02 March 2007
Feeling a bit critical of the French healthcare system…
You know it had to happen eventually. Too much of even the best of things can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, and tonight I have had my fill of social medicine.

I am not one of those overbearing, over-caring, mère poule types. My kids get shots and I accept it as part of life. I don’t baby them, or sugar coat things or belittle their pain. I know it hurts. And I try to comfort the hurt when it’s over with, but in the meantime, get on with it already.

But what do you do when it’s a never-goddamn-ending ordeal?

Muppet had his first vaccine at the tender age of five weeks. It was a BCG vaccine, against that lovely disease TB. The vaccine itself was called Monovac and it came in a neat little delivery system that put the vaccine right under the skin where it needed to go. See, the TB vaccine is an intra-dermal vaccine—it goes between the layers of the skin.

Well, between Muppet and Piglet, they, with they being the idiots with the power, decided to get rid of this lovely vaccine. It’s been replaced by another vaccine that is sold in a TEN DOSE pack.

TEN DOSES for one person? Why?

Well, the vaccine still has to go between the layers of the skin, only now instead of the neat little vaccine delivery system it comes with a needle.

This vaccine is MANDATORY in a lot of collective child care centers, like the one where my monkeys will be going somewhat regularly starting next week.

Only the makers of this vaccine don’t seem to get that. Have you any idea how thin, how terribly fucking fragile a baby’s skin is? And now our great and kind doctor had to get one dose (out of a possible ten!!!) under Piglet’s skin without drawing blood.

She didn’t succeed on the first try, or the second or even the eighth—at which point we called Marc to come (from home) to help hold the VERY PISSED OFF Piglet down because she’d been stuck eight times already and was squirming so much I was having contractions trying to keep her still.

In the end she was held down by her father while TWO doctors tried to give her the vaccine and I just tried to comfort her as much as possible. Even then she only got half a dose, a questionable half dose at that.

I’m frustrated tonight. Why did they get rid of the Monovac? And if they had to get rid of it, why is this vaccine still mandatory for babies going into collective child care when the new vaccine is obviously designed for older children and adults? And why the fuck did they get rid of the old delivery system which worked and replace it with something that’s so difficult that it makes even the most experienced doctors tremble?

Christine has gone to bed with three bandages on her arms covering EIGHTEEN holes. Eighteen times we had to stick her for what turned out to be a questionable result. Worth it? For some reason I feel that answer is a resounding NO.

(And I have to say, as traumatized as the Pooplette was, the doctor was more so. The Pooper was all smiles again fifteen minutes after it was over, but the Doctor Chick was still quite visibly shaken—apparently she’s just a frustrated with this situation as we are.)
posted by Doc at 23:09 | Permalink |


  • At 02:14, Anonymous martina

    Grrr this makes me absolutely livid. Poor Pooplette! Poor mama est papa! I don't know how many vaccine appointments kids need here in the U.S. but it sure isn't as many as France requires.

  • At 11:51, Blogger Star


    Found this great site with lots of weekly comps, any anyone can easily join. :)


  • At 11:44, Blogger meredith

    That's horrible. After a supposed exposure to TB, my youngest had some kind of test that proved her BCG vaccine didn't work, and because my doctor thinks the new vaccine is horrible, he fudged her test a little so we wouldn't have to revaccinate her. The efficacity of that vaccine is questionable anyway, it's really too bad the system is making so many kids suffer probably for nothing.

  • At 22:29, Anonymous Jules

    I love it when you say fuck.

  • At 12:35, Blogger Deb

    My little one gets her first set next week. I am so not looking forward to that!

    I can't believe it's 10 doses. That's just insane!