Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hell...revisited

It was supposed to be routine. I actually didn't even worry before. I never even thought of sensitization. What I did think of was that he had already had all of these shots before. I had researched vaccinations like a crazy person before his first shots. We had declined the Hep B in the hospital when he was born and weren't going to let him get it until he was older. We declined the r.ot.a.virus too. It's too new and its adverse effects were still being investigated. The last r.o.ta. vaccine was pulled from the market because it was causing babies intestines to telescope(intesusseption). So we only went with the 'routine' vaccines that had been on the market for years, well tested and for the most part(and of course that's the line we glossed over) safe.

I have had many conversations with our ped about shots. I even brought in the article that had convinced me and the husband not to go with the Hep B shots, for my ped to read that day. That day I also told him, when the time came, I wanted the MMR shots given individually, not bundled, especially given Casons reaction to eggs and nuts when I eat them. Which I had stopped doing because he reacts(eczema flares, gas, rashes) so clearly to them.

I felt good. My mom and my daughter were there. We were laughing with the doc about benign things. We told my daughter how we were going to look away when Cason got the shots and then as soon as he started to cry we would all come and hold him and comfort him so he wouldn't think we gave him the shots only that we were there to make him feel better when they were done. It was over in a flash. The nurse lightning quick with the four sticks. I had him in my arms and his crying lasted only a mere moment and he was back to smiling at his sister and grandma. We dressed him and put him back in the car seat and strolled him out of the exam room. Stopped at the front desk to pick up a prescription and copy of the bill for my insurance. It took the girl longer than it should have, she was distracted. We left the office and walked out to the car. As we were saying our good byes to grandma, I looked down at Cason to pick his car seat up and put it in the car. His head was covered in hives. I told my mom. For a brief moment it didn't register, what was happening didn't click. My mom asked me if I was going to take him back in. Yes I said, we should go back.
In the elevator I took him out of his car seat. I went ahead of my mom and daughter to the office. I told the girl at the front desk, he's having a reaction to the shots, get the doctor. Another doctor came out and started to look at him in the hallway. She didn't know we had just been there. I remember her starting to tell me in a clinical way what they look for and I interrupted her saying we had only just gotten the shots a few minutes ago then I told her again to LOOK at him, he's not right. He's turning red, he's covered in hives and then she took us to an exam room. She started to listen to his breathing. He felt different in my arms. Heavier. My doctor came in. Now everything gets fuzzy in my memory. I can recall snapshots, not sequence. because here is where I watched my son turn blue. His lips are blue I yelled. He's not breathing I yelled. He's not crying anymore. Doctor Ped HELP HIM I yelled. And then, the image that is forever seared into my brain, my beautiful Cason, turned gray, went limp, eyes rolled back and I thought he was dead. And in my head the voice said, "That's all I got. That's all I got with him. 4 months. And now he's gone." I felt hollow and empty. I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Things were spinning, the room felt distorted and at an angle. I can't even remember if I was holding him or the doctor was. I can only see his lifeless body, dusty colored, hovering over the exam table. And then I know the doctor had him, he turned him over and rubbed him hard and Cason cried. And I shouted at someone to call 911. There were other people in the room I don't know who. The other doctor. My doc said to give him Benedr.yl. The other doc said get the epi pen. They did both. The paramedics came. They hooked him up to heart and breathing monitors. He was on oxygen. They wanted to take him to K.ai.ser, I wanted Children's. They told me the other was closer. They decided he was stable 'enough' to make the farther trip and we were loaded into the ambulance and taken to Children's. The paramedics kept reassuring me of his breathing stats the whole way to the hospital but I knew he was deteriorating. I could tell by looking at him. I kept saying to him, "Don't leave me Cason, I love you Cason, stay awake Cason, fight Cason, I love you Cason, I love you Cason, I love you Cason."

When we got to the ER my husband was already there. My mom had called him. Cason was bright red and swollen. They put more oxygen on him and a breathing treatment, they put a big needle in his head and gave him a bunch of meds. Steroids, more benedr.yl, other things I can't remember. They had another epi pen standing by. I listened to the monitors, watching the numbers. Having an asthm.atic child, I know how to read the numbers. At some point my husband grabbed me and held me. I cried. We waited.

It took about an hour before the crush of medical people left the room. That's when I knew he was better. The numbers were stable before that but no one left so I knew they were still worried about a secondary reaction after the drugs wore off. After another two hours we were admitted to the hospital.

After two days of no sleep and lots of drugs, we came home.
And now we begin to unravel the mystery. Which I will write about later. But to clear up some confusion, my docs had heard of this type of reaction to the vaccines. None of them had seen it. Not to the shots Cason had. Not the Children's ped who had been there for 15 years either. They know it is a 'known' risk of any vaccine but none of them had actually seen it in a 4 month old with the four shots Cason got. So we have to find the component that triggered this. And until then, no more shots for Cason and we don't leave home without an epi pen.

Thank you to everyone who has offered help and information. I was well armed with data when the allergist came in to consult with us in the hospital. And it made a huge difference to know so many were holding us in your thoughts. A really big thank you to my lovely Aunt Becky for rallying the troops for me and for her ever lovin support the past few days. And to Coggy who kept me company over the wires. An unintended benefit of the time difference across the pond was that I could reach her at 2 a.m. when the hospital was quiet and I was freaking the fuck out and didn't want to wake my family who had taken over the kid duties at home. My other two were very happy to get to spend some time with their auntie who spoils them silly, even when there isn't a medical crisis.
I'm off to hide under the covers for a while. Maybe a long while.

31 comments:

missing_one said...

oh geez. how scary! Glad he is ok! *hugs to all of you*

Sue said...

I've been totally absent through all this and I'm so sorry you and Cason went through it. I'm so relieved he's okay. You and your family are in my thoughts and in my heart.

Reese said...

Jesus Christ Almighty!

I have been out of the loop and reading this I almost threw up.

I am so so so so so so sorry that you all had to go through this, but am almost to my knees grateful that he is alive, and doing alright!

Hoping you find the trigger, so damn sorry you are on the wrong side of these fucking statistics.

Much hugs and love your way!

Reese

Shannon Ryan said...

Wow, I've been waiting for your update. Your words broght many tears today.. I can imagine the fear and terror in your heart standing by and thinking the worst. i'm so happy you guys are home and doing well. Hugs!

ezra'smommy said...

Unbelievable. Just sending lots of love your way.

janis said...

what a freaking scare that was, k. I am so glad you are home now and relieved Cason is ok. xoxo

Rachel said...

Just reading this made me cry (of course, doesn't help that we have 4 month shots tomorrow morning and I have lots of known allergens). I am so, so glad that you reacted so quickly and are finally home safe.

Tash said...

Fucking shit, K, I'm just stunned into tear-blinding speechlessness.

Ok, here's a wild thought -- latex?? Especially if they were holding him down funny for four? I know a woman who seriously can't be in the same room with it, let alone touched. Just a thought. Could be new nurse, or something that finally developed?

Much love to you all.

Sarah said...

I'm so so sorry - that's just so totally crazy.

IF you decide to do vaccines again, I worked out a schedule for Sadie where I never do more than one-at-a-time or any of the newish ones. Let me know :)

Aunt Becky said...

*hugs*

Oh sweetie, I'm hurting for you. SO, so scary. Glad as hell that you're home and waiting impatiently to find out what the fcuk happened to my poor nephew.

angie said...

I am just crying and scared for you. I am so so relieved to read that he is doing good...I am just sending y'all a load of hugs. Many many thoughts, and holding my own a little closer.

Hope's Mama said...

My heart was just racing reading this. I think I stopped breathing myself. K, I am so glad he's ok. So, so glad xoxo

Heather said...

That sounds so scary! I cried my way through your post.

So glad that you guys are ok...

Michele said...

OMG. I've been thinking of you since I read over the weekend what had happened to Cason. We've been thinking and praying nonstop. I am just so frustrated with you, and so upset for you.

I'm glad Cason is stable. You guys will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Julia said...

Oh, K. This is so so horrible. I am so sorry you went through this. I am so glad Cason is ok and home.

Please let me know if you want me to search the literature for anything, or to pull full length articles for you.

Tash's latex idea is interesting, if, of course, they used latex-free gloves etc only at Children's. If they used latex there, I think you are back to the vaccine components.

Did he have any kind of a reaction at all to the first round? Sometimes mild allergies turn anaphylactic, so it is not exactly usual, but also not unheard of to react to something he tolerated before.

Mostly I am just so sorry you have to deal with this, and hope that the mystery is solved soon. And that there is an opportunity for you to have a drink or four. (We were only at Children's for one night, and for nothing that scary, and I certainly needed a few after.)

niobe said...

What a nightmare. Hoping that you're able to figure out the cause. And I'm so, so glad that Cason is okay.

c. said...

Wow, K. This sounds absolutely nightmarish. I'm so relieved Cason is okay. Hope you get some answers, hon. XO.

Ya Chun said...

did they administer the *wrong* vaccine (ie one that often gives this reaction)?

they should be peeling labels off vials and sticking them in charts...

Dalene said...

Oh my, what an awful ordeal. I'm so sorry.

Amy said...

Holy Fuck! I truly think amongst my tears, that's all I've got! I'm so glad he's home, I'm so glad he's alright, I'm soooo sorry you had the fear of losing him thrown at you. My heart is with you and yours...always!

G$ said...

I am so glad he is ok, but holy crap! I read the post from Bex as we were driving across state and it scared the living crap out of me. I am so, so glad he is ok, you are ok (way worse for the wear) and I hope they figure this shit out soon.

Much love to both of you
xoxoxo

CLC said...

My heart is racing from just reading this. Fuck. I am so glad he is ok, but I can't imagine the heart attack you were having in the pediatrician's office. I hope they figure this out. I am so sorry you had this scare.

charmedgirl said...

i've been putting off reading this. i felt queasy and KNOW FOR A FACT i would have passed out if it were me. jesus christ. i just still can't believe you had to go through that.

Betts said...

It was bad when I heard in from Becky, but hearing all the details made my blood run cold. That's one of the most frightening real-life stories I've ever heard. I'm glad it had a happy ending.

Kathy said...

I am so sorry to hear about this. I can only imagine how scary it was for you and your family. So relieved to know that Cason is okay now. I do hope your doctors are able to determine the cause of his reactiong to the vaccines. Why is it always seem to be our children that defy the odds (and not in a good way) and have those rare conditions and reactions to things?! :( Holding you close in my thoughts and prayers. (((HUGS)))

Rosalind said...

OH MY GOD!! That's was scary.. i'm so sorry you and Carson had to go through that but So happy that he's okay .. Hugs to you and your family honey

loribeth said...

Good Lord!!! I am way behind on my blog reading (& am at work...!) & I had to bite my lip not to sob wildly out loud here. Thank God you were in a place with trained medical staff & were able to get help immediately.

Apparently I had a reaction to the oral polio vaccine when I was a toddler (granted, this is over 45 years ago...!). I'm not sure exactly what happened but my mother said I was very sick & she had it written all over my medical & school records that I was NOT to have the oral polio vaccine. I got to have a shot while everyone else in school got the sugar cube (!).

I hope you can get some good answers. I am dealing with my own allergy-related mysteries at the moment & finding it incredibly frustrating.

JuliaS said...

Oh my goodness - poor little man and poor you! What an awful and traumatic experience. So glad he is okay.

Many good wishes and prayers.

Ashleigh said...

oh kalakly- I read this and my heart just stopped. I still feel sick & I don't know what to say other than I am so sorry that you guys had to live through this and so glad Cason is ok. You are in my thoughts
Xoxo

areyoukiddingme said...

You did a great job responding to a crisis. Give yourself a huge pat on the back. I'm so glad he's doing better and I hope you find out what caused this.

Ange said...

My god I have just checked in and am shocked to hear of these events. Jeeeesss how scary. I am so sorry you and your precious one had to live through this nightmare. Am thinking of you all and hope things are looking up... shit this adoring people in our life...especially tiny fragile people .. its all too scary isn't it.