I have read many blog posts recently on vaccinations. I have not spoken about them on my blog but have commented on other blogs why I have a negative view of vaccinations. I have mentioned it is because I have seen what happens first hand. I do not view my blog as a means for politics or political statements. I do view my blog as a means of offering support to those suffering from allergic reactions, sensitivities, mold exposure, food allergies, and chronic illness. What I am going to talk about today, while it can be construed as political, relates to an allergic reaction to someone very dear to my heart.
I am going to start from yesterday and work backwards. My daughter phoned me yesterday to say that my grandson (now 2) had eaten a bite of pickle that a friend of hers had canned. A while later he had a bright red rash all over his face. She phoned her friend and got the list of ingredients. The only ingredient that he hadn’t had in some form before was alum (Usually when you hear about alum it is in reference to potassium alum, which is the hydrated form of potassium aluminum sulfate.) I advised her to give him some Benadryl and to watch him. She began doing some research on alum and realized he was reacting to the aluminum in the pickles. She called me back because she began thinking about vaccines and metals (aluminum is commonly used as an agent in the push of vaccines).
When my grandson was six months old he received the Dtap vaccination. Within a week while I was babysitting him, he became unusually fussy and was crying quite a bit. My daughter picked him up and he screamed all during their 45 minute commute home. He continued to scream for four more hours and his pediatrician was phoned. My daughter was advised to rush him to the Children’s Hospital an hour from her home. Her mother-in-law rode in the back seat with him trying to comfort him while he continued to scream. Eventually he fell asleep from all the screaming. The hospital thought maybe he had telescoping intestines because of the way he was screaming and his leg movements. The hospital is also an hour from me. I gathered my jacket, my charcoal mask, my histamine, my epinephrine, and Vitamin C. Off I drove to meet her and offer comfort.
The poor baby was screaming and they were desperately trying to get an IV in him without fail. After the cat scan showed nothing, they told her to take him home because they couldn’t determine what was causing him to be that way.
Rhett was a happy baby, had already said momma, was batting at his toys and trying to roll over. Suddenly he had a vacant look to him. We noticed that one of his eyes was too far to the right. He quit doing anything at all.
Fast forward a few weeks after the screaming, we were driving and she immediately asked me to look at his vaccination record to see when he had the last vaccine and what it was. It was the dtap and we began researching. We learned that this type of reaction is considered a moderate reaction and can happen up to seven or so days after the vaccination (see below). The same time period for the screaming and flailing he had displayed. The pediatrician believed he had a reaction to his vaccination.
For the next six months he wouldn’t go from lying to sitting up, wouldn’t roll over, wouldn’t interact with any toys, and his eye continued to focus outward. My daughter began making phone calls for services. She took him to a physical therapist for infants. She took him to an eye specialist for children whose advice was patching the good eye and forcing the bad to try to focus inward.
The two biggest things she found were actually free services. She contacted the Central Valley Regional Center who evaluated him and because of his delays he qualified for weekly sessions at her home. She also found that the Elks’ Lodge near her offered free occupational therapy services for children with delays. The occupational therapist is a licensed cranio sacro therapist as well. Shortly after his first birthday he began the occupational therapy. One day while visiting my daughter, an amazing thing happened. We were all outside and the baby was in his crib. My daughter walked in to find that he was sitting up. She put him back down to sleep and came outdoors. I walked in to use the bathroom and discovered the same thing. This time she put him down and closed the door slightly and we all peered at him and he had figured out how to sit himself up. This happened two days after one of his occupational therapy sessions. Since then we have come to see new things happen after many of his sessions.
My grandson is a happy and healthy baby. At two years old he is walking and running after his sisters but isn’t talking. He says a few words. This past Friday he was babbling like crazy and laughing like children do just before they begin speaking. He had a session where the occupational therapist worked on his speech skills the day before and we are hoping this is a sign to more verbalization.
My daughter has vowed that he will get no more vaccines and his sisters will not get any more. She is finally at a point where she can speak out about what has happened. She tells other mothers what happened to my grandson but then tells them they have to make their own choices. We are hopeful that he will continue to move forward in his development and one day catch up to where others his age are.
Information I gathered:
Approximately twenty-five percent of children who receive the DTaP vaccine experience minor side effects. These include low-grade fever, redness, swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Additionally, children may become fussiness, tiredness or vomiting following the immunization.
Moderate to severe side effects occur less frequently and include seizures; non-stop crying that lasts over three hours and fever over 105 degrees F. Rarely, children experience life-threatening allergic reactions and permanent brain damage.
Chronic encephalopathy occurs when a change in mental or neurologic
status, first manifested during the applicable time period, persists for a
period of at least 6 months from the date of vaccination.