Nora’s Immune System – An Update

Last Thursday Nora and I spent the better part of a day, five hours actually, at the children’s hospital in Iowa City seeing her immune doctor. The visit involved a clinic visit and a trip to the lab. And a trip to the gift shop to waste time, as the doctor was running behind. Nora did amazing with the blood draw, she was scared, but hardly cried at all.

The good news… All of Nora’s immunoglobulin levels are normal, including IgG which was the one specifically low in her body since birth. This is huge!!! We were originally told most children outgrow low levels by the age of 5.

But the bad… For whatever reason, Nora still isn’t making antibodies specific to the vaccinations she has received. Meaning she is still unprotected, as if she didn’t receive the vaccines at all. At our visit on Thursday Nora was given an additional vaccine, PPSV23, which is reserved for the elderly and anyone with a weakened immune system. It protects again 23 strains of pneumococcal bacteria, whereas the vaccine commonly given, which Nora also previously received, only protects against 13. In four to six weeks we have to return to the doctor for more blood work, to see if her body built up an immunity to any of the 23 strains this time.

I’m trying not to think too far head and what it could mean if we get bad results again. For the time being, her doctor was thrilled that Nora is doing well in daycare and hasn’t needed antibiotics or worse to recover from the several illnesses she’s experienced since the beginning of November.

After Nora’s appointment her and I headed to the mall play area before we picked up Nadia from daycare. It turned out to be a really good day just her and I 🙂

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