Sunday, 5 April 2015

Jabs Jabs Baby

After 10 days of utter hell and misery, I am extremely pleased to tell you that the little man is finally back to normal, eating, drinking, smiling and most importantly temperature free..

Let me start from the beginning. I scheduled the jabs to take place a little later than intended, life kept getting in the way, first I was poorly then work got busy, so in the end the 12 months jabs were actually done when Harry was 13.5 months old (which just sneaks into the recommended time frame) 

The jabs themselves are a little crueler and harsher than the previous jabs, three separate jabs (in my opinion a hell of a lot for a little bubba to content with) consisting of the following… 

Hib/Men C booster, given as a single jab containing meningitis C (second dose) and Hib (fourth dose) Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, given as a single jab 
Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine, third dose

The wee man didn't respond to them too well as I imagine most babies don't. Lots of tears, lots of attempted distractions by me. Finally a combination of toys, snacks and drinks calmed my poor baby down. After the jabs we headed straight to a playgroup which was enjoyed by both of us as usual, as if nothing had happened. That night, no drama at all. My boy was as happy as usual. The next day, the same thing. I thought I was spared of the dreaded post jabs hell. 

I was wrong, very wrong.

The jabs were on Tuesday morning, by Thursday evening, everything had changed. A night of wake ups, tears and sadness ensued. Harry never wakes up during the night so we knew something was wrong, he woke for the day at 5am (usually he rises around 7.30am) so we knew he wasn't quite right. 

Friday was an unpleasant day, he was miserable, very warm and refusing any food or drink, he also suddenly had a horrific chesty cough and runny nose. By Friday afternoon I was worried, he was so warm, so unhappy, so not himself. 

I called my doc and asked if this was normal/if I should come in. He said yes so off we went. More tears, more misery ensued as we headed off to the docs. The doctor was actually quite worried, his temperature was 39.4, he was extremely distressed and he was refusing any medicine at all. The doc gave me a prescription for a Calpol suppository and sent us on our way, not however before telling me that if his temp rose above 40 that night that I was to take him to A&E… 

Whilst his temp didn't go above 38 for the weekend, he was utterly miserable and still refusing food or drink, coughing, sneezing… we were still worried. He was lethargic, sleepy, unhappy and to me seemed to be in a lot of pain. 

Monday morning I called the doctor again (I hate being 'that' mum but I felt I had no choice)

Off we went again, the only appointment they had was at 5pm. The doc was concerned, no visible improvement, coughing ferociously, runny nose, temperature. He referred us to A&E to have Harry's chest looked at… all the while Harry was hysterical almost to the point of vomiting.

A&E was rammed. I've never been to the paediatric wing and stupidly had expected it to be calmer than the rest of A&E. How wrong I was. Anyway, within a few minutes of arriving he was being looked at by a nurse… roughly two hours later, a doctor looked at him. 

In the meantime they had asked that we try and collect a urine sample… I mean, how??? We tried but failed epically. I deem this to be an impossible task.

When the doctor finally examined him, she confirmed my suspicions.. he had tonsillitis she said but there was nothing she could give him… I begged her to prescribe something, she said she had to speak to her superior and that she would come back to me. Two hours later, they sent us away, no prescription, nothing. I was not happy.

The next morning he woke and he was worse. At this point I decided to take things into my own hands by calling a private paediatrician. I am not one to generally do this. In fact I have never felt the need to do this before. 

She looked at him and immediately decided that he needed penicillin. I am not sure why, nor is she, they didn't prescribe it in A&E. She said there is no way it could have got this much worse overnight… The heartbreaking thing was, the second he had his first dose he was considerably better. That night he ate dinner and slept through, as the days have gone on, and the medicine has been consumed (not an easy task, we have gone for the syringe approach) he has transformed back into our boy.

When I saw my NHS doc on the Friday and then on the Monday, he was sure that Harry's sickness had absolutely nothing to do with jabs.. the funny thing is that of my antennal girls, 7/8 of the babies have been horribly unwell with high temperatures and other symptoms since having the jabs. One baby also developed tonsillitis days after having them.. surely there is a connection even if it is just that their immune systems are low and thus they are more likely to pick something else up?

I don't know, all I know is that it has been a horrible few days and that I feel utterly let down by A&E… I am also a little put off these jabs that are positioned as a necessity. 

I am not saying I wouldn't give them to future babies in the future, I most likely will, but I will certainly clear my diary and mentally prepare myself for the potential 10 days of hell that lie ahead!!! And if there is reaction, I will most likely head straight to my private GP...

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