I am nuts. People can call me names and mock me behind my back…. and to my face. I guess it is hard to understand what we had gone through until you are holding your own child while you think they are dying. Until you have to fight and argue with doctors to even consider a vaccine to be harmful.. it is just hard for people to understand.
The good news is, my daughter is healthy, smart, and very advanced. I wish all vaccine injuries could end the same way as my daughters… but some of them never recover. You don't have to take my word. You do not have to listen to anyone's personal stories. But please, PLEASE, be aware of what reactions can occur. Remember that it can take 1-2 weeks before they even begin. Do not judge someone for being scared… because maybe, just maybe they have a reason for that fear.
** UPDATE **
My daughter now has a wonderful doctor who recognized the dangers and reaction with her symptoms. She is medically exempt from ever receiving another MMR.
I have decided to not continue with vaccines, until they are made safe… or when she is an adult and can make the educated choice for herself.
Also, 2 years after her reaction, we found out she cannot handle “sorbitol” (gives her chemical burns on skin contact) which is a chemical they put into sugar free foods. And I now know it's also a chemical in the MMR vaccine. Although no doctors cared to find out why she reacted so badly, I think I may have my answer.
We all know other chemicals in other vaccines are dangerous..”formaldehyde, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, thimerosal…” are just a few of them. But we also need to remember that chemicals like sorbitol (that's in some our food, gum… as well), are also dangerous. It is also known for increasing the frequency of seizures.
I would hope that in the world we live in today, the CDC and doctors would at the least test children's sensitivity to these toxins.
When I was pregnant, I didn't eat anything sugar free because my doctor told me they had not been tested to be safe during pregnancy…. but it's okay to put it directly into my child's bloodstream at 12 months? While I am still introducing foods one by one? It makes no sense. Mind boggled!
BUT – do not take my word for it. Do your own research.