Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pertussis and Home Schooling

I am sure that you are looking at the title of this post thinking that those two things have NOTHING to do with one another. And I'm here to tell you that for me and my family they are related, yes they are.

Let me tell you a story.

When B was being checked out by one of the pediatricians at the hospital, there were many pieces of advice given. How to care for his circumcision (remember I've had only girls), come in to the office in three days for a weight check, you and your husband should go get a tetanus shot, watch for jaundice, wake him to feed every three hours....

WAIT A MINUTE -- back up -- Go and get a Tetanus shot? Whatever for? (Have I ever mentioned how I hate needles so much that I am likely to faint when getting a shot?-- don't judge me -- it's just the truth people). The pediatrician informs me that Pertussis -- Whooping Cough -- is going around in this county and therefore, K and I need to be up to date on our own immunizations so that B won't get it if we happen to be exposed to this bacteria.

Now, I know ya'll probably won't believe this about me but until recently I have not been prone to any sort of mass hysteria. I am not usually germ phobic. I do believe that children need to be exposed to a certain amount of germs to help build up antibodies so they won't come down with every cold that goes around. However, between the fear issues I've had the last couple of years and the knowledge that Whooping Cough would be a terrible thing for B to get (since his first immunization for this won't come until he is 2 months old) I think I've jumped on the mass hysteria bandwagon.

I've tried for the past two weeks since B's birth, NOT to be hysterical about this but it is getting harder and harder the more I think about it and the closer it hits home....
Last week, I took B to the dr. for a clogged tear duct and found myself being the biggest germ phobe out there. I didn't want to put him on the table or let any of our things touch anything at the dr. office for fear of contracting the disease. I really wanted to ask for masks for us so we didn't even have to breath the same air as the rest of the people there. AND it didn't help any when we were ushered into a particular room to see the dr. and a nurse calls out to the nurse leading us. And our nurse responds -- "It's been cleaned."

Then yesterday, we were at A's ballet class when a lady walks up to me and asks, "Isn't she (pointing at L) in Malachi's preschool class?"

"At First Methodist?"


"Yes, she is."

The lady, who by the way is like 9 months pregnant herself, then tells me that her whole family is now on prophylactic antibiotics because her other child was exposed to the bacteria in her daycare......Do you all understand what she was saying to me? It is possible that her child has it (they won't know for 5 days) and therefore her son has been exposed to the virus and maybe then, my L has been exposed also.

Seriously, ya'll. This is driving me banana's! I am becoming really worried about it. I even took my other three kids straight out to the car where we sat until A was done with her lesson. While we waited I called the pediatrician to see if we needed to be swabbed for the virus....(the nurse said no -not at this point). While I had them on the phone I also asked this question --

"How can I tell the difference between the symptoms of a common cold (which A and M seem to have) and the symptoms of whooping cough?" The answer? "Oh, you can't really until it gets to the stage where the cough is strangling the child and sounds like a whoop". The nurse said it is probably a good idea to keep B OUT of public until this "dies down". When will that be? How long will that take exactly?

IT IS OFFICIAL. I'm on the mass hysteria band wagon. Even though my girls have all had their vaccinations and should be protected against this bacteria, K and I aren't right now because we haven't gone to get the shot (I know, I know we are going tomorrow or Monday.) and B obviously isn't protected. I have no idea if they can get the germ and then without getting the virus, bring it home to the three of us who aren't protected......I'm even considering taking my three older children out of public school and homeschool until this "dies down".

K says he doesn't think I can do that. He doesn't think I can take the girls out of school for a while and then put them back in.....does anyone know the answer to that? I know that you are thinking that this is all sounding very extreme -- to take my children out of school when I don't know for sure they've been exposed -- but my fear is really for B. If he gets this it could really be bad.

So, if anyone can give any advice on this, please do before I do something really crazy like put a sign on my door telling people to stay away until the whooping cough is gone............


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I had this a few years back. Don't mess around with it. I wouldn't worry about the kids, but you need to keep clorox wipes on hand and get yourself vaccinated.

Your baby will be fine.


Deidre said...

I don't really have any answers, Mindy - except to be sure and get vaccinated and you should be in the clear.

Also, I used to stress BIG TIME when I had E about her getting RSV. Guess what? She got it at 9 weeks and had to be hospitalized for four days and put in an oxygen tent surrounding her crib. I feel God allowed that to happen to show me He is in control and will take care of my child. It is then, I clung to the verse 2 Timothy 1:12 - "I know the ONE in whom I trust, and I am SURE that He is able to safely guard ALL THAT I HAVE GIVEN HIM until the day of His return." I had to turn her over to the Lord (and still quote that verse OFTEN) and remind myself that He is going to take care of us.

I hope this helps!

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Hey Mindy!

Praying everyone stays safe and sound. Sawyer had asthma as a baby and was hospitalized twice. I totally echo what Deidre said about having to come to a place where we trust God with not only our lives but the lives of our children. He'll take care of you!!

Love you!!


Ginger said...

I totally agree w/ Deidre & Lisa!! Love you - looking forward to seeing you tonight!

Lisa said...


It's tough to have them out of the womb and have to be worried about them getting sick. Prayerfully you guys will be fine!

Janelle and Ella said...

It's like you are reading my mind. I've always been a germ phobia. Unfortunately it has worsened since having a child. I'm so sorry! I know how stressful it can feel.