When it comes to immunisation, it would appear that there are three kinds of parents in the world. Those who are for it, those who are against it… and those just do what they’re told by Mr. Jab from Governmentland. I am unashamedly pro vaccine and Devilboy had been dutifully kept up to date on all his jabs until the dreaded triple whammy 12 month injection extravaganza, which we had to postpone as he was teething and already miserable when they were due. But after a nasty little reminder/veiled threat arrived recently in the post – off we went to the doctor for the jabathon.
All forgotten. By us both.
But that was then and this is now and quite frankly, I think Devilboy may have been better off dealing with with the considerable risks of measles than what he has been through in the past week. In fact, I think he may have been better off being injected with ebola virus. On Sunday morning, Devilboy broke out in a rash. A rash bad enough to take to the local medical centre where he was diagnosed with a garden variety case of hives – probably from an unknown food allergy and sent merrily on his way. No biggy, one would think.
That same afternoon we noticed that the rash had spread but had been warned this could happen. So, with a still mild fever, we tucked him into bed with a wee dose of paracetamol and figured that morning would bring us a healed and happy Devilboy.
We figured wrong.
After a fairly disturbed night he woke to a fever of 39.5 and a body covered in scarlet welts. I took him straight to our GP. Approximately 10 seconds after arriving he was on his way to the emergency ward at RNS Hospital, as the red welts magically turned dark purple before the GP’s eyes.
After an hour or so we received confirmation that we weren’t dealing with meningococcal and I recommenced breathing… but we still had no answers and no guarantee from the Doctors that he would be ok.
As the day progressed his skin discoloured more and more. As his eyes and throat started to show signs of swelling, Devilboy was admitted and placed under observation. The following morning his hands, face and feet had also begun to swell and by afternoon had turned into tiny little balloons and he was unable to even bend a finger. His throat too had swelled and this had the hospital on high alert as there was a possibility of his airways blocking.
We sat by helplessly for DAYS as Devilboy was paraded about the hospital to a cast of thousands so they could all point and gawk and generally treat him as a sideshow freak, and us as irrelevant. None of them offered anything more intelligent than “Ewwww….That’s weird.”
There were plenty of this “might be’s…” but we didn’t want ‘might’, we wanted a confirmed diagnosis and the little lovely treated before he got any worse.
Three full days and a constant 39 plus degree fever later we were finally delivered a diagnosis of “blahdyblahblah-impossible-to-pronounce-unheard-of-medical term.” In layman’s terms he’d suffered a massive and potentially deadly allergic reaction to a medication or virus. Given that the only medication or virus he had been exposed to were the immunisations – we have a fairly obvious target when it comes to where to point the blame. And point I will! Even if it is rude.
These pics don’t show the rash in all its fluorescent glory as by the time it spread and he swelled up like a balloon thoughts of snapshots weren’t top of mind…. but you’ll get the idea.
Postscript: Devilboy had to go back to the hospital for a follow up and the doctor admitted (though absolutely off the record), that it was almost certainly a reaction to his immunisation. When I took my boy for his 4 year immunisations = not a single doctor would administer them (though they had towed the it wasn’t the immunisation line). He was eventually sent to a specialist in adverse reactions who diagnosed him as suffering from severe serum sickness from his MMR and advise he not be given it again as the risk of a worse reaction was too high. I’m all for immunisations (my daughter is fully immunised – but doctors avoiding telling the truth about blatantly related reactions really isn’t helping the cause)