The Tdap Shot…Heard ‘Round the World…

I wrote about…keeping up…with my medical information the other day…which…made me remember…getting my last…actually my first…Tdap…vaccination…I say first…because…the adult vaccine was changed a few years ago…from…TD…tetanus/diptheria…to…Tdap…tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis

Anyway…to make an long story…even longer…seems there has been an increase in…pertussis…whooping cough…in recent years…so…all us school nurses got an email…recommending that we get the new vaccine…

I’m pretty diligent about that kind of thing…so…I rolled up my sleeve the same afternoon…and thought that would be that…well…my arm was a bit sore…but…I expected that…

What I didn’t expect…was to discover…a fairly…large…tender…lymph node…hiding behind my left collarbone…but…on Sunday afternoon…when…all the doctor’s offices were closed…I did…

I must admit…it scared me half to death…so…I did what I had to do…I Googled…yeah…I know…you saw that one coming…you know me so well…anyway…what I found scared me even more…lymphoma…that’s what all the sites said…would cause supraclavicular lymphadenopathy

At some point…just before I Googled lymphoma treatments…I remembered…the Tdap shot…could it be connected…yes…I Googled that…and…somewhere…in tiny print…at the very end…of an obscure site…I found what I was looking for…yes…Tdap…could cause that big honking lymph node…if the injection was in the ipsilateral appendage

I have to tell you the truth…I’ve been a nurse for a lot of years…and I didn’t have a clue…so…I Googled…one last time…it meant…same side…and…yes…my injection…was in the left arm…I breathed again…

But…I still called…and made an appointment with my OB-GYN doctor the next day…just to be safe…he agreed…all was well…but…since I was there…he might as well…do my yearly stuff…including…sending me for a mammogram…

I went…and…thought…that was that…

Until…the hospital called me…there was a lump…could I come back for an ultrasound…now…as frightening as this sounds…I was at least 95% certain…that it was the same lump…that…I’ve had for years…that had been biopsied…and was fine…so…I only fretted…I didn’t panic…

But…I did have to take off a second day from work…and go for the ultrasound…but…they couldn’t find my old films…so…they weren’t sure if it was the same spot or not…

A couple of hours…and…lots of frustration later…we found films in the doctor’s office…that verified the spot…it hadn’t changed…once again…all was well…

So…let’s recap…no…let’s not…it was too much the first time…but…all of this…happened…as a result…of one little Tdap shot…

Bertha…says it is a lot like life…of course she would…she says…my biggest messes…usually start…with…a small event…and then snowball…into a fiasco…and…she’s right…they do…I always say…I get into the most trouble…when…I’m minding my own business…

Well…she did say something else…about my tendency to…make mountains out of mole hills…and…that if I didn’t settle down…she was gonna take away my Google privileges…but…she couldn’t be serious about that…could she…

No…surely not…so…for now…I’m just glad that I’m not due for another Tdap…for seven more years…I hope I remember about the lymph node by then…just saying…

Jane