Sunday, May 16, 2010


Before Norah was born we decided we would do an alternate vaccination schedule. She would get all of her vaxes (well, except for Hep B which is just silly to give babies who don't have a family member with Hep B), but she would only get one at a time and it would take us longer to get her caught up. This proved to be the right approach to take because she's always been pretty sensitive to vaxes. When she was a baby she would always run a fever, have a stomach ache, etc. When she was about a year old she had a more serious reaction to one and her leg became inflamed and swollen.

I knew we would delay MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) past the recommended time at 12 months old. I was never convinced there was a real connection between the vax and autism (and recent studies have discredited the link completely), but I knew it was a big shot and I wanted to wait until her neurological system was a little more developed. Since she's not in daycare I would have liked to wait until she was about 3, but there have been 6 reported cases of measles in our area and after her crazy rash crisis of April 2010, there was no way we were taking the chance that she would come into contact with the virus.

I took Norah in to get vaxed on Friday. Here she is in the big vax chair. Doesn't it look menacing?

It suuuuucked. She had to sit in my lap with her legs between mine and I had to wrap my arms around her in a bear hug so she couldn't move. As soon as she got the injection she effing lost it and screamed the scream where no sound comes out. As soon as she caught her breath she yelled.screamed.cried. And then cried some more. I was just about to join her when the nurse brought out the basket of stickers and asked her if she wanted one. In between sobs she choked out, 'yes.' The nurse asked her if she wanted the princess one and she said, 'noooooooo, nanor want dinosaur.'

I couldn't have been more proud.

We had to hang out in the waiting room for a while (her record is flagged as someone who reacts) and she alternated between crying and being stoked that she got to drink water from a water cooler out of a little paper cup. She didn't want to walk and cried anytime anything bumped into her leg. We got taken back so the nurse could check her again and her poor little leg was red and swollen from thigh to knee. It looked like she had a really bad, puffy sunburn. The area where the actual injection was (about a half dollar size) was really hard to the touch. Her pediatrician came in to look at her and said it looked like a typical allergic reaction to the vaccine and the hard part was a nodule and would go away in about a day. They gave her some Benadryl right there which seemed to calm her down a lot. We had to wait for another 30 minutes or so and she got checked again and her leg was still red, but way better than before. We got to go home with the heads up that she would be much more likely to develop the classic MMR reaction, which is a rash and fever 7 to 10 days after the injection. Given the ordeal we just went through last month we were also told that at the first sign of anything abnormal we had to bring her back in.

It was BVZ's birthday so we went home and made him a chocolate cake. Norah enjoyed helping. She especially enjoyed coating the kitchen in a fine layer of cocoa powder.

She favored her left leg for the rest of the evening, but was back to normal, torturing the cat and catching up on Sudoku.

The next morning BVZ left for a Giants game with some friends (because I am the best wife ever-okay, maybe the best wife on this particular Saturday-for his birthday I got tickets to the game for BVZ and 3 of his friends and then coordinated with them so it would be a surprise for him). I took advantage of the chance to catch up with the Hsu girls (Poppa Hsu was going to the game) and we went to the Coyote Point Museum in San Mateo. It's super cute, I highly recommend it. I didn't get but a very few pictures, but the best discovery of the day was that Norah loves caves and has no interest in snakes.

We all went back to our house and after a short nap the girls had a grand time with the sand and water table, making its first debut of the season. (As an aside, when I first got Norah the table last year I spent a small fortune on 'safe sand'. Apparently regular sand box sand from Home Depot might as well be called Cancer Sand. We never ended up using the sand last year and rather kept it as a water-water table since I didn't think one year olds could handle the awesome responsibility of keeping sand and water separate. I busted the sand out on Saturday, and man, Non-Cancer Sand rules! It is sparkly and white and awesome even when wet because as it turns out an almost four year old and two almost two year olds can't handle the awesome responsibility of keeping sand and water separate either).

Anyway, we had a great afternoon and I didn't think twice when Norah slowed way down and became more and more grumpy as the day wore on. She refused dinner and a bath and asked to go to bed. Which is when I figured I ought to take her temperature. 102. Crap. Dosed her up with Tylenol and then Motrin a few hours later when she was still burning up. Had a restless night and she woke up this morning at 6:30 with a 103 temp. Crap. Norah wasn't all that fussy but kept telling me that her tummy and neck hurt. Crap, crap. Called the doctor as soon as they opened to ask what they wanted us to do and we had to come in right away.

At this point I was starting to worry that the doctor was going to think I have Munchausen by Proxy (which is my favorite psychological disease, by the way, I never miss a Lifetime Movie that deals with it), since by this point we are spending more on co-pays than on her college fund. We actually saw one of the doctors that misdiagnosed her rash so I think he was intent on doing as thorough as a job as possible. She checked out fine and her joints seem to be unaffected (which is the big fear with her) and her ears and nose were clear, ie they have no idea what is causing her fever. While an MMR fever doesn't happen this close to the injection time, everyone was in agreement that it seemed logical that the two are connected. It may just be how her body reacts to anything foreign that's put into it. Which is so effing frustrating because we may never know if the medication we give her is going to be worse than the illness. It all seems like a big crap shoot.

Since she was complaining that her neck hurt and strep throat is going around he went ahead and did a throat culture, which of course involves sticking a giant q-tip down her throat. You can imagine she loved that. She was pretty quick to recover and the doctor started to offer her a lollipop before I gave him the 'don't you dare look' with my eyes and he instead pulled out the sticker basket. She picked a truck.

We took it easy the rest of the day and she was more than happy to take a long nap, but again woke with a 102 temp. She was sad and didn't want to eat or drink a thing.

But, motrin works wonders on her and soon we were reading 97 books in the tent and playing monster chase throughout the entire house.

She found the video camera.

And decided the cat might like to cuddle with it. She's generous like that.

Cross your fingers that this crazy fever is just a fluke and it passes quickly. The poor kid needs a break.


Natalie said...

Man. So many things to comment about. #1- I'm all freaked out about the sand now. I had no idea we had cancer sand. I feel like I need to go dump Spencer's sandbox out and get him some pre-emptive chemo. #2-I hate having to hold Spencer down for shots. I think I'd rather be shot with a bullet (in the foot or something- no vital organs). It's the worst mommy job there is. #3-Spencer has allergies, asthma and eczema. I was starting to feel a little Munchauseny while we were figuring out all his medications. #4- Spencer was put on an oral medication for his eczema. Every time we gave it to him he spiked a fever even though the dermatologist guaranteed that was impossible. We decided it was his body's way of dealing with that medication. So we stopped giving it to him. #5- The cake looks awesome.

Maryellen said...

Poor kiddo. I know how freaked out I am when I get shots and I'm a billion years older than Norah. I hope she's back to normal again soon.

Happy belated birthday to BVZ. By the way, you are an AWESOME wife for sending him to the Giants game.