Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Fear

When I was 14, my immune system started down its deep,dark path toward permanent dysfunction. It started with a bump,a small red itchy bump that turned into dozens & dozens of bumps in a raised rash that marched up my left arm, across the left side of my chest,down my left armpit & across my back. And then those bumps swelled up,with a yellowish disgusting the point of bursting. At that point,convinced that I had cancer, I told my parents & they took me to the doctor.

The diagnosis was immeadiete & straightforward.

"You have the shingles."

Isn't that something older people get? Well,yes, but anyone who has had the good old fashioned chicken pox can go on to get the shingles. Babies can get the shingles. Rare of course,but entirely possible. Of course,being an 80's child I'd done the chicken pox party thing & gotten chicken pox at the age of 6, no big deal. Only my immune system thought it was a HUGE DEAL & up popped the shingles,all these years later.

So, they gave me this antiviral med & told me NOT TO TOUCH MY FACE & basically,it took several months of the most intense itching pain I have ever known for it to subside(& a year for the scars to clear). Every night, I'd wake up screaming from the searing,all over body pain.(usually dreaming something gruesome) But it did get better,eventually.

And then diabetes came to call. I was 16 years old when the symptoms began, & it would be 6 months before it would put my very sick self in the hospital.

I tend to think all these pieces are related,& the shingles was just the icing on the proverbial cake. I am from a family of 6 kids, & I am the only one to get the shingles/and diabetes. None of my siblings or their kids have had them. For me,getting chicken pox led to even worse things.

"Would you like to get your child the chicken pox vaccine today?"

I know that vaccines do NOT lead to getting the disease,but the varicella immunization is a live vaccination,meaning that they can get a mild form of the disease . Although no where near as serious as the full blown disease, it's still mighty uncomfortable for the kiddo.

He's 12 months old, & although I certainly believe in getting a kid vaccinated for the major stuff I said no to this. I don't think 12 months is old enough to handle it.(& what if he has my crappy genetics?) I want him to have a long,healthy life,& I don't want diabetes to mar any part of it;& if he should get diabetes, I don't want to get it as a small child(& if that means no "questionable" vaccines while really young,so be it.


The pediatrician looked up,surprised. (as previously mentioned, he's gotten all his previous immunizations) "You realize that we'll keep asking you about this(specific immunization every visit)

Yes I realize that, but I also think that this vaccination is relatively "new" on the market & I have an obligation to my child to do what I think is best for him, even if you do think I'm a radical,conspiracy-theorist nutjob of a parent. I do want what's best for him..even if you can't see it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Colleen said...

Shingles at 14 - eek!
We split the pertussis shot for our second son after son #1 reacted badly to it.
Seemed to work.
Son #1 had chickenpox at 9 months old. It wasn't fun. At all...
As a mom, you will do what you believe is safe and best for your child.

Scott K. Johnson said...

I agree with Colleen. You have to do what you feel is best for your child.