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This was my last weekend before returning to work (today being a holiday, I don’t return until tomorrow). I had plans of fun, family activities, nice meals, and time spent together. While we did get some togetherness, it was not as relaxing as I had planned. Baby Girl got her one year immunizations this past Wednesday, all was well, we went home and got on with our day. The next morning, I noticed she had a bit of a rash on her upper thighs and lower belly, it was big red splotches and not raised up, but I figured it was just a minor reaction from her shots and it didn’t seem to be bothering her so I wasn’t worried. Thursday was also her first day of daycare. Since we were paying for the whole month of September I was going to take advantage of Thursday and Friday, and since I wasn’t back at work yet, it would be a good couple days to ease her in, and take her from 9am – 3pm as opposed to 7:30am – 5:30pm that will be her norm.
When I took her in, they were just getting the other kids ready to go out for a walk in the stroller so I unpacked all of her stuff, and they whisked her away. I had planned on staying a bit so she could get used to me leaving so it was a bit like having a band-aid ripped off, and there were tears prickling in my eyes as I left the centre. I knew she would be fine, but it’s a tough milestone. I was, however, looking forward to my baby free day of shopping and getting a pedicure. I mentioned the rash to the daycare staff, but told them it was minor, and wasn’t bothering her.
I headed to a mall very nearby her daycare centre (just happens to be the largest mall in the city, and maybe 5 minutes from daycare) and spent several hours cursing my boyish hips and short torso as I tried to find dress pants that fit. After finding several tops, a dress, one pair of pants and a skirt, I was ready to finish my day with a pedicure. I stepped off the escalator to head to the nail salon and my phone rang; the daycare’s number. The director advised me that the rash had spread and I would need to come pick Baby Girl up, in case it was anything contagious.
I left the mall immediately, and reached the daycare quickly. When I got there I could see she was covered in red welts and spots, but still seemed in good spirits otherwise. I called her pediatrician’s office but they weren’t able to get us in as it was already so late in the day. J and I decided to take her to the children’s hospital that is very near our house (and the same hospital as her ped’s office). After spending a few hours there, we left with her having received a dose a Benadryl and a diagnoses of reaction to the immunization. She had no fever, was still eating and drinking and otherwise fine so we went home, intending for her to go back to daycare the following day.
The next morning the rash was worse, her eyes were red and swollen and it had turned from a rash to bruising in several areas. I called our health hotline (it’s a province-wide health advice line staffed with nurses) and the nurse suggested we should take her back to the doctor due to the progression of the rash. I managed to get an appointment at my ped’s office, with another doctor, as her own ped was not in. When we took her in the doctor asked the same questions everyone had the day before; any new foods, changes in laundry detergent, anything else that could have caused it? It just happened that the pediatric dermatologist was doing rounds in their clinic that afternoon, and she came in as a second opinion. Everyone was very surprised at the severity of her rash, plus her wrists and ankles had now swollen and she was refusing to crawl, seeming to indicate it was causing her pain.
With all of the doctors conferring, they figured it was most likely an allergic reaction to something in the vaccines, as opposed to presentation of a mild case of the diseases that vaccines immunize for, but they also wanted to run blood work and urine for a few other more serious things it could be. In the meantime, they prescribed her pred.nisone (a very heavy-duty steroid) to combat the rash and the swelling, which they thought was also affecting her joints, given that she wouldn’t crawl. So after spending a few more hours in the hospital, and getting her testing done we went home with the steroids and appointment to come back on Thrursday to check on her condition.
The past few days the rash has improved drastically, though yesterday she seemed incredibly itchy, which was odd because prior to that she didn’t seem to be bothered whatsoever. She never had a full blown fever, she got slightly warm a few times but nothing indicating a true fever, and she still ate and drank with gusto. We’ve had some nights of bad sleep, including Saturday night in which she was awake from 12am -4am despite nursing, patting, shushing, holding, eating a snack, cuddling, going for a drive and a walk. I was in tears, and we were at our wit’s end. She would throw a fit any time we put her back in the crib, was happy to play in the living room but was yawning like crazy. J finally tried putting her down one last time (otherwise we were just going to start our day) and she finally passed out. Still woke up at her usual time of 7am, so Sunday was a long day for all of us.
Today is the first normal-ish day we’re having so I am making a nice fall meal of lasagna and apple crisp. We’ll enjoy our family time today, and begin living for the weekends tomorrow. I’m nervous to start work, to figure out our new normal, and meet my new coworkers (at my new office), but things are always in flux, and life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
**For the record, I am pro vaccine, and believe the reaction she had is less severe than if she were to not be vaccinated and contract a potantially deadly (preventable) disease.