Friday, August 3, 2012

More Pertussis Drama...

First off, I just want to thank everyone that responded to my last post. It is really nice to have some support so I don't lose my mind. Something else that really helped me today was some information that my BFF shared with me. She is currently 8 weeks behind me (28 weeks) so we talk a lot about pregnancy and I recently shared my frustrations with her regarding the slack that we are getting regarding the pertussis vaccination. Today she was informed by her OB that due to pertussis becoming an epidemic in the recent months, she was told that she had to get the vaccine (she is getting it on Monday) and she was also told that any caregiver for her baby must also have it. She was told this and she doesn't immunological issues like I do. She also forwarded me a news story from ABC News where the CDC is reporting that the recent outbreak of pertussis is the worst it has been in over 50 years. There have already been over 18,000 cases reported this year and also nine infant deaths were reported. The CDC also reported that "Our biggest work is to get adults immunized. This is particularly relevant to pregnant women and new grandparents, who will have contact with infants."

Due to this recent increase in pertussis, the CDC is now recommending that all pregnant women get vaccinated in the third trimester. It used to be that the shot was offered after birth but now they don't want to wait. I spoke with my immunologist this afternoon and he isn't sure what to do. With my immunodeficiency he is worried about giving me the vaccine without checking my antibody levels first as he doesn't want to give me a live virus and have it be disastrous to the baby. Tomorrow he is sending me for blood work to check my titer levels for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. If I have any antibodies to these he wants to hold off until after birth just in case I have a negative effect from them. If there are no antibodies he will consider having me get it but might order a special formula where the pertussis isn't combined with tetanus and diphtheria. I also have to go see him within a week or two after birth as he wants to keep a close eye on things to see if I need to restart the IvIg transfusions. I am very grateful to have the chief immunologist in charge of my case as I know that I am in good hands. He is very concerned with my case and takes my calls no matter when I call. He apparently has also given instructions to his staff that if I call and he is out of the office for whatever reason, that they are to contact him immediately. It is so nice to have that kind of care!

While I am grateful that I have a team of doctors who understand what is going on, it is frustrating that no one else understands this. While I don't expect friends or family to take an interest and educate themselves on CVID, I don't believe that they have the right to judge or question decisions that are being made without having the facts in front of them by taking the time to understand fully what is going on. One thing that my husband pointed out is that older people (your 50+ population) aren't going to understand all of this. For them pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period was much different. I hear all the time "well, I did that back when I was pregnant and my child turned out just fine" or "back then they didn't do half of what they do now and I had no problems". While those comments are very irritating, and quite degrading, I get why people say those things. Back in the "old days" that is how things were and people just ASSume that what worked for them should work for everyone else.

My husband and I have been talking so much about all of this as it is a great source of anxiety for me. Since we don't want any problems or any drama when Giovanni is born we have decided that we are just going to ask everyone to refrain from having direct contact with him. My husband seems to think that this will be easier than asking everyone as they come to visit if they have had the vaccination. Just too much to deal with. His other idea, and I really love him for this one, is to have the nurses take Giovanni to the nursery if and when large groups of people come to visit and things start to get crazy. The only other potential barrier that we may have to deal with is if I can't get the pertussis vaccine. If my immunologist decides that I can't get it right now, I am also going to have to limit direct contact with those not vaccinated as well. If I have to wait until after birth to get it there will be a 2 week incubation period for me for the vaccine to take effect. Ugh, why do things need to be so complicated?!  

No comments:

Post a Comment