Last week, Kyle and I took the kids to their annual pediatrician’s visit for a check up and vaccines.
I don’t know about you, but vaccines just freak me out. There is so much uncertainty out there, and so much defensiveness from the medical community, that I find it hard to make an informed choice. Nevertheless, I do believe that most kids don’t have a problem with vaccines, and I am glad that there are certain diseases that are preventable with vaccine, and with that in mind, I have allowed Adelaide and August to get delayed vax in toddlerhood.
This time, they were getting their second round of vaccines. Adelaide got a varicella vaccine and MMR, I think. And maybe Hep A. Augie got the DTaP and Polio.
The doctor warned that a fever could come on a week later, and indeed, Adelaide started complaining of headaches a couple of days ago, and seemed to have a slight fever.
Meanwhile, Augie has been acting a little off. For the most part, he is his normal self, but I noticed that he started doing this shuddering thing. It happened once during dinner one night, and I thought, well, maybe that was just my imagination. But a couple of days ago, he had several shudder attacks during lunch. His eyes widened, his body tensed, his lips pursed, and his whole body shook for about two seconds. This happened six or seven times in the hour. Later that night, when we went to our church’s Christmas party in Library Park, more shuddering.
We tried to get it on camera, but the best we could do was ask Augie to shake, and he reenacted it.
When Augie was shuddering at the park, I tried to blow in his face or unclench his fists, but he didn’t respond to that. And he would kick his legs before it happened, which makes me think he could feel it coming on. Afterwards, he would let out a little whimper and lay his head on my chest.
Of course, I’ve watched him intently ever since, and I’ve noticed other weird behavior. The only thing is, I’m not sure if it’s actually weird, or if I’m just noticing it because I’m watching him so much now. Like, last night, he was wringing his hands, which is not something I’ve noticed before. And he was putting his fingers all the way back in his mouth til he gagged. Then he was grabbing his tongue and touching it for a while. Then he was chewing on a cup lid — which is unusual for him, because he does not often put inedible things in his mouth these days. Then today, he was eating paper — like biting off little pieces again and again — until a piece got stuck in his throat and he gagged and vomited. And when he eats, he’s been making repetitive chewing movements, even after he’s swallowed.
So what are these things? Googling around (the worst idea, I KNOW), I have found solace and I have found cause for alarm. Maybe he’s just doing weird toddler things, and he will grow out of it. Maybe he’s feeling ill and he’ll recover soon. Or maybe his brain is swollen, in which case — uh, SCARY, but — it should subside on its own.
Yes, I did call the doctor, and he said he didn’t know what to make of it. (NOT the answer you want to hear from your pediatrician, let me tell you.) He said I should take a video and bring him in next week if it continues.
I haven’t managed to get a good video yet, and hopefully I won’t get a chance. Hopefully Augie will be back to his “normal” self soon.