Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Shots in the Short Leg

We do get the immunizations according to the schedule suggested for children.  The last two well baby check-ups for Elsie (at 2 months and 4 months), she has had to get 3 shots total.  From everything we've heard, the leg with PFFD is completely fine to accept the shots.  Elsie's pediatrician and I decided each time that we'd give her up to two shots in her right leg (normal) and if needed, the third in her left leg (short). 

The first round of shots in December went well.  Our pediatrician made a point to grab the most experienced nurse to give Elsie her shot in the left leg.  She wanted to make sure someone with experience could find the best mass of muscle (and would have the experience to know to do this!).  Of course she cried and immediately wanted to nurse.  However, that was the extent of our recovery.  After a few minutes Elsie was back to normal. 

This past Friday (Feb 10) we had the 4 month shots.  Again it was three shots, so two were going in the right and one in the left.  I didn't ask for the most experienced nurse, but will be sure to in the future.  A really young girl came in to help with the shots.  I don't even know if she was aware of Elsie's short leg.  Again, this is something I will make sure to bring attention to in the next round of immunizations.  However, I trusted the process since it went so well last time.  Little E again cried and wanted to nurse.  We did that and as I went to dress her again I noticed the shot seemed to be right ON her knee.  I was mad, but like my husband said, we can't change it now.  It's there.  Looking back, I wish I would have said something and remembered the name of who gave the shot (so I could avoid her.... although facially, I'll probably recognize her)

About 2 hours after Els' shots she became extremely upset and unconsolable.  She basically scream cried for a few hours in a row, with only a short nap to break it up.  She didn't want to nurse, she didn't want Mommy to sit.... I just had to hold her and bounce, bounce, bounce with her on my chest, her head on my shoulder.  This may sound typical to any baby who is upset, but I assure you she is NEVER upset like this.  She truly has the most happy disposition of any child/person I've ever met.  So I was nervous to say the least.  I took her tiny pants off and her entire thigh was red and swollen.  Luckily, the paperwork we were given said this is a known side effect (something like 1 in 6 children react in such a way).  Even though it is known to happen, I am convinced it was because of the placement of the shot.  Neither my older daughter Mila nor Elsie have ever reacted such a way to shots, just this one with poor placement.  I felt terrible.  Thankfully no long term harm, just a very uncomfortable baby. 

Why am I doing this?  85% is to complain and vent (I've been getting more mad each day) and 15% is just to encourage other parents to speak up if you want to.  That's what I've learned from this.  I will next time make sure I ask for a more experienced nurse and and I will for sure inform, or remind, them of Elsie's leg.  I'll ask them to make sure they take time to find the best mass of muscle and perhaps even share with them about the poke to the knee. 

Thanks for listening! 

Hard to see, this is 5 days later showing the poke.  I wish I had a picture of what it looked like swollen, but I didn't want to put her through the torture of a photo shoot then.  It's obviously much closer to knee than in the thigh muscle.

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