Meet my son Josh. He was SO wanted. After over a year and a half of trying we finally got the little bug. A funny day of my appointment on Dec 20th 2005 — The Dr. said my water was low and we would be having a baby today! I was induced that day and he waited until 12:34 a.m. to come out so I could have my Dec. 21st baby!! (We have our birthdays a week apart, Hubby – Dec 7th, Me Dec – 14th, Josh – Dec 21st and 7 weeks later is my older son’s Feb 8th. Cool right?! ) I had NO clue about that first Hepatitis B shot they give your kids in hospital. This was also before I realized what happened to many kids who get shots.
This is Josh PRE-shot injury.. Perfect in every way!!!
His first shot, Hep B, was given in the hospital without my consent- NON-STOP crying.
This is my bug after we got home. Those days were not fun. He did not sleep unless you held him and he would “scream” cry. He was very fussy and seemed to have a reddish face. I am guessing a rash from his vaccine. His legs were hot and he had a HUGE bump under his arm. Like a dummy I gave him Tylenol. I know how that was SO NOT good… poor bug.
I hate pacifiers… They SUCK… (no pun) but Josh was just very restless. He nursed but was just not very happy. Even the suckie did not help much.
At 2 months (Feb 2006) Josh went in for checkup. Like a good mommy I took him in, and shots? Oh heck ya. A good mommy gets her child shots (right?). She wants him to be healthy. Josh now is NOT SLEEPING even more. I have learned that my black lazy boy rocker is not too hard to sleep in (after you get used to it). I had a friend then I used to talk to during the long, sleepless nights. She was awake at 1, 2 or 4 AM etc., and I am so grateful I had somebody to talk to!!
I soon began noticing he wouldn’t respond to sounds. I even did the old pan and spoon trick… nothing. You could talk to him but he wouldn’t look at you, he only avoided eye contact. That sucks because he has the most wonderful eyes! Grey, and I love to look at them. His newborn test for hearing was ok. March 13, 2006 hearing test was ok. We even did another hearing test on November 14, 2007 and tested fine but with us he still didn’t respond to sounds and we are left asking ourselves if he can really hear.
What I did not know was my son was having seizures from that set of shots on Feb 21, 2006. The Dr. said it was not a seizure. The doctor’s explanation for Josh’s behaviors was that Josh was drinking cold milk (Um… I’m nursing? Impossible.), then he said it was a draft, or I’m just being too nervous. Anything but a seizure. We ended up firing her.
It was not all Hell at our house. We did have a few moments of good, just NEVER sleep. Josh simply didn’t sleep. At times he was up 3 days at a time. He would nap if I held him. Later on we found out he has Sensory Processing Disorder.
At 4 months old (4/24/06), Josh received Hib b, IPV, DTaP, and Pneumococcal conj (6 different vaccines). After the shots he was very fussy and he seemed to be shaking his head more than usual. He looked red again on his cheeks and had a high temperature. He was not my son. He was lost. I could tell that already. This should have told me something but I was getting ZERO sleep. My husband was working nights so I had stay downstairs during the day and keep quiet and at night I had to keep quiet so my older son could sleep for school and Josh was SO fussy. My life was a wreck.
Little did I know my life would get worse…
At his 6 month well-baby check-up I told the doctor Josh was having issues with head shaking and his eyes rolling back in his head. They did an EEG so his shots were delayed, THANK GOD! We were able to go home shot-free.
In the days after the EEG his head stopped doing the shaking thing and he seemed ok. The Dr. said he needed to get his shots. When the Health Department called I finally went in. On 6/29/06 he received IPV, Hib, Hep B, Pneumococcal conj. No DTaP so let’s see what happens. Slowly the head shaking, that so far ONLY I had seen, comes back. Everybody thought I was nuts because I wasn’t getting sleep. But I know what I saw and I knew my son was not normal. But, just after he was 6 months old we went to the fair. My older son noticed what I had been seeing happen with Josh. FINALLY somebody saw it happen!
In the next several months, Josh began talking some and had more eye contact. He even learned to undress himself! He began driving himself places in his little toy car and he even gave sleep a try! Yep, my bug was finally going places he had not been before. He was amazing. He had some words and he even let me know when he was wet. (Wahoo!!!) Everything was great… and then the health dept called again… “YOU need to catch up on that DTAP shot.”
At 11 ½ months old (12/07/06) – DtaP and Influenza. Immediately Josh’s head started shaking again and it looked like he was just “drugged out” all the time. He was always tired, but he would stay up ALL night. It was crazy… back to living in Hell… Judge shows, Animal Planet, and Mountain Dew became my best friends.
Josh was also SICK all the time. He was always on antibiotics for ear infections and would always have to take 2 rounds – and sometimes even another after that of a different kind because the first 2 didn’t work. It was so sad to see him. He stopped talking as much. It’s like the words he had learned were gone.
At 14 months old (3/14/07) Josh received the MMR and Pneumococcal conj. Red cheeks again…
At 15 months old (4/16/07), Josh received Varicella, Hep A, and hib b.
At 18 months old (6/18/07), Josh received DTaP. His words COMPLETELY STOPPED. It’s like my son is locked up in a box.
On 10/17/07, Josh received his Hep A shot. Where is my son? Where are his words? It was like he was out in a great big world and lost.
I feel like I let both of my kids down… Brandon was and IS such a good big brother. Josh was a hand full and in the first 2 years of his life it was HELL. I aged so much. It was like my son was stuck in a glass box.
These are two pictures from his Birthday and Christmas. What a bright fun toy! Doesn’t he just look thrilled (sarcasm)? ALL of his Birthday and Christmas pictures are like this.
Because of his Sensory Processing Disorder, we had to buy him a weighted blanket and special shoes. If his shoe came off he was a MESS! He would hold his foot like it had been cut off. When he was 18 months old he started therapy, 1 to 3 times a day, Mon thru Fri. It took so much out of me running from place to place, but we finally got a few words out of him. Nothing major, though. He would not let us kiss him, and if we did he wiped it off because of the wet feeling.
In March 2008 I made him a weighted blanket. It was so needed and it helped SO much. My bug was finally sleeping!! On Sunday, May 18, 2008, after YEARS of waiting I got my first kiss from Josh! He was kissing me! And I was in tears. I asked him, “May I have another?” and he gave me one! He actually understood!!!
On Tuesday, July 15, 2008 we had an appointment with Josh’s doctor… our son has autism. I was in shock. But as days went on I realized –yep… it is not all SPD. August of 2008 we got a DAN Dr. and a script – NO SHOTS!!
My marriage became really rocky, and it was so hard for us. We are still together now, but it has been so hard keeping our family together. I will never ever blame Josh for this… He is and always will be my number 1! My boys are my world and I love them. Josh is now 5 1/2. He is in kindergarten and he is learning to read. He loves to sing and has some great friends he loves to play with!
At a dinner with a developmental pediatrician in our town, the Dr. said that shots do not cause autism. My older son said, “B.S.!” I explained Josh’s issues to him with shots and he told me in Josh’s case it sounds like shots were an issue with his autism. WOW! He told me that in front of A TON of parents!! He also said to the group, “If your child has autism they won’t: go to prom, drive a car, have a good job, go to college…” I was shocked because MY SON WILL do all those things.
My son shows me how amazing he can be. I am finding him – slowly breaking that box he is stuck away in! He still has to have socks on to sleep and a weighted blanket. Josh LOVES roller coasters, fun parks, riding horses and painted faces.
Autism WONT stop my Josh. He is amazing.
Here are a few things we do to help him:
MB12 shot about every other day
2 Omega 3-6-9
2 Multi Vitamins
and about 300 kisses a day from me!!!
I am trying to find happy, for me, but this life is hard. I know he will be ok and now to make me ok. Autism is hard for every member of our family, not just Josh. I’ll never give up. He lives in a glass box. He can see out, I can see in. I am determined to get him out!