Monday, February 2, 2015

Third Time's A Charm?

Ezra received another vaccine shot on Friday. Now that he is on a lower dose of the immune suppressant, his doctor thought it was a good time to try and vaccinate him again. They will probably test for an antibody response at the four week mark, but his doctor said it is more likely to see a response at the eight week mark. IF we are to see a response. 

Ezra handled the shot so well - much better than last time when we had no advance notice. It is really incredible to watch him draw on all the strategies and methods he has learned over the years of medical trauma to pull himself through to a place of calm. We are very proud of him. 

Unfortunately, Ezra's IgG level (IgG level is basically the amount antibodies circulating in your blood at any time ready to fight off infection and the type of immunoglobulin that Ezra could not make prior to transplant) has decreased again. It has not dropped by a huge amount, but it also is not increasing. His doctor thinks his body is making some IgG, but not enough. Once again, what is most important for everyone to see is if he can respond to a vaccine. They are not going to give IVIG at this point, unless he gets sick or his IgG level drops more severely. 

With the lower IgG level, we are not sure that Ezra's going to be able to respond to the vaccine. We remain ever hopeful. They also took a slew of labs to check on Ezra's immune system and to make sure nothing is getting out of control on the autoantibody front now that he is on lower doses of steroids and the immune suppressant. More labs will be sent at our next clinic visit as well. It will be a nerve racking month for us as we wait for all these results to come in.  

While the country is in the midst of a measles outbreak and the ensuing debate over vaccination, it feels somewhat ironic to sit here praying for Ezra's immune system to have the ability to kick into action and respond to this vaccine. The people who choose not to vaccinate their children do not even realize how lucky they are to have a choice whether to vaccinate (and it should not be a choice). Anyone who has been following Ezra's journey knows what we would give for Ezra to be capable of making antibodies. It takes just a few minutes of learning about the immune system and these devastating diseases to see that vaccination is a gift. 

We have no choice. All we can do is to hope and pray that someday soon Ezra's new immune system starts to properly function. In the meantime, we are forced to rely on others doing their part at keeping deadly disease out of our communities. 

Unfortunately, we fear that too many do not care about the plight of their immune compromised and medically fragile neighbors, as well as all the children too young to be fully vaccinated. We shouldn't have to fear that others will make a "personal" choice that may threaten our son's life. Too many choose self over the health of the community, and not just in the realm of vaccination. We are left cringing at every report of an additional case of measles. An unnecessary fear to add to our list of fears. 

Please join us in hoping and praying that the third try does the trick and Ezra's immune system properly responds. And that we can keep him safe while we continue to wait. We will keep you all posted.