November 14th, 2007
I woke up early yesterday and trekked into the city to have my stitches removed. I got dressed up in order to do so. That’s a sign of the frequency with which I leave the house.
I learned that my skin had grown over two of the four stitches during my week of healing. I also discovered that I’m allergic to the Bacitracin I was prescribed. My doctor told me to stop using it immediately. The site was red and blotchy and slightly raised because of the reaction I had. It hadn’t healed quite as well as she would have liked, so I may need some laser treatment when this is all said and done. I’m to see her again in four weeks. In the meantime, she gave me a steroidal ointment called Cutivate (which I just found out I should not use since I’m supplying breast milk for Emory) and a topical ointment called Biafine to help with the redness after the wound heals.
To be completely honest, I couldn’t have cared less about my face or the scarring because Emory was scheduled to have his second round of vaccinations yesterday. This fact weighed on my head, so much so, I was unable to eat. (A perfect solution to losing weight: schedule vaccinations for your new baby.)
We are having Emory vaccinated. We’re skipping a few, such as Hepatitis B (he can get that later), and the flu shot. I think we’re also going to skip the chicken pox vaccination. And there are others I haven’t even researched yet that may be added to that list. I’m taking it day by day. I do know one thing: we’re only allowing for two shots per visit. The CDC requests that you do more. If a person were to go along with the schedule recommended by the CDC, a child could have up to 6 shots in one visit. And I know what I’m about to write may not go over too well with the Internet, but I think that’s too many. I might change my mind as he gets older but right now I think that 6 injections is far too many. And so we’re giving him less and visiting more often (if need be).
Emory had two more vaccinations yesterday. He was given IPV (polio) and HIB (haemophilus influenzae type b). Both shots are associated with few-to-no side effects. Technically, he was also supposed to receive DTaP already but it tends to cause problems and will thus be given alone. DTaP scares me a bit. By giving it solo, if anything should happen, I will know exactly what vaccine to blame.
Of course Emory screamed when he received the shots. We were ready for that. And I stood outside the whole time. I joked with the nurse and pediatrician and told them I planned on visiting the bar across the street to get a couple of shots myself. Had I not been driving, I may have done so. Next time, however I may take the Xanax I was prescribed for flying. I really do not handle these shots very well.
So, he screamed and TJ did his best to calm him. We waited at the doctor’s office until he was soothed. A bottle helped.
We left. He was still fine. He smiled a lot and even laughed a couple of times. When we got him home, we sang to him and played with him. I gave him a tiny bath and then wrapped him up for a nap. He passed out at around 5 PM.
TobyJoe and I made dinner. I showered. Emory was still sleeping. Emory never sleeps for more than two hours during the day but I knew that his immune system was busy so I let him rest. At around 8 PM, Emory began to stir. And then all hell broke lose. He just started screaming.
Back up. I have said this before about my son but I really must reiterate it. Emory DOES NOT cry. He just doesn’t cry. He fusses, but he saves crying for whenever he’s in pain. He has cried now about four times in his life. So when he woke up screaming and red-faced I became worried. This was not the way my baby normally acts.
TobyJoe dropped everything he was doing and scooped him up. He tried his best to comfort him. And Emory screamed. Every time he opened his eyes, he screamed. With them shut, he screamed. When we tried to feed him, he screamed. Whenever we rocked him, he screamed. Pacification? Screamed. He just screamed and screamed and screamed and his mother nearly shit her pants.
Almost ALL of the literature about side-effects associated with vaccinations says to call a doctor or visit an ER if there’s a change in your baby’s behavior. And there was. It was clear to me that something was different. I called the doctor and left a desperate message.
I have no idea how much time went by (10, 15, 30 minutes?) before TobyJoe was able to get Emory to fall asleep again. And then it was worry time. What would happen whenever he awoke again? Would we have to endure more of this? Was he OK?
The doctor called me back when he was sleeping. I told her everything.
She gave me advice and then let me know that for reasons they are still very unsure of, some babies will wake up screaming and they scream no matter what you do. She said that often enough, once they fall back to sleep and wake up for a second time, they will never scream again. She said that doctors have no idea why they scream. She told me that if he wakes up again and continues to scream that I should undress him and look for anything out of the ordinary. If I don’t see anything, and he doesn’t calm down, then I can bring him to the ER. She also told me what dosage of Tylenol to give him. She tried to reassure me that the two vaccines he had were “mild”, which didn’t really reassure me because if my child was having this type of reaction to a mild vaccine, what was going to happen with the response to the DTaP?
We waited. We listened to his breathing, made sure that he wasn’t having an allergic reaction. TobyJoe tried to wake him a few times. Finally, we decided to be a little more insistent so we could give him some Tylenol.
The following second was reminiscent of something I’ve seen in movies during on of those bomb-disabling scenes. You know, the one where the guy is standing over two different color wires as the clock tics down to mere seconds and at the very last second he cuts the yellow wire. It was the second right after the cut. The one where you’re all waiting to see if the bomb goes off. That’s what the second between sleep and awake was like. Would he scream?
Silence. Grumble. Silence. Grumble. Silence. And then the feed me hands. No screaming. Just feed me hands.
I have no idea what made him scream like that. The experience was reminiscent of the time Homer Simpson remembered having found Smither’s Dad’s dead body and continually screamed no matter what anyone said or did.
And we were able to laugh about that today, nervously so. For I know that in just 30 more days, we’ll have to go through this all over again. But right now he’s happy and smiling and awesome.
How much do I hate this? So much. So very much. But I do know that getting him vaccinated is far better an option than letting him get sick. But it doesn’t make the experience any less horrible.
Notes for me: 25 Inches long and 14 pounds. Smiling. Giggling. Follows people around the room. Makes direct eye contact. Sleeps 4-hour stretches at night. Holds head up but at an angle – toward right shoulder. Blue eyes. Can hold feet.
Part of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), where one writes every day for the month of November, which is easier said than done. Tags: emory, health, vaccinations