I used to debate in my head, should I get the flu shot or not? I spent most of my life, until pregnancy really, not getting one.
Then, I got pregnant and was "required" to have a flu shot done, then we had Will and we were "required" to get one for him and us too. Then, we found out we have an immune compromised child and we really are required to protect him, us and those around him from getting sick.
If Will gets the flu, not only will he end up in the hospital, but it could forever change the direction of his health. One viral infection could send us spiraling downward into a place where we will never get back to baseline.
This right here is my biggest fear. I know it's going to happen, but I'm praying, begging God, for one more holiday season with our Wiggles as we know him today - happy, vibrant and full of life. Last holiday season Neil and I spent most of it in a fog.
Anyways, if you read this blog and you are around Will as a caregiver, friend or playmate, I'm asking you to consider getting a flu shot this season. I know for many of you who are skeptical it will be a challenge. I'm not asking you to change your beliefs, thought processes or outlook on the flu shot - I'm simply asking you to consider it if you are around Will to help me protect his life.
To take it one step further, I also want to specify which kind. :-) I'm not pushy am I? This is mostly for the kiddos. I have learned/ researched some specifics on this...
FluMIST - this is a live strain of the flu that sprayed into your child.
FluSHOT - this is a dead strain of the flu injected into your child.
Neither sound like fun, neither sound safe nor "normal" to put something that could potentially harm your child directly into their body
All that aside, there has been an article published by the FDA that basically says for immune compromised children, the fluSHOT is a better option. Will's immunologist also agrees with the fluSHOT as the best option for Will. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM123743.pdf
See page 7 for an exact mention of Leigh's disease.
I know every child is different. I know vaccination injury is real. I know my child is at risk for a lot of really crappy health issues. I know you want to protect your child too.
So think of it this way... you just had your child's fluMIST done, you take them to school, Will and the child play, laugh and share toys, meanwhile your child can fight this live strain, but mine can't. I know it's our choice to send Will to school, to put him into the world and expect others to think of his situation. But, as Will's advocate and mom, I am responsible to at least ask and inform those around us.
So, I'm asking you as an adult to stop in at CVS and get a poke in the arm for $15. I'm asking you as a parent to get your child the fluSHOT this season. I'm also asking that you are mindful of germs, snot and just general yuckiness when you and your child are around Will. What others can fight off, he can't.
So, I've said my very whiny, very self-centered peace about flu shots and why they are important for us. I have a bottle of "goop" as we call it by the front door. If you come over, feel free to grab a squirt. Don't be offended if we don't show up at a party because we've heard some kiddo is sick or if I obsessively squirt goop all over you and your family. It's because I love my little guy and just want him around for as long as I can.
For us, the pros outweigh the cons. Thank you for reading this and considering what's best for your family too.