So my daughter got measles and my husband got it, too. We have been traveling domestically and have not been home, but we were no where that was obvious to catch it. My daughter is your classic unvaxed child with an outstanding immune system. She broke out into her fever and developed a cough, and it did just look like any other cold/ virus in the beginning. The first big thing I learned is that I am sadly unusual that when my child is sick, she doesn't go out. She was conveniently quarantined, visiting grandparents, even before she became contagious, and has therefore, been in contact with no one outside of us. That has made this much easier to get through knowing her case ends with her.
On day 4, the rash on her face appeared, and I wanted to know what I was dealing with. The internet pictures are so "worst case scenario" that it was hard to find a match with the rash she had on her face. At the ped's office, the doctor was lovely and gave me no grief about non-vaxing (shocker!). He claimed he hadn't seen a case in 20 years. Measles is a reportable disease, so he explained he had to call the county health department, and then they kept us there so that they could come and take pictures of my daughter. This is where things could have turned bad. Some people may crumble under this bureaucracy experience by feeling helpless or by feeling angry and invaded. I handle these types of situations pretty well, so I was always able to appear willing to comply with what they wanted to do, yet I actually declined everything. I did not allow photographs or bloodwork to confirm the case. Had my daughter been in school, for example, and exposed others, I probably would have surrendered to it all to help them contain an outbreak.
We are on day 7 with my daughter and she is healing by the book. I am aware of the potential for complications and am being overly conservative about how long she have to endure bedrest, 2 weeks from start to finish.
To make things more fun, I am pregnant, and had to decide whether or not to receive the measles immunoglobulin . My rubella titres are good, so I am going to assume that my measles titres from my MMR are good, too.
None of this has actually made me think that differently about my vaccine choices for my child. I have always felt that the MMR was far more effective than others on the schedule, and it would have always been the "one" I would have done. But I am very happy that my daughter will have lifetime immunity to it, too. I will also hope for her to get chicken pox, rubella, and mumps on her own, too. But then I think I will do titres in highschool for her and get her vaccinated for which ever three she still lacks. Those are the only ones I am interested in. I think bacterial vaccines are still a public health menace as much as a help.
The wrench in this plan was my husband catching measles, too. I never saw that coming. This is far more serious, of course. He was vaccinated as a child, too, but I had highschool and college boosters that he may not have gotten. I am sure he will be fine, but we are very fortunate that we coincidentally are with retired grandparents to help us with this incredibly long nursing process. My husband has the type of job that he can miss this much work to heal properly, and others are not in the same boat. He is recovering, but at a much slower pace than my daughter.
This experience has made me rethink my vaccine choices for myself. I never had pox and I showed no antibodies to it. I am now going to get the pox vaccine after the birth of this baby so that I can hopefully nurse my kids through it when they get it, and I will make my husband get it too if his titres don't show. There is no way that the next time this happens we will conveniently have grandparents ( who live in another state) around to help like this time.
I felt like others on this board might appreciate hearing about my experience, since this is still relatively uncommon.
Here's to all of us making the best possible choices for our families, whatever they may be, in promoting good health.