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    Me: the advocate in my child’s health-care

    We’re taking G to meet my grandmother in Bulgaria this summer. And as luck would have it, Bulgaria is in the middle of a measles outbreak. Fun, right?

    G hasn’t had his MMR vaccine yet. It’s on our schedule for when he turns 2 (Happy Birthday, baby!).Unfortunately, our trip is planned before the shot. However, in light of the recent outbreak, and the fact that 2’s only 4 months away, I called the pedi’s office to ask if we can give him the shot early.

    I spoke with an on-call nurse (our pedi was on vacation), who said that Yes, we can give him the shot early, and Yes, as long as he gets it at least 2 weeks before the trip he should be “OK!”.

    However, during our call she also said that G also needs his DTaP shot, and would I like to schedule both for when I came in? Say whaaaat? This sounded fishy to me. G is up to date on all of his shots, and I’ve been diligent to check our vaccination schedule before each visit so that I knew what he was supposed to be getting. I agreed to the MMR only and asked to consult with G’s pedi before we gave him any additional shots.

    This is where things got strange.

    The pedi called back and confirmed that G had his last DTaP in Dec (as part of his Pentacel combo), so he’s good and that this booster should be given 6 months apart at this point. This made me a little perturbed at the nurse, who was looking at G’s record while we were talking and should’ve just done her math.

    However, the part that was strange is that even the pedi was only referring to G having 3 Pentacel administrations. I knew this was wrong! G’s been on track with all of his shots. So I came home today, and turned my filing cabinet upside down looking for proof. In the last print-out of his record, sure enough, it only reads 3 Pentacel doses. I compared the date of each vaccine to my notes. Everything matched… except for Feb 27th, when he had his 3rd Pentacel dose. I saw his Rototeq vaccine on the print-out from the office, but not his Pentacel.  The Rota is an oral vaccine. The Pentacel is a shot. I had even blogged that day about G being such an awesome kid and didn’t cry when he got his shot. That means he def. got his Pentacel. A few more papers later I found an older record print-out that lists BOTH the Pentacel and the Rota as administered on 2/27. Ha! My proof. I guess when he got his last Pentacel booster in Dec, the person who entered it in over-wrote the 3rd entry.

    So, lessons learned:

    1. Don’t let a medical provider talk me into doing something that feels wrong.

    2. Go into each vaccination appointment knowing what’s supposed to happen and not agree to anything more without pediatrician consultation. If S (or anyone else) takes the kids to an apt they are to be armed with the schedule and not accept any immunization not on the lsit.

    3. Keep a personal record of each shot.

    4. Keep a copy of each vaccination print-out from the office after each visit. This helps catch record-keeping inconsistencies on their part.

    I’m a little skeeved at the nurse, but I’m glad I know what’s going on and we can straighten this whole thing out. More than that G can thank me in that I spared him from another prick ;p

    One response to “Me: the advocate in my child’s health-care”

    1. Grammie says:

      This is what is so great about modern technology You can have all records of shots and illness right at your fingertips. I still wish I had recorded everything about S and K when they were growing up. Ear infections, shots, all types of illness with a name. You will have a much better record when he is grown for him. I just have memory which is slim these days.
      Love to you 3

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