Thursday, November 10, 2011

Another RSV Season, Another Round of Synagis

It's that time of year again - RSV season officially starts in November here, and that means it's time for the annual Synagis shots.

If there's any "bright spot" to CF (and trust me, I'm using that phrase extremely loosely), it's that Judith automatically qualifies for a full course of shots this year.  If we based it off of her prematurity alone, she would no longer qualify - 29 weekers 6 months and older won't qualify unless the other criteria are met.  Since she has a chronic disease affecting her respiratory system, she gets the shots.

I'm just glad and feel very lucky that we didn't have to battle with either insurance to get them covered.  Whether or not our pediatrician had to appeal for us is unknown to me, but at least we didn't have to panic after receiving a rejection letter from the insurance companies.

Yesterday was Judith's first shot.  They have to weigh the babies before measuring out the dosage, and then they have to determine if the dosage needs to be split into 2 injections - at the end of the season last year, Judith had to be stuck twice because she maxed out for what's allowed in 1 thigh.  This year, we're starting with 2 sticks, 1 in each thigh.  The nurse weighed her, and I was pleased to see that in the last month she's gained about a pound and is about 16 1/2 lbs!  Granted, she was weighed with a wet diaper, so that number is probably a few ounces less, but that's still good for her!  Then we had the fun of the vaccination.  I tried holding Judith down so she wouldn't squirm for the nurse, but she wanted to sit up.  Bad idea.  She was watching the whole thing, and the first needle to go in was a big one.  The nurse had to inject it slowly while I had the honor of experiencing the "sforzando" scream right in my ear (you know, the one that starts with an initial yelp, is silent for a good 30 seconds, and turns into an all-out shriek after a breath is taken).  I'm so glad the 2nd shot was a small one and could be injected quickly.

Judith's a trooper, though, and aside from being sore at the injection site and a little more sleepy than usual, she handled it well.  She's covered for the month, and I actually feel a bit better knowing she has some protection - that doesn't mean I'm going to take her into crowds and let her lick shopping cart handles or anything, but I can also rest my mind knowing that if she is exposed to RSV, the shot will stop it from growing and progressing into something much more serious.

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