Measles Hits Close to Home

My baby (won’t be able to say that for much longer) has the measles.

Earlier this week, we noticed that he had a bit of a rash on his hands and by that evening it was on his stomach and back. By the next morning, he was pretty much covered in this red, slightly raised not really itchy, rash.

That was his only symptom.

100_5670There was no preceding cough, cold or conjunctivitis (pink eye). He hadn’t had the 3-4 days of wicked high fever. Aside from the rash, there was absolutely nothing else to indicate any specific disease, virus or allergic reaction. He wasn’t even really acting any different than normal. He was eating, and sleeping (about as poorly as he normally does) and drinking. He might have been a bit fussier, but seriously – he’s two and the “fuss factor” can erupt for any reason at any time.

I googled, and googled and googled some more. I haven’t got my Google Medical Degree from just sitting around on my butt doing nothing, y’all. (Ha Ha!!) The results that I came up with loosely pointed to some random viral rash, Measles, German Measles or possibly some weird form of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease (which based on previous experience with HFM disease – I had pretty much ruled that one out.)

I honestly figured it was some viral rash (of which measles actually is – a virus, not a bacteria – that is) and that it’d disappear in a day or two. I’d taken some of my other kids in to the Dr when they were younger for rashes and got the whole….you don’t need to stress out over every rash and cough. It’s just viral….Chill out and it’ll run it’s course in a couple of days.

I mean it wasn’t said exactly like that, but that was the general gist of the message.

And considering that Siah wasn’t SICK! I just waited.

By the 3rd day (we were at home all this time) he had a bit of a fever, and seemed achy and one eye looked a bit red (but no gunk – thank goodness) and he had managed to cough a grand total of twice.

100_5674The thing that kicked it over the edge for me, were news reports of a measles outbreak in the Metro Vancouver area.

Awesome!

So we called our family Dr and had a nice phone chat. His professional opinion is that Siah has measles. Even though the symptoms are out of the “normal order” he still has enough of the symptoms and combined with the recent outbreak – SHAZAM! He gets the measles diagnoses!

Obviously, this means one of two things. Either Siah’s not been vaccinated for the MMR or he’s only had one of his vaccinations and is one of the unlucky ones that still needed the booster to provide complete immunity.

In this case, it’s the first one.

I’m not usually one to talk too much about controversial things as I don’t like to argue and fight about personal decisions. I will gladly talk with anyone who asks about our personal family choices and the reasons as to why we make those personal family choices. I NEVER make decisions without absolutely plowing through massive amounts of information (from a variety of sources, not necessarily Google – Google is just a diagnostic tool! (that was supposed to be funny)), and using BOTH the positive and negative information to round out my decision. I don’t typically go just searching to prove my viewpoint…..that’s useless as far as I’m concerned. I also try really hard to not judge others for their personal choices. I feel that I am not living in their shoes and can not possibly know all the details, emotions and nuances leading up to their decisions and that really when it comes down to it…..I get to make choices that I believe are best for my children and my family. Others also have that same freedom. I’d like to be given respect for the choices I make even if they are not agreed with or understood and so, in turn, I also need to give that same respect to others regardless of whether they make the same choices that I make or ones that are completely different. I actually don’t EXPECT that others will make the same choices that I do. I hope that others make the best choices for them.

I understand that there are risks associated with not being vaccinated and if you were to ask me, I’d talk about our experiences with vaccinating Jeremy and what happened with him. My girls are vaccinated and aside from 2 vaccinations that I declined at the grade 6 offering they are current and up to date with their vaccinations.

If you were to ask me about vaccinations and whether I am for or against them. Considering that Siah currently has measles and at 2.5 years old hasn’t received his MMR yet, you might think that I’m against vaccinations. You might be surprised to learn that I do agree with vaccinations and that I see the benefits in having and “using” them. I also think that I need to take our personal history and experience into the mix and make the BEST choice for our family. If I were to give myself a vaccination type label – I’d say that we delay and select vaccines, we don’t completely avoid them.

100_5677

pics of Siah from this morning

Obviously, we got the measles from somewhere. Do I have any idea where? Nope! Absolutely no clue! Do I even really care? No! I’m not even interested in finding out. It makes no difference to me where it came from or who passed it on. I am not mad at whoever passed it on or even really annoyed. The fact of the matter is that Siah has measles. He is currently cooped up at home until next week sometime and we are just chilling and taking it easy. It’s done! He has them and no amount of stressing on my part will change anything. Once we pass this week, it will be over and done with and he will be as immune as the other kids.

What about the time period before we knew that Siah had measles, when we might have possibly passed it around to others? Well, I’m not happy about that (who wants to contribute to others getting sick), but again – it’s a non-factor for those who choose to vaccinate AND it’s one of the things that is a possibility for those who chose to either not vaccinate or to delay vaccinations. I knew that was a risk and I had to be willing to deal with that risk when I made my choices. It is just one of the MANY things that needs to be thought through when you are making your decision. Obviously, we ended up dealing with one of the risk factors of our choices and while I’m not thrilled about Siah getting measles; It is what it is and we, in a sense, “chose” that this might be a possibility….which obviously has then turned into a certainty.

If you’re interested in sharing, I do love hearing how and why others chose to come to their personal family decisions regardless of whether they differ from ours or are similar. I love learning more about people and the experiences that lead to their decisions. I’m not going to change my decision and I’m not looking to change anyone else’s decision. This is just another record of what’s going on in and with our family. That’s what this blog is….a record of our lives and a place for me to share what we are going through.

Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

One thought on “Measles Hits Close to Home”

  1. With our older two children I obediently went to the health unit to get all their vaccinations on time. When surprise baby number three came I was much older and wise(LOL!) and actually did my research on vaccinations. Like you, we are now of the pick and chose and delay variety of parents. We are comfortable with our decisions but like your son, our 18 month old has not had his MMR. He’ll get it eventually but not yet. I hope the measles stays away from us!

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