Vaccination = yes. Flu mist = Hell NO
Last week, I took IT Boy and Soccer Girl to the doctor for their annual checkup. Despite my making a point to remember what a horrible experience it was to take a physician-phobic 2 year old on a doctor appointment at the same time as his 9 year old sister, I repeated the error of my ways a year later. Sure, hearing the doctor was difficult through his protesting screams. Yes, it was painful being bit while trying to get him to lie still on the table. Whatever. I survived.
What was a bit more in question this visit was flu shots. Our doctor always recommends that both kids get the seasonal form of the vaccine, and this visit would have been no exception. Except for the fact that they didn’t have any. All they had was the mist form of the H1N1 vaccine.
I had resolved I was only giving them the seasonal vaccine, despite articles like this telling me it was ok and I should consider it. Now I didn’t have a choice, and the doctor was telling me we should get *something* into the kids while they had it. After some deliberation and a phonecall to Mr. IT on the train, we decided to go for it.
That night, Boy was fussy when I was putting him to bed. He actually started wimpering, which is most unlike him. About 1/2 an hour after he went down, he was sobbing. I came into get him and found he was burning up, and would spend a feverish sleepless night with us in our bed. Mr. IT kindly stayed home with him the next day. I called the doctor (another pediatrician in the practice) who found it most unusual that he would have a reaction that strong, and suggested it was a coincidence.
My mother’s intiution told me it couldn’t be, but I agreed with him that Boy should stay home and rest, and if he still had a fever the next day to bring him in. He did end up with a fever of 103 that night, and the next morning I did indeed bring him in to see his doctor. We were both alarmed to see dried orange gook on his ear, which she immediately recognized as blood. Sure enough, he had a massive double ear infection. His right eardrum was perforated, and his left one was about to go. She described it as a balloon being stretched over a rock…there was a ball of puss in his ear that big about to break through it.
She was horrified, and I was too. The poor guy was in so much pain and now we knew why. She prescribed a rather strong antibiotic which helped almost instantly. We continued to douse him in children’s motrin and he got better rapidly.
Why am I blogging this? Well, it’s an interesting story for any parent to be aware of. Your mileage may vary of course, but I would love to know if other kids getting the flu mist (H1N1 or not) have experienced such drastic ear infections. I know my neighbor’s 13 year old who rarely gets sick had the mist and got an ear infection a day later. Is there a connection? Not sure. I’m not telling parents not to vaccinate, certainly not. I just wish Boy could have avoided the pain of the past few days – when the time comes for his next dose, I’ll be the first one looking for a big sharp needle over the mist.