Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vaccinate!!!

I don't know how many of you know this, I don't even remember whether or not I've ever mentioned it, but my son has a rare blood disorder. This disorder is called Diamond Blackfan Anemia which essentially means his bone marrow doesn't produce enough red blood cells. This particular gene mutation is incredibly rare, there are currently only 700 cases of it world wide.

When he was born he was gray, his color was actually gray. He wasn't breathing and for the life of them they just couldn't figure out why. They whisked him away from me after my C-Section after I barely got to even give him a kiss. From there he was transported to a larger hospital that could better care for him and diagnose what was wrong. I was transported behind him so we could be in the same hospital.

He had to have blood transfusions every 4-6 weeks just to keep him alive until he turned one, that was when they started him only the steroids. As of right now the steroids are the only way we can treat this disorder. Hopefully one day he'll grow out of it as some do, or at the very least hopefully we can wean him down to a reasonable level of steroids. If not him getting a bone marrow transplant is a very real possibility.

Now to the purpose for this little rambling. Due to his need for chronic steroids he can only be vaccinated with strains of the virus that are not live. The live vaccines basically just would not work on him. The steroids wouldn't allow it. So we can't protect him against things like chicken pox. Illnesses like this aren't necessarily life threatening but they are more dangerous for him. He has a higher risk of contracting these things and once contracted they would affect him more severely, including but not limited to affecting the effectiveness of the steroids which he so desperately needs.

I used to be terrified of vaccinating him, worried what they would do and how dangerous they would be. After long discussions with my husband however we finally decided that it was safer to vaccinate what we could rather than not at all. After working through my fear I realized that maybe it wasn't so scary. Even though it's good to have a strong immune system that can fend for itself there's nothing wrong with having a little help. In years past people died from small pox which is now non existent due to vaccinations.

It is not my job to tell other parents what to do with their children and ultimately a parent has to put the safety of their child first over everyone else. However if you happen to be on the fence on whether or not vaccinating is a good idea think about my son, or someone else's. You could be saving the life of a child who's parents don't have the luxury of making a decision about their vaccination.

4 comments:

  1. *nods*
    I totally agree. A local girl died from the secondary infection that comes from measels because someone didn't get the vac for their children and she got infected while she was a newborn and yet too young to get the vac.
    A rare case, of course, but an senseless waste of a young life.

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    1. Yes, exactly! A perfect example of why it's so important to vaccinate your children, as I said before I can't tell anyone what to do with their kids but they need to see the other side of the coin with a child that dies because someone else didn't vaccinate and they didn't even have a choice.

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  2. My kids have alergies to vaccines and one almost died. I guess there are two sides to every story. I tried to vaccinate my second non-vaxed kid at 14 and he was in bed for 2 weeks. So many hard things to deal with as a parent.

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    1. Exactly why those who have a choice should vaccinate. If it's going to cause harm DON'T but for those who can, it's a good idea, even if only for all of the children who can't or shouldn't.

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