Friday, August 14, 2009

MMR Booster Update: The Saga Continues

As anyone who has been reading this blog knows, I have very anxious about Ella's 4 year old MMR booster. Since she had a horrific reaction to the first shot, around 18 months, I have been on the fence about the booster. Her doctor has tried to put my mind at ease by telling me that kids who react to it the first time almost never react to the booster. Not good enough. And after Linda from New Jersey suggested that we try a Titer's test to see if she even needs it, I requested that we explore that route. The doctor warned me that it is a very real possibility that she will need the booster, regardless, based on the test results. (It is a blood test that registers the amount of immunity in a person's body to a particular disease). If she is immune, she is immune for life, at least for Measles, Mumps & Rubella. I told her that I would discuss with my husband and then we decided that maybe she should get the booster after all. Since then I have been coming up with every excuse I can think of to postpone the doctor's visit. Something has been stopping me. And then we had to go to the doctor this week because Ella was having a separate issue. Her regular doctor was out of the office, so I thought I would get a second opinion about the booster. And I am glad that I did.

Because I am not a medical professional I have a lot to learn when it comes to the ins and outs of immunization. When doctors mention a "booster" what they are really talking about is a 2nd FULL dosage, exactly the same as the initial shot. This SHOCKED me! I for some reason thought that the "booster" was a SMALLER dose that would support the one that she had already gotten. WRONG! So I decided, on the spot, that whatever we could do to avoid the shot, we should. The doctor suggested the Titer's test (without me asking for it or even mentioning it) and I whole heartily agreed that it was the best way to go. Ella had her blood drawn. She was not happy about it and it was very traumatic for Milo as he is protective of his sister and thought that the nurses were really hurting her. But nothing a couple of lollipops could not cure. (Thank God I keep a stash with me at all times!)

So now we are awaiting the results, anxiously. If the test shows that she does not have immunity for either of the 3 diseases, the doctor suggests that we give her the shot. Rubella, in particular, can cause a lot of fertility problems for girls and women. And all three diseases frequently have outbreaks in the Los Angeles area. Ugh. And as icing on the cake, the drug company that makes the MMR no longer makes separate vaccines for the diseases. It is all or nothing. (Completely ridiculous, if you ask me!)

I will post more info when I have it. Thanks again, Linda, for your valuable info and support!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just read your post. Yes, there's nothing that a lollipop and also a bandaid can't cure :-).

Sending good thoughts your way! I hope the test results are good. It's such an anxious time to wait for medical test results.

It's interesting how doctors can have such different opinions. There are two pediatricians where I take my daughter and one was opposed to this test. But the other said, sure ofcourse we can do this. It's amazing all the things I've learned on this topic, food allergies and from being a parent in general. If someone told me before my daughter was born that I'd have that food could harm her and we'd have to carry medicine everywhere we go, I wouldn't have believed it. When she was a baby it was the diaper bag and now, it's my backpack with medicine and safe snacks for when we are out.

Make sure you get a copy of the results for your records.

Good Luck,
Linda (from NJ) :)