I try and avoid politics on my blog.
It is like religion. Never worth discussing in forums where people have anonymity. It gets ugly. Fast.
I consider vaccines a political issue. People have plenty of opinions and my take on vaccines is “to each family it’s own.” We vaccinate Lillian.
Pause for gasp and stares.
I buried a kid. In order for me to EVER sleep at night I need to know we are doing anything and everything to prevent that from happening again.
So there we be.
Lillian had her chicken pox vaccine just over 10 days ago. It was the vaccine I was the most leery about. It’s percentage of effectiveness is lower and I had heard reactions are quite common. Sure enough, 8 days after vaccination Lillian came down suddenly with a fever. It came out of no where, one minute I was making dinner and then I picked her up to put her in her highchair and she seemed pale and hot. Sure enough she was very hot. Cue the advi.l and tepid baths. I knew we were in for it. I was wondering if that vaccine would be trouble and I was convinced on Saturday that this was it.
That night she was very restless. Tossing and turning, goosing like a newborn full of noises and very uncomfortable. The second her medicine would begin to wear off the low grade fever returned and we would be back to the drawing board. Rocking in her chair with a cool cloth, her laying in my arms only in a diaper, my anxiety high watching every breath and willing her body to med. The fever persisted all day Sunday and that night was even worse. Although the fever was slower to rise it was just as persistent and this time she was unable to sleep at all. On Sunday night I may have gotten around 3 hours sleep. Exhausting, draining and wondering what is this? A bug? The vaccine? She has no spots or any other symptoms to show me either way. I only knew I was completely exhausted and really needed our girl to mend for all our sake’s.
On Monday I “woke” up (let me be honest, I have pretty much been up since 2 am Sunday night) to see she has a runny nose. And a little cough is beginning. Ah. Not the vaccine. Runny nose is not in the list of reactions. This is a good ole fashioned cold. What great fun for our week, poor girl.
And all the sudden, seeing her fevered cheeks in the haze of what was to be day 3 of “Fevergeddon 2014” I remembered when I had the chicken pox. I was 7. I had a very mild outbreak, a grand total of 7 pox one of which I still have to this day on my belly button. I remember the fever more than the itching and discomfort. An unrelenting fever that in 7 year old terms NEVER left. I was bedridden with fever for so very long when my Opa, a common sense man, came to see me. I remember lying on the couch and he came up and put a big woolen blanket over me. He tucked it under my feet and all around my body so I was fully wrapped in it. He then looked at me as only an Opa can and said with his thick accent “When I was small there wasn’t all this medicine. Then we knew fevers must sweat out of you. Now go to sleep and when you wake you will have sweat the fever right out of you. A little sweat doesn’t hurt.”
And I slept. Hot, itchy and wet. And I woke with no fever.
Standing over her crib this morning and seeing her dribbly nose and bright pink cheeks fresh for another day of fever I heard his words in my head “Fevers must sweat out of you. A little sweat doesn’t hurt.”
When nap time came I put Lillian in her warm winter jammies and grabbed the thick crib blanket I bought for only the coldest nights. I put her warm humidifier on and hoped for the best. Checking her temp every 20 mins I watched it go up and up. With each rise my anxiety went with it. And then her temperature held. Just moderate instead of low grade and I waited. 2 hours of hard sleep with me sitting on the floor of her room watching her breathe. When she woke she was covered in sweat from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. I peeled her out of her clothes and cleaned her up. In fresh cotton jammies and with a cool drink her fever was gone. And has stayed away all day today.
It was the first “old school” fearless Mama move I have done with Lillian. I play it so safe, always terrified of my innocence and the universes cruel ability to show you that you can do everything right and it can go so wrong. Instead, it worked. Sure her nose is still dribbly and she is now sporting a post nasal drip cough but she is back. Shiny and bright eyed. And no fever.
Thank you Opa.