Whooping Cough Experience Question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 09-02-2008, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. I have 5 children and the first 3 were fully vaxed and the 4th one was partially vaxed (up until 4 mos) and the 5th one (1 yo) is completely unvaxed. My question is about whooping cough/pertussis. This is one of the only ones (diseases) that has me worried at the moment. I guess I always figured my others (even the partially vaxed one) had some protection against it.

I don't do well with illnesses. Now don't get me wrong...with 5 kids, we have seen our share and I do take care of my children! ) But, I absolutely hate coughing. It is a pet peeve of mine...I HATE the sound, etc. If I am at a store and someone is coughing, I will go down the other way...I will change movie seats at a theatre if someone close to me is coughing...it really irritates my husband!

My question is for those of you who have experienced WC/pertussis in yourselves and/or your kids. Is it really, really bad and really, really scary? I can't stand coughing, but worse than that I would HATE to watch my child struggle to breathe. I have read how terrible it can be and then have read that it is usually mild. Really, this one freaks me out. BUT, I know the vaccine is one of the most reactive vaccines out there. The vaccine scares me too. I know about Sodium Ascorbate (I have some!), but I was wondering how hard it would be to get it into him if he got wc and was coughing/gagging so much and all the time. And, does it REALLY help to neutralize the toxins and make the cough less severe? I am bf and would take the SA myself too.

Please help me with this. I feel pretty good about my decision to not vaccinate or at least delay a long time, but thinking about WC can throw me into a panic. It is affecting my life, to where I am not wanting my kids around alot of other kids. That is no way to live! My husband is very supportive and says that we would get through it and you would eventually get use to the coughing. I don't think so!! LOL I was also wondering how common brain damage is from WC? I know at one years old it is not usually fatal, but what about lasting damage? My ped told me that brain damage is common in infants/toddlers with wc because their airway is the size of their pinky finger....that scared me a little.

Thanks for your help. I am hoping to hear from people who have experienced/survived it and maybe even treated with SA?

Stacey
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#2 of 23 Old 09-02-2008, 12:13 PM
 
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one of my friends told me that when she and her 4 siblings were elementary school age, they had measles, mumps, and whooping cough all in the same year. it was annoying and it's a funny story now about how her mom had at least 1 sick kid everyday for a year. but then it was all over. the pertussis wasn't scary - just annoying and kind of miserable. when they caught a cold, the cough would make a short comeback. they don't remember when the symptoms were totally gone.
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#3 of 23 Old 09-02-2008, 01:58 PM
 
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Ds had WC at 8 months (despite being vaxed on schedule). Several weeks of really bad coughing (mostly at night), only vomitted once. It wasn't that awful, just really long.
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#4 of 23 Old 09-04-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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I had whooping cough while pregnant with #2. It wasn't awful, by any stretch. It was irritating, that's for sure. 7 long weeks of coughing, mainly in the morning and at night. I think I gagged maybe 3 times but never vomited (I despise throwing up and will avoid it/fight it at all costs).

DH and DD1 are unvaxxed, and neither one got sick, so that wasn't an issue. I just tried to stay home and keep them home so as not to infect our immuno-compromised family.

Overall, though, it wasn't horrid. I would describe it as totally and completely annoying. On my list of 'illnesses and injuries', I'd put whooping cough pretty far down there. In my own experience, severe strep throat was FAR worse!
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#5 of 23 Old 09-06-2008, 12:55 AM
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[QUOTE=Redifer;12101873

Overall, though, it wasn't horrid. I would describe it as totally and completely annoying. [/QUOTE]

yeah that. my 2 -unvaxed- sons had it last year- ds1 was 4, ds2 was 5 months old. it wasn't scary for me, but my approach to illness is pretty laid back, i just take it as it comes. but is was annoying. the strong coughing was definitely at night, long coughing episodes followed by the "whoop" which can be felt like struggling with breathing, but it was 5 seconds and they were sound asleep again...but not for long, a while later, another round. sometimes it kind of broke my heart seeing them dealing with it, especially the baby, he was so tiny! but overall it was just as redifer said, totally annoying, but i never felt like scary. HTH!
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#6 of 23 Old 09-06-2008, 12:58 AM
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oh, another thing to add: we treated both the 4 yo and the baby with homeopathy and anthroposophical medicine, a mix of both, and the episodes were still there doing their thing but definitely more manegeable and milder . hth
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#7 of 23 Old 09-06-2008, 01:41 AM
 
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We had it about 2 years ago? My totally vaxed dh, up to date (just about) 6yo, and vaxed up to 6 mos. 2 year old had it. It wasn't as bad as people make it out to be. Dh had it worse cuz he's a crybaby about even a slight scratch and he was the most vaxed!

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#8 of 23 Old 09-08-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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DS got it at 5 months. He was fully vaxed at the time. It was pretty sucky but we managed.

Here's the way I understand/look at... Pertussis is most dangerous for kids under 6 months - so that's really the only time I worry about. With the vax, you aren't going to get the full potential of immunity until the series is complete... which is at 6 months (which is also when the risk seriously decreases). Hmmmm... Also the vax is one of the less effective vaccines as far as how much it reduces the risk of pertussis (I've heard #s like only 40% but dont have anything to back that up at the moment - just what I've 'heard'). It's also a highly reactive vax. So for me, I just dont see why I would vaccinate my kid and yet sitll ahve a very large chance of them getting it anyway (AND chances of having a reaction at that point too). Seems a little silly to me.

We stopped vaccinated DS at 6 months. Our next little one won't be vaxed at all.

Mama to two boys (1/07 and 3/09) and due with baby #3 in May.
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#9 of 23 Old 09-11-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Ds2 was 6 weeks when all three got wc.
Yes it sucked in the baby- not bad in the older 2 but we did 3 months of bi-weekly acupunture on all of them to lessen the cough.
IMO this could have happened to us regardless of his being vaxed or not- due to the young age....
It was a long 10 weeks but we are all stronger because of it.
I will not pretend that it wasn't scary with a newborn- it really was but I would never change my desicion to let my kiddos remain unvaxed.. the options are worse imo....
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#10 of 23 Old 09-12-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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sorry to interfere, i dont have a personal experience with whooping cough, but have read about others who have dealt with it and it can be very bad. with vomiting, extreme coughing and depending on the age of the child, it can be more that just annoying. I dont want to make anyone mad, but I dont think it is very realistic to say that this disease is always managable or mild. You do run the risk of it being very bad. (my son has only had one dtap, and I am scared all the time) this is probably one of the only vaxes that i will complete the initial series of at 8, 15, and 18-20 months of age.

I would be prepared for the worst i guess and hope for the best.

I have asked dr. sears about dtap many times, and he said that this vaccine is less reactive than the Prevnar vaccine, and has extremely low rates of reactions IF the doses are spread out and given one at a time. I do trust dr. sears because he is not pro-vax and is very fair in his judgement and reasoning. HTH
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#11 of 23 Old 09-12-2008, 12:57 AM
 
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I haven't had it myself, but maybe these will help?

Quote:
“Most cases were relatively mild… If whooping cough is commonly a mild disease and likely to be missed, what are the implications for clinical practice?… Information for professionals and the public should give a more balanced view of the natural course of whooping cough, recognising the high prevalence of mild cases… Parents of children with the disease or in contact with it should be reassured that serious illness with complications is unlikely…”
(Natural Course of 500 Consecutive Cases of Whooping Cough: A General Practice Population Study. BMJ 1995;310:299-302.)

Quote:
"From October 1990 to September 1996… 2,043 cases of B. pertussis were isolated in children 9 years of age or younger, all unvaccinated... The overall complication rate was 5.8%...”
(Clinical Findings in Bordetella pertussis Infections: Results of a Prospective Multicenter Surveillance Study. Pediatrics. Vol. 100 No. 6 December 1997, p. e10.)

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#12 of 23 Old 09-20-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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My kids and brother had it about 3.5 years ago. It was manageable. Yes, very annoying. It can be scary to watch your child turn red. But having kids who had asthma and RSV those diseases were way scarier to deal with. (the kids who had wc the worst were my dd with asthma and my ds who had had RSV as a baby) The youngest at the time was a yr old and I was pg. The middle of the night coughing episodes would wake me up. When you have 5 kids with WC you can imagine I was up A LOT. There were days I went without sleep. That was hard. Just cause I would run in there to check on them. They got to the point they would sit up to cough and lay back down and go to sleep. In the end they were as annoyed as I was! The coughing up this slimy gray phlegm was fun too lol.

I just want to point out that even at fully vaxed your immunity wears off by the teen years. So Even though I was vaxed and dh was vaxed we were no longer immune. Now they have a booster shot for adults but again its not 100% effective. The WC vaccine for kids is only between 60-80% effective. But the older you are the disease is more mild. So for teens its not so bad and for adults most people don't even know they have it.

Heres the thing about wc. Its very difficult to diagnosis because not everyone has the classic Whoop. Only 2 of my kids did (the 2 youngest). And there are coughing fits. They start out far apart and gradually get closer and closer then go back the other way. The process can take weeks. Hence the name the 100 day cough. Mothers have reported refusing to leave the drs office till the dr saw the child cough. I ended up video taping it and having dh drop it off at the drs. Once the dr watched it he agreed it was wc. This is very common. Most adults and teens don't know they have it and often times goes misdiagnosed as allergies or a cold. The coughing fits do not happen all the time. Some only do it a few times a day others can be as often as every 15 min. They feel fine between coughing fits. My kids had no problem eating, drinking, playing whatever. They felt fine. The "ill" part is before the coughing starts by about a week. I had my kids on vit c and yes it really works, but you need to use A LOT. To gut tollerance. WC is about 100 times more prevalent then reported because like I said most people don't know they have it, it goes misdiagnosed or drs don't see the coughing and won't diagnose it.

Whoopingcough.net has great info with video and sounds of wc. The video of the 2 yr old looks just like mine of my kids. Also my chiro showed me a great way to pound on their back (that sounds bad lol) to loosen the phlegm and that also helped. He also adjusted them often during the wc.

Oh yea and I have 3 kids with pallid breath holding episodes...way worse to watch than a wc fit. seriously that looks like your kid is dying. They stop breathing and turn blue and pass out (and one of my kids is lucky enough to also seize). IME, as limited as it is (but far more than alot of drs sadly) wc isn't the scary disease its made out to be. There are worse things to be scared of.

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#13 of 23 Old 10-20-2008, 09:35 AM
 
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http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=577493

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#14 of 23 Old 10-20-2008, 09:42 AM
 
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I never had any experiences with it per say; but, check out the site in my sig. It will really help you out. Everything is going to be okay. You are making the right choice not to vaccinate.

I am married to my soul mate and best friend, and I am truly blessed.

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#15 of 23 Old 10-22-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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Okay, I'm so glad I came on this site today. I was just at my doctors for the 2 month visit for my DS and declined the vaccines, but left feeling really scared about the possibility of pertussis. The doctor told me about an infant who died from the coughing while he was a resident and it scared the crap out of me. I mean he was accepting of my not wanting to vaccinate, but wanted me to understand the possibilities if he got whooping cough.

Hearing that some of you have dealt with it in infants makes me feel a little better about it. I know statistically the chances of him getting it are still low, but I wasn't sure what it would be like if he did get it.

Heather
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#16 of 23 Old 10-22-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Okay, I'm so glad I came on this site today. I was just at my doctors for the 2 month visit for my DS and declined the vaccines, but left feeling really scared about the possibility of pertussis. The doctor told me about an infant who died from the coughing while he was a resident and it scared the crap out of me. I mean he was accepting of my not wanting to vaccinate, but wanted me to understand the possibilities if he got whooping cough.

Heather

Hmmm my doctor told me about an infant that died too...also every single non-vaxing parent has heard about an infant dying of pertussis. I wonder if they just say that as a scare tactic. Otherswise that is one hell of a coincidence that most nonvaxing parents hear the same thing!

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#17 of 23 Old 10-22-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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The doctor told me about an infant who died from the coughing while he was a resident
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Hmmm my doctor told me about an infant that died too...also every single non-vaxing parent has heard about an infant dying of pertussis. I wonder if they just say that as a scare tactic. Otherswise that is one hell of a coincidence that most nonvaxing parents hear the same thing!
Ah, peds.

They all have eerily similar scare stories ... and more scare stories.

Makes you wonder what the hell they're teaching 'em in med school, doesn't it?

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#18 of 23 Old 10-22-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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Okay, I'm so glad I came on this site today. I was just at my doctors for the 2 month visit for my DS and declined the vaccines, but left feeling really scared about the possibility of pertussis. The doctor told me about an infant who died from the coughing while he was a resident and it scared the crap out of me. I mean he was accepting of my not wanting to vaccinate, but wanted me to understand the possibilities if he got whooping cough.

Hearing that some of you have dealt with it in infants makes me feel a little better about it. I know statistically the chances of him getting it are still low, but I wasn't sure what it would be like if he did get it.

Heather
I'd say he wasn't really accepting if he went to the scare tactics. I'd say if 10-13 children a year die from pertussis, I doubt that every one of our doctors has seen a case

When I was pregnancy with #7, I saw an OB to order some testing because I was so sick. She refused to do a VBAC because of the chance of rupture, never mind that I had previously FIVE successful VBACs. She tried to tell me that she had seen THOUSANDS of ruptures, to which I snorted and informed her that it was highly unlikely that with rupture rates so low that she had personally witnessed thousands of ruptures.

Most docs, I'm sure, mean the best. But they buy into the BS and then you can't trust what anyone says about it.

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#19 of 23 Old 10-22-2008, 08:40 PM
 
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I had it when I was 13 (I was fully vaxed at that time) and although I was older, I'll still share. It wasn't *that* bad. I think the flu is worse IMO. Yes you will hear coughing and sometimes I would cough so much my throat would get sore so then I had to treat that. My lungs also ached from all the coughs. Like everything, it goes away with time~ good nutrition helps.
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#20 of 23 Old 10-22-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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Okay, I'm so glad I came on this site today. I was just at my doctors for the 2 month visit for my DS and declined the vaccines, but left feeling really scared about the possibility of pertussis. The doctor told me about an infant who died from the coughing while he was a resident and it scared the crap out of me. I mean he was accepting of my not wanting to vaccinate, but wanted me to understand the possibilities if he got whooping cough.

Hearing that some of you have dealt with it in infants makes me feel a little better about it. I know statistically the chances of him getting it are still low, but I wasn't sure what it would be like if he did get it.

Heather
Do we have the same doctor? Mine too saw one during his residency as well as a crippling case of polio and a mother who refused the HIB vax and her child ending up dying from HIb so then her and her husband divorced because he didn't know of her decision and blames her.. nice huh?
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#21 of 23 Old 10-22-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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Do we have the same doctor? Mine too saw one during his residency as well as a crippling case of polio and a mother who refused the HIB vax and her child ending up dying from HIb so then her and her husband divorced because he didn't know of her decision and blames her.. nice huh?
Wow he must be old then since the last case of naturally occuring polio in the us was 30 years ago.

Love the scare stories. I guess thats their version of informed consent.

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#22 of 23 Old 10-22-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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Wow he must be old then since the last case of naturally occuring polio in the us was 30 years ago.

Love the scare stories. I guess thats their version of informed consent.
LOL! Our first ped volunteered in South America and saw all those kids dying from the diseases I refused to vaccinate for. I very sweetly said "and the dirty water and malnutrition has nothing to do with that?"

Blech.

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#23 of 23 Old 10-23-2008, 12:40 AM
 
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What I'd really like to know and can't seem to find actual numbers on is of the people (particularly kids) who do contract pertussis how many of them were already vaccinated? I've read several stories online about babies and kids who had it after being vaccinated, but I'm not sure if they keep track of this info.

My doc actually wasn't that bad, he said pertussis and meningitis are the two things he worries about most and would recommend we have done, but told me to do some research if I wanted and ultimately he was there to educate. They did however have me sign a waiver that I refused the vaccines they offered. Hadn't heard of that before, but I guess it covers their butts should my kid get sick.
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