Can you believe that my family has been diagnosed with Pertussis? Me neither.
Frankly, folks, I have always stayed away from vaccinations. I have this belief that the reason I developed autoimmune issues was because I had a booster series of immunizations in 2000. I started gaining weight and getting sick shortly after, and the rest is history.
I have no physical proof that the immunizations led to my autoimmune issues, but I got sick from them. I ran a fever within 24 hours after the booster. I felt horrible. I spent an entire day unable to leave my couch.
Ok, so I chose not to get my kids fully vaccinated. I got my daughter her first two series when she was a baby, and she got sick hours later. It was at that point, I thought, “Why am I making her sick? It can’t be good for her.”
She was preemie. She was tiny, and up to that point, I had spent all of my time trying to prevent her from getting sick, and then I allowed them to give her something that made her sick. It just didn’t feel right, and I believed that as long as they weren’t being exposed to people who had illnesses, then they wouldn’t need the vaccinations.
When they got older or if we traveled or if the threat of getting something became more risky than the vaccination itself, then I would proceed to get them vaccinated.
There is a fear of having your children get ill, and there is guilt if you get them vaccinated and they get sick. And there is fear and guilt if you don’t vaccinate them and they get sick.
It’s a roll of the dice. There is danger in either choice, and it’s a matter of which is a bigger risk.
Not only is there a fear that your child might get sick from the immunizations, but there is a belief that if the disease is so rare and everyone else is vaccinated then what is the chance of your child coming into contact with one of these illnesses? That mentality, pushed my decision to not get further vaccinations.
Until last week, I have never hesitated at all in my decision. My children have been remarkably healthy. They haven’t even had any ear infections. My son has had issues with croup (viral) and strep throat (bacterial), but has never had any other ongoing medical issues. My daughter has had a cold twice in her life. She’s never had an ear infection, and I think she’s needed antibiotics once or twice in her life.
So, when my son started to get sick in the middle of September, I thought great, “it’s going to be an early cold season.” Sure enough, a few days later, we all had the sniffles. We each in turn had a headache, sneezing, stuffy noses, but what made this a different type of cold, we all had body aches.
Within a few days, we all started to recover from the cold, but my son instead of getting over it completely, developed a cough. It was no big deal at first. It was a dry cough. We kept him out of school for a few days and gave him OTC cold medicines. He seemed fine, but the cough was persistent.
After a week of coughing, we took him to the doctor, who said, he had allergies that has progressed into a bronchitis. She didn’t feel the need for antibiotics which was fine with us. Your immune system will fight off bacterial infections within a week or two on its own (in most cases).
He was producing a lot of mucous with his coughing spells, but it was clear mucous, so I figured it wasn’t necessary to have antibiotics anyway. (In most cases, bacterial infections cause thick yellow or green phlegm.)
A few days later, my daughter started to get sick. It was at this time that I realized this wasn’t from allergies or bronchitis because that night she sat upright in bed, while asleep, and coughed. It was hard for her to breathe because the coughing was so intense. I wanted to avoid having her go through what my son was going through, and I thought it would be best to get her on an antibiotic, so the next day I took her to the doctor.
She reassured me that it was allergies and the drainage was causing her to cough, and that she didn’t need antibiotics. She said, if she wasn’t better at the end of the week, we should call her back and get an antibiotic. That sounded great to us, so we went about our regular activities.
That weekend, she wasn’t better, but she wasn’t running a fever. She wasn’t coughing up green or yellow phlegm, so we called to get the antibiotics and went to a major amusement park for the day.
When she was there, the cough progressively got worse. She was coughing constantly, and I was becoming more concerned. This wasn’t right. She was really sick.
I thought, this might be whooping cough, but she doesn’t have a fever and she isn’t making a “whooping” sound when she coughs. It is just this persistent dry cough that makes it hard for her to breathe.
So, I started to do research. My stomach sank when I read that a person may not run a fever with whooping cough! And a person may not make the whooping sound with the cough. And a person does not produce green or yellow mucous but significant amounts of clear, stringy mucous.
At that point, I was 90% sure that she had it.
The next morning, I contacted her doctor through the emergency line, and explained my concerns. They felt it was not whooping cough, but if I was concerned, I should take her to the urgent care. Frankly, they made it seem like I was being paranoid and over reacting. Everyone thought I was over reacting, my friends, my family.
Despite the criticism, I took her to the local Children’s urgent care department. They started her on the correct type of antibiotics to error on the side of caution, and did a nasopharyngeal swab to determine if she did have pertussis.
The next day, we found out that she did have it.
I felt vindicated and guilty at the same time. I should have gotten the vaccinations. It was my fault. Where did my kids get this from?
My son is very social and athletic. He attends our local high school, and he said that a friend from a nearby city had been sick.
So, was there an outbreak in our state? That’s when I started to research this further, and what I cover in the next few blogs is what I found out.
Frankly, folks, what I found out is STARTLING, and I believe we are on the verge of something significant regarding re-emerging diseases.
Further, I really think it important for everyone to know the signs and symptoms because if you have a doctor like ours, you will find that either they don’t know enough about the infection or they don’t find it very concerning..or both.
- Whooping Cough A Serious Epidemic In Colorado (denver.cbslocal.com)
- Whooping cough outbreak of last spring still lingering in western Montana (missoulian.com)
- Whooping Cough Outbreak: Top 10 Things You Should Know (pbs.org)
- Vaccinated Students Contract Whooping Cough (sandiego6.com)
- Whooping cough cases on the rise in Texas (star-telegram.com)
- Small Mutations in Bordetella pertussis Are Associated with Selective Sweeps (plosone.org)