I wait for answers, they are so slow to come. Five weeks after my daughters death we still don’t have a “cause”. We have clues, hints as to what happened but the pieces haven’t been put together. The latest information we have is that she tested positive for enterovirus. There are over 100 strands of Enterovirus and most are no more harmful than the common cold, most children recover no problem and some are completely asymtomatic. Sometimes, however, entrovirus is responisble for the death of a child. A 4 year old NJ boy went to bed fine and never woke up, his corpse also tested positive for entrovirus. A five month old baby boy took a nap and never woke up, his family was told SIDS but he later tested positive for enterovirus. Entrovirus D-68 to be exact, is that what killed my baby girl? A sickness no worse than the common cold? I don’t know for certain, not yet anyhow. It could be three more weeks before we have our answer. I don’t know exactly how she died but there are some things that I do know.
I know that she was sick from September to November. She was nearly better before she passed. I know I brought her to the Dr. weekly because she wasn’t getting better as quickly as I felt she should have. I know that I changed practices and visited the hospital because I felt she wasn’t getting the care she needed.
Every “professional” told me she was going to be fine. She was put on Zantac and Albuteral to clear up her lungs. She had been on an antibiotic before that. Her last Dr. appointment was on October 24th and she was given her 4 month shots. I was very hesitant about getting them done because she still wasn’t 100%, the Dr. told me not to worry, she didn’t have a fever so it was fine. Eighteen days later she was gone.
Was it a coincidence or were the shots too much for her body to handle while she was already infected with a potentially fatal bug? Would she have been okay if I had postponed her vaccines? These are the questions I have as I wait and wait. No matter what the answer is I fear I will blame myself, always. It was my job to make sure she grew up and she didn’t grow up. I know I will be over protective of my next child. I’m not an anti-vaxxer but if my next baby has so much as a sniffle I will delay shots, I’ll probably use a delayed schedual for shots as well. I fear I’ll treat Reason’s siblings like the bubble boy, I can’t take the chance of losing another child.
I wish her cause of death wasn’t such a mystery but the answers we have gotten, the pieces of the puzzle we’ve seen, have absolved me of some guilt I’ve felt, clearly we didn’t do anything wrong. We did what we were told was the right thing. Your children are supposed to get vaccines, you’re supposed to take them to the doctor when they are sick. Doctors have fancy degrees that cost more than I will likely ever make. I guess the biggest lesson in all of this is to trust your gut. Mother’s intuition is very real and maybe it would have saved my daughter. If I had listened to that nagging feeling that told me to hold off on her vaccines until she was 100% better maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t be writing this blog.
*Disclaimer* Please do not use my story as an excuse not to vaccinate your kids. You are free to use it as a cautionary tale of not listening to your inner voice or standing up to those who “know best”. My future children will be vaccinated, most likely on a delayed schedual, but I do believe in vaccines.