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.