Monday, September 24, 2012

Egg allergy and Vaccines.

Sorry that my first blog back from my monkey disease ridden  adventure is a serious one. But I have to clear up a few issues regarding vaccines for the egg allergy child. My sweet Ava is allergic to eggs. And quite bad I must add. The allergy specialist she sees has given her an EpiPen for both her egg and peanut allergies. They have a rating scale that tells exactly how allergic the child is. Ava ranked (if I'm not mistaken but I will clarify with a phone call to her allergist later today) next to worst. So not WORST but literally a step down. Whenever she eats an egg product she breaks into hives, her eczema flares (think itchy, scaly lizard type skin with open sores at times that sometimes get infected. We've gotten better at managing those open sores so they rarely get infected anymore.) AND her face and lips swell at times. BUT they do not swell horribly bad. We usually can catch and maintain the swelling with heavy doses of antihistamines. If her skin gets too bad we follow with adding in an oral steroid of Prednisone for 3-7 days depending on how bad she is. We top these meds off with steroid creams, special ointments, a foam, thicker lotions and Attarax at bedtime. Along with oatmeal baths, bleach water baths and oil baths. Yes, we've had a time with her allergies. I'm not exaggerating either. Any parent, or person suffering with severe eczema, will tell you the same. The regiment is harsh. But it is the only way you will receive ANY comfort.
So, onto the vaccine portion of this. She has never received a flu shot or the MMR vaccine. In 2011 the CDC has stated that cases of measles were the highest in 15 years. There were 250 or so cases and the norm is around 50. As of April of this year there were already 25 cases. Measles are highly highly highly contagious. And is quite serious. You can walk into a room where someone has been and catch it. That's scary. Those numbers are scary. And my poor Ava went UN-vaccinated as will many other children who are allergic to eggs. But I'm here to tell you, not every egg allergy ridden child has to go without these important vaccines. Under the advice and supervision of her pediatrician and allergy specialist we are attempting to administer these shots this year. Considering she has never had a reaction that interfered with her breathing or closing of the throat then we are OK to do this. Her pediatrician said a reaction is only theoretical. The vaccines themselves do not contain egg. But they are inoculated (grown) in egg shells. There used to be a belief that egg allergy children reacted to this fact. BUT the belief is now that there was actually a reaction to the gelatin in the vaccine. (Think Jell-O.)
So, I am a very happy mommy right now :) My little Ava is going to be protected. As Sarah has told you, I do have medical training. I am three semesters shy of having my Bachelors in Nursing. In the training I have received I have seen what these different diseases are capable of. For those of you who do not vaccinate your children that is a scary thought for me. I do, however, firmly believe in scheduling vaccines apart. I do not give my children the combination vaccines and they receive them on a delayed schedule. I do this because I had to watch my oldest child wither and scream for hours. She ran high fevers and her legs were the injections were given would produce gold ball sized knots. Therefore I now have them given one or two at a time depending on the vaccine given. Her pediatrician knows which ones gave her the hardest time so we delay those. But every child is different. But I just do not want to take the risk. On that note, I shall close. I'm glad to be back1 I'm thankful my family is healthy for the most part. With the exception of little Ava who is scaly. But that's what happens when you have a child with eczema.
More information on vaccines and egg allergies here and here. Mwahs! ♥ Jen ♥

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