Could this be an MMR or Varicella vaccine reaction? Frustrated, confused mom here. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 02-07-2012, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So this is a sort of long story, and I've been driving myself crazy trying to figure it out. I found this website and thought it wouldn't hurt to post, just to see if anyone has any ideas or has ever had any experience with this.

The story begins on January 4, when my now 16 month old daughter received her MMR and Chicken Pox vaccinations. I've always believed in benefits outweigh the risks, and now I'm second guessing everything.

About 8 days later, she developed a high fever that only lasted a day/night. I treated the fever and put her to bed. I knew that both the MMR and Varicella vaccinations had the possibility of a delayed fever as a side effect (8-12 days after shots), so I figured that was the problem. The next day the fever was gone, and though she wasn't totally herself, the fever stayed down.

That night, I began to notice that she suddenly seemed off balance. She could still walk, but she was stumbling more, falling more, almost looked drunk. She even had trouble just standing in one place, and would sway back and forth a bit. I know she's a toddler, and toddler's toddle, but it was a regression from the way she'd been walking before she got sick.

I took her to her pediatrician, thinking it could be an ear infection. The pedi agreed that was a possibility, checked her ears, and her ears were clear. The pedi herself was stumped. A CBC was done to check her blood, and the only thing that was off was that her lymphocytes were elevated, which the pedi said indicated a virus. I asked her if a virus could cause the balance issues, and she said "Well, the chicken pox can, but it would be obvious if she had the chicken pox." I reminded her about my little one receiving the vaccines, and she admitted that it was a possible cause, but not necessarily likely. We left with instructions to come back in one week if the balance problems were still there. At that point she would probably schedule an MRI.

Well two days later, my daughter was her normal self. Her walking was back to normal, and her personality was also. We were so relieved.

Fast forward to two weeks after the first doctor's visit. My girl developed a high fever (103 and above) that lasted for about 3 days. We were treating the fever, but took her in to the doctor on the second day to be sure she didn't need antibiotics. We didn't get to see her usual pedi, so this was a different pedi, same office. Her ears were checked again and were clear. Throat looked fine, etc. A CBC was done again, which again indicated a virus. We left with instructions to come back if the fever was not gone by that Saturday.

The fever broke and she hasn't run a fever since Friday. She developed a rash, so I thought maybe she'd had roseola. The problem is, the balance issues appeared again. Today there is improvement, and it isn't nearly as bad as it was on Friday/Saturday. But still, I just don't get it. Why would a virus cause my daughter's balance to be off?

I've always had major health anxiety, so I know I may be overreacting, but I can't stop my mind from going to all the worst case scenarios. Could the pedi be missing some sort of ear problem? Does she have some sort of tumor? Or did she have a severe reaction to the shots somehow? The time of it all is just so strange. The most she'd been sick before now was one minor cold and one ear infection.  I know that I can't diagnose her...Dr. Google does not help at all with a worrier like me.

She grabs her head in a weird way every now and then now, and sometimes acts like she's in pain, and of course I've convinced myself her head is hurting. I believe she is also teething though, which could probably explain that.

My husband and I decided to give the balance problems a couple of days, and if they're still present we will ask for further investigation.

Does anyone have any ideas? Has anyone ever experienced this? Could it really have been the shots, or am I just grasping at straws?

Any advice for this worried mama?
P.S. Thanks for reading this super long, drawn out post!

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#2 of 23 Old 02-07-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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First of all, I'm sorry your little one is having trouble. 

 

I wish I could point to a medical textbook or a website and say, "HERE'S the problem and the solution!"


But I can't.

 

Looking at what you wrote, it could be almost anything. Or nothing.  

Yes, it could be a vaccine reaction.


Or it could be a virus.


Or it could be both at once.  Or neither.

 

I don't even want to go to the scarier possibilities, as those are beyond the scope of my knowledge.

 

I think you are doing all the right things, and considering all the possibilities in a very intelligent, NON-HYSTERICAL-MOMMY kind of way--but I'll bet most pediatricians would dismiss your concerns as though you were being hysterical.  (Funny, they never seem to treat dads that way...)

One thing I can think of that might help you find some answers is to contact a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and ask if they can take a look at your daughter.

 

The reason I suggest an OT rather than a developmental pediatrician is, the OTs are the ones who actually spend time with and work with the kids with various issues.  I know the peds are the ones with the education and the supposed expertise, but my experience has been that the OTs were the ones with the practical experience, and actually knew more.

 

I'm not saying that an OT should be the one to diagnose. (I don't think they are allowed to, anyway.)  I just think that an OT can make suggestions that you can bring to the pediatrician or developmental pediatrician, suggestions of things they might consider, and they would know key things to look for.  

And maybe the OT might say that everything looks typical for this stage, even if it's not previously typical for your daughter.

 

If it were me, I would pay the OT out of pocket and not bother with insurance and referrals.

 

 

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#3 of 23 Old 02-07-2012, 01:39 PM
 
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Here's are some interesting websites regarding vitamin A treatment after MMR reactions

 

http://www.autismpedia.org/wiki/index.php?title=Protocols/Vitamin_A_Measles

http://www.danasview.net/vitamina.htm

 

 

 

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#4 of 23 Old 02-07-2012, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post

I suggest you look into treating her with high dose vitamin A, such as 200,000 IU for two days in a row. http://www.autismpedia.org/wiki/index.php?title=Protocols/Vitamin_A_Measles



Thank you. This is interesting information. I'm going to do a little research about this, but the first question that pops into my head is, is there any way such a high dose of vitamin A could harm her at all? I'm definitely willing to try it, but just want to make sure I won't cause other problems in the mean time. Have you had experience with this yourself?

 

Sorry if these are dumb questions, I'm completely new here. Just a first time mom, and worried about this sudden change in my little one.

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#5 of 23 Old 02-07-2012, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

First of all, I'm sorry your little one is having trouble. 

 

I wish I could point to a medical textbook or a website and say, "HERE'S the problem and the solution!"


But I can't.

 

Looking at what you wrote, it could be almost anything. Or nothing.  

Yes, it could be a vaccine reaction.


Or it could be a virus.


Or it could be both at once.  Or neither.

 

I don't even want to go to the scarier possibilities, as those are beyond the scope of my knowledge.

 

I think you are doing all the right things, and considering all the possibilities in a very intelligent, NON-HYSTERICAL-MOMMY kind of way--but I'll bet most pediatricians would dismiss your concerns as though you were being hysterical.  (Funny, they never seem to treat dads that way...)

One thing I can think of that might help you find some answers is to contact a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and ask if they can take a look at your daughter.

 

The reason I suggest an OT rather than a developmental pediatrician is, the OTs are the ones who actually spend time with and work with the kids with various issues.  I know the peds are the ones with the education and the supposed expertise, but my experience has been that the OTs were the ones with the practical experience, and actually knew more.

 

I'm not saying that an OT should be the one to diagnose. (I don't think they are allowed to, anyway.)  I just think that an OT can make suggestions that you can bring to the pediatrician or developmental pediatrician, suggestions of things they might consider, and they would know key things to look for.  

And maybe the OT might say that everything looks typical for this stage, even if it's not previously typical for your daughter.

 

If it were me, I would pay the OT out of pocket and not bother with insurance and referrals.

 

 



Thank you so much for your response. I feel like everyone around me thinks I'm crazy, but I just have this gut feeling that there's something going on. I will look into the OT suggestion. Thanks!

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#6 of 23 Old 02-09-2012, 10:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post

I suggest you look into treating her with high dose vitamin A, such as 200,000 IU for two days in a row. http://www.autismpedia.org/wiki/index.php?title=Protocols/Vitamin_A_Measles



Wow. I would not do that. Vitamin A in high doses is toxic and can be fatal.

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#7 of 23 Old 02-09-2012, 10:26 AM
 
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FTR, acute Vitamin A toxicity in kids can occur at 1500 IU/kg.

 

So, I highly suggest that you don't follow the above advice, unless your child weighs more than 133 kg.  That  is 293 lbs.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/16469975/

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#8 of 23 Old 02-09-2012, 10:30 AM
 
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Op-- I'm sorry that this is happening to your child, and I sincerely hope you get answers soon. I wish I had some advice. I do want to agree with the posters who mentioned that high doses of Vitamin A can be toxic. Please do not take this dangerous advice.

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#9 of 23 Old 02-09-2012, 10:40 AM
 
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Viral infection can cause vertigo in some kids and adults. Soemtime vertigo comes first, kid falls and hit the head, parent rush to Er to only discover fever.

 

Please, do not overdose your child with vitamin A. It is very dangrous.

 

 Since CBC is not showing anything dramatic it is reassuring.

 

MRI is safe test. There is not radiation.  It will put your mind at peace and rule out things like tumors etc (Very rare in kids)

 

 

Sometime things are just coincedences. You have kid prone to viral vertigo, you had vaccination 2 weeks ago but most liekly, one thing has nothing to do with another.

 

I would also ask for ENT refferal. There are some inner ear issues that can cause vertigo and ENT are the best people to rule out those.

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#10 of 23 Old 02-09-2012, 10:41 AM
 
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I don't think it is wise to be given medical advice online, especially when that advice is dangerous. OP call the doctor and explain what is going on again. 


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#11 of 23 Old 02-09-2012, 10:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiandmoi View Post



Wow. I would not do that. Vitamin A in high doses is toxic and can be fatal.


This.  That is a really dangerous suggestion.  Don't do that!

 

I'm sorry your LO is sick.  I would go back to the ped. 

 

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#12 of 23 Old 02-10-2012, 06:19 AM
 
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ma2two, I'm sure you were trying to be helpful; but as others have indicated, this advice could be dangerous. I'd appreciate it if you could edit your post to remove information that may be misleading to future readers of this thread. smile.gif

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#13 of 23 Old 02-10-2012, 04:39 PM
 
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My DD1 has had something similar - I mention it because you talked about your DD teething. My DD1 has always had a teething reaction - temperature a little raised, red & hot cheeks, loose stools, lots of drooling etc. When she was just over a year old she had horrid nappy rash that looked a bit different, and then the next day or so came the usual symptoms. Along with a tooth!

 

At 18 months she had a high fever for three days, a day of quiet, and then broke out in a huge rash over her trunk area. Her pedi said it was probably a virus, and since she was otherwise healthy and happy, to leave it be. She was also teething over this time. It was 14 days after her MMR so we thought it might be that. Her pedi said he didn't think so.

 

Now at 20 months she's just had the same thing. The rash seems to get bigger and bigger each time, the other symptoms are all much the same. We elected to biopsy the rash this time because it's getting worse and it seems to happen each time she teeths, and we have a lot more teeth to go. 

 

I know when I get a virus my ears can be clear, or "just a bit red", and I can still feel like they're all clogged up and one side can feel a lot heavier than the other. My DD doesn't have the balance issues that yours seems to, but she has one ear that's bothering her. It might be enough to cause balance issues? 

 

Definitely get it investigated, but I wanted to share my story so you wouldn't panic in the meantime :)

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#14 of 23 Old 02-10-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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Any advice to take any vitamin, mineral, or supplement to toxicity is suspect.

 

And honestly, I've rethought a lot of supplementation since study after study shows  vitamin supplementation correlating not with improved health but with higher mortality rates.

 

This article is, despite the URL, well-written and quite well sourced:

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/10/11/vitamins-and-supplements-could-cause-cancer-according-to-study.html

 

 

 

Quote:
Even more studies have shown that common doses of vitamin supplements can be harmful. They range from this 2005 study, which found higher levels of mortality among people who take dietary supplements, to the Alpha-Tocophenol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Trial (ATBC), which in 1998 reported that male smokers who took beta-carotene had an 18 percent increased incidence of lung cancers and an 8 percent increased overall mortality. A 2005 analysis of 19 separate clinical trials concluded that daily intake of vitamin E supplements of 400 units (the standard dose in pills) or more may increase mortality “and should be avoided.” And in just the last three years, large studies have found that “vitamin C may do more harm than good as it may protect cancer cells,” and “intake of vitamins E and C by 15,000 male physicians for 10 years had no health benefits,” as a 2010 paper summarized.

 

Beta carotene supplementation in another study had 28% higher lung cancer rates and 17% higher overall mortality.

Beta carotene=Vitamin A.   

 


savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#15 of 23 Old 02-10-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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Savithny, I don't think that the article is well-written at all.

 

It compares one study, where a group of men took 50 IU of vitamin E with results that suggested a protective effect against cancer, and compared it to two other studies where 1) much higher doses were taken and 2) other supplements were taken in addition to vitamin E. 

 

You can't draw any scientific conclusion from that.  

 

I believe that supplements can be extremely benificial. Full disclosure--I was diagnosed with several vitamin deficiencies (was tested because of symptoms), and my health improved DRASTICALLy after I took OTC supplements..  But research these days is not scientific--both the pharmaceutical industry and the nutraceutical industry have too many conflicts of interest, and "studies" are tweaked to suit the conclusions necessary for future profits.

 

And we see this on both sides of the fence.  We see the pharmaceutial companies rushing to discredit vitamin D studies, for example.  Could it be that Big Pharm's profit margins are threatened by people taking vitamin D?  Let's see, oh, right, depression is linked with vitamin D deficiency, as are SEVERAL major autoimmune disorders--rheumatoid arthritis, MS, lupus, celiac, thyroid, etc., all of which diagnoses get you lots of prescriptions for medications. 

 

But at the same time, we see the pharm companies rushing various new medications and vaccines into production without adequate safety/efficacy testing (or worse, after IGNORING and deleting reports of adverse effects in their initial studies).  Gardasil, Vioxx, Lipitor, and just about every antidepressant out there come to mind.

 

I don't doubt that nutraceuticals pull a few fast ones with their marketing as well.  While I am impressed with Joe Mercola's research against BIg Pharma, I am also disgusted that he uses EXACTLY the same fear-mongering tactics Big Pharm uses to sell his own products.

 

Getting back to the OT, I would not follow a DAN! doctor's recommendations off the internet--that would be like giving your child prescription drugs without a doctor's seeing him first.  I'm all for DAN! doctors--but I would take my child to see one FIRST, and consider the doctor's suggestion only after he or she examined my child!


There ARE studies indicating that severe reactions to measles virus can be caused by vitamin A deficiency.  But I remember reading that girls and boys react differently to vitamin A supplementation, so that needs to be taken into consideration as well.

 

A more cautious approach might be to give your child some vitamin-A rich foods, in appropriate quantities and appropriately prepared for your child's age--carrots, red peppers, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.  I would not introduce more than one new food in any given week.

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#16 of 23 Old 02-10-2012, 09:13 PM
 
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Giving kids vitamin-rich foods is exactly what I do, and if the OP really wants to experiment with Vitamin A as a treatment for this, I'd feed A-rich foods (remembering that A is fat soluble so it needs to be eaten with fat to be really effective).

 

I did not mean the article was scientifc -- it's science journalism.  But its point is valid. If you keep looking, you'll see that over and over, they've found either no benefit from supplementation, or negative effect from many vitamin supplementations.  One study was ended early because the "treatment group" was getting sick at such high rates.

 

Fact is, we don't fully understand what exactly about vitamins is "good."  We synthesize the compounds we think are the ones we want to be taking, and then we pound them down by the gram, telling ourselves we're "detoxing" or "improving our nutrition," without really understanding what it is about whole foods that *does* clearly correlate with better health.  


Vitamin D, for example?  A lot of the best evidence for it comes simply from epidemiological studies that correlate latitude with health.   Meanwhile, oversupplementing D raises blood levels of C-reactive proteins, which is a sign of inflammation leading to cardiovascular disease.  And there are actually a number of forms of D, some of which are produced in the body by specific tissues, meaning we're not sure if what we're measuring is the right kind, AND whether disease *causes* low levels off D rather than the other way around.   D synthesis in nature is really complex, actually, which is why some people find supplementation  doesn't work as well as they expect, and doing things like sunbathing isn't as beneficial as we'd think -- we make it in our skin, but then it is photosensitive, so once you've made a certain amount, it begins to break down while it's being made.  

 

In the end, I'm not anti-vitamin, but I am anti accepting them as some kind of Natural Magical Cure-all.   I think moderation is key to many things.  Making sure you get *enough* of something is one thing ... but taking megadoses of something that does not occur that way in nature is something else entirely, and certainly not something I'd try with my small child.  


savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#17 of 23 Old 02-11-2012, 08:47 PM
 
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Those doses of vitamin A are bad news.  Please don't do that.

 

Teething caused that kind of reaction for my kids, and, according to my mom, in me as a kid, even until those preteen molars.  I got really, really sick with each one.

 

Also, a "normal" virus/bacteria/infection type thing can definitely cause a temporary loss of skills in kids, especially if they are not solidly past the milestone.  Just think about it from an adult perspective when you get a bad virus...you get lightheaded and get more clumsy and have problems walking around, and you have decades of experience walking.  A toddler just has a few weeks/months of practice, of course they are going to regress pretty dramatically.  I had one kid with Autism and a severe language delay, and he would lose all ability to communicate when he got sick, for years.  I remember the first time he didn't lose the ability to communicate when he got sick was when he was around 6 or 7yo IIRC.  My typically developing daughter had the same sort of thing happen whenever she got sick too, it just wasn't quite as dramatic because her milestones came faster.

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#18 of 23 Old 02-11-2012, 10:23 PM
 
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Retreading the original post, I wonder if the virus temporarily either caused an infection of the ear or affected endolymphatic fluid?

 

I do think it would be a good idea to see if you can get the pediatrician to actually take seriously and listen to your concerns, but I still suspect you may get more information from an OT.

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#19 of 23 Old 04-22-2012, 10:36 AM
 
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SMom101,

I feel your pain and anxiety with this vaccine issue. My daughter has an egg allergy. She is 16 months old, and just last month 3/5 received her MMR/Varicella vaccine. On 3/7 she had a raised rash from head to toe, itchy grouchy, and slightly fevered. I thought this was a reaction to the vaccination. She also developed congestion over the next few days. The following Monday 3/12 I called her Pediatrician because the fever was still present and only getting higher and she had developed some chicken pox like "lesions" on her abdomen, as well as diarrhea, no appetite, and just general malaise. She was pale and looked very ill to me. We saw the MD who prescribed an antibiotic and said she had an upper resipratory infection, gastroenteritis, and a "viral" rash. We accepted this and filled the prescriptions and went home. I put her down for her nap and 2 hours later when she woke up her fever was up to 104.7. So I phoned the physician and he asked me to bring her in immediately. She was that evening admitted to the hospital and catheterized, stuck for blood work, and received IV fluids for her dehydration. Her CBC, Chem7, and urine culture came back normal. I asked that they perform RAST testing while they had blood in the lab (because I wanted to know how severe her egg allergy really was). After the fever finally came down, my daughter's personality, and temperment have all changed. She is a totally different child. The DR made rounds the next morning which of course was a different MD than we had seen in the office. She blew off our questions regarding the vaccination and possible reactions. Stated that my daughter had viral pneumonitis, gastroenteritis, and upper respiratory infection. We were discharged from the hospital and the next morning, my daughter broke out in hives the size of half dollars from head to toe, and her eyes swelled shut. I had no idea what was going on. I immediatelky gave her Benadryl and assumed that something she ate had egg in it.??? Every day since my daughter has been home from the hospital she has broken out in hives. We finally took her back to her MD during one of her "episodes" and he stated she must have some other allergy we aren't sure of. He put her on steroids, Claritin, Singulair, and Benadryl. She is a walking zombie. We are awaiting our follow up appointment to see if we can get referred to a specialist. I have spoken to 3 other moms that have had similar reactions to this particular vaccine and all of their children have had lasting life threatening effects from it. One of which has seizures. I am sorry, I'm not trying to scare you,(I am scared too, for my daughter), but I want everyone to be aware. Don't just accept what the MD tells you. Seek until you find answers. You are your daughter's only advocate. Best wishes and good luck!help.gif

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#20 of 23 Old 04-22-2012, 08:09 PM
 
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SMom101--any update?

 

AvaNMaddiesMom, thank you for sharing your experience.  We really do need to hear from the moms who LIVE with these reactions, as oppsed to hearing from the doctors who ignore the parents' observations.  I hope your daughter improves quickly.

 

Many parents report that their children improve immensely under care of DAN! doctors (Defeat Autism Now), who consider the kind of reaction your daughter had to be a vaccine reaction, and not a steroid/antihistimine deficiency.

 

I've never taken my child to a DAN! doctor, and they do have their critics, so please research both sides of the issue.  But it seems to me that the first step in treating your daughter's reaction is to have a doctor that admits that it WAS a vaccine reaction.  

 

One would think that a pediatrican would know to be cautious in giving an MMR to a child with a known egg allergy:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1314715/pdf/14601358.pdf  Current thinking is that mild egg allergy is not a reason for delaying an MMR, but sounds like your child has a severe allergy, and at the very least, the pediatrician should be considering that the MMR may indeed have triggered a severe reaction.

 

Then again, both the pediatrician and the vaccine manufacturer cannot be sued for vaccine reactions; they have been given blanket liability protection by the US government, even if they give the vaccine to someone who was clearly at risk for reaction.

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#21 of 23 Old 04-24-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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That's not entirely true. They absolutely can be sued for reckless negligence, just not for routine and expected (if rare) vaccine reactions.

Please report your reaction through vaers! You can do it yourself, you don't have to get your doctor to do it for you.
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I have no idea if her illness is a reaction or a coincidence.  Time may tell - and I hope your little one is feeling better.  

 

For the future - please consider splitting up the MMR and CP vaccine - they are safer done separately

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-06-28-vaccines28_st_N.htm

 

Also research whether to give tylenol and the like before and after a vaccine - many minds say "no."

 

Welcome to MDC!

 

kathy

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#23 of 23 Old 12-17-2013, 10:48 PM
 
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I hope your child did get well. I am posting this information for others who like me who read your post. I cannot believe that they wouldn't tell you the ingredients of the vaccine particularly when you stated your child had an egg allergy. Parents, please research and ask what exactly is in the vaccine as not all children should get vaccines at the suggested age or at all if they have allergies. 

 

MMR contains egg. As your child is allergic to eggs it does not take a scientist just a concerned mum to put 2 and 2 together that the vaccine most likely caused the reaction.

 

The package insert of the MMR II (Merck 2009) reads in part: "Live measles vaccine and live mumps vaccine are produced in chick embryo cells culture. Persons with a history of anaphylactic, anaphylactoid or other immediate reactions (e.g., hives, swelling of the mouth and throat, difficulty breathing, hypotension, or shock) subsequent to egg ingestion may be at an enhanced risk of immediate-type hypersensitivity reactions after receiving vaccines containing traces of chick embryo antigen. The potential risk to benefit ratio should be carefully evaluated before considering vaccination in such cases. Such individuals may be vaccinated with extreme caution, having adequate treatment on hand should a reaction occur.

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