Manic Motherhood at it's FINEST!!

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Monday, September 27, 2010

Touchy Topic Tuesday- Vaccinations: A novel. (I'm kidding..but it IS long.)

Welcome BACK to Touchy Topic Tuesdays!!!!

*Disclaimer- ONLY FRIENDLY COMMENTS PLEASE: this does not mean you cannot disagree or state your opinion, but I will NOT be subject to personal attacks, nor will I allow my readers to be subject to them either. If you leave a rude comment or a personal attack, your comment WILL be deleted, without warning, without further discussion. *

This particular topic was inspired by a good bloggy-friend of mine back in May. I would LOVE for you guys to hop on over and visit her blog, read her opinion, and then come here to further discuss the topic.

In MY personal opinion, Laurie hit the nail on the head with this one. Her opinion is MY opinion.

Obviously, you all already know that I am a pro vaccine mom. ALL of my children are current and up to date on their vaccines. YES, including chickenpox. And they had them ON TIME.

I have pretty strong opinions on just about EVERY topic out there. But for the most part, I feel they are strong and correct for ME and my family, not for everyone (ie. topics such as: family bed, breastfeeding, circumcising, attachment parenting, CIO, preschool, and so on.) and while I'm ALWAYS a sucker for a well directed discussion on such things, for the most part, I don't really give a darn about what you do with your children. I am of the opinion that there are a million different correct and wonderful ways to raise a child. Just because my parenting, discipline, bedtime or cooking style may be different from yours does not mean that I feel you are "wrong". I just feel that I'm right for me and my children. We ALL want what's best for our children. And what's best for one family isn't necessarily what's best for another.

And because I have strong opinions, it has to be said that I didn't GET those strong opinions based on biased internet articles or because it's the 'norm' or because someone told me to do it. I got those opinions because I have done MUCH research on my own, and in many cases discussed my child's welfare with doctors, and did some 'crunchy' research on the side.

All of that being said, vaccinations are one of the very VERY few things that get me going. I DO, as a matter of fact, feel that it is a menace to society to let a child wander around unvaccinated. There are SO many arguments that parents come up with about why they don't vaccinate their children, from not wanting to introduce toxins into their bodies, to religious reasons, to autism, to the idea that if everyone else is vaccinated, then their child won't catch or spread illnesses (which is completely untrue, and, in my opinion, is very irresponsible and rather morbid to be honest) and my very most favorite (sarcasm) : "It's better for them to build their own immunity."

First of all, I will NEVER argue with someone who says they have "religious" reasons for not wanting to vaccinate. People do all kinds of things for religious reasons. I do. I'm a very religious person. But I don't buy it when someone from MY church tries to convince me that vaccinations are of the devil. If it were, I am 100% sure that our church leaders would say so. When that happens, I'll obey and let my kids go au natural. But I don't think that'll ever happen. And I think it's a low trick to SAY that it's for religious reasons when it really is not.

As far as Autism goes, there is not now and never has been any link between vaccines and Autism.

Yes, I know. It's all over the internet, celebrities by the throngs speak out about it, ect. etc. etc. Unfortunately for the all knowing Gods of the Silver Screen (more sarcasm) the only study ever done on the subject that came up with evidence that the MMR vaccine caused Autism was done by a man who very clearly MADE the results the way he wanted. His study was corrupt in the WORST way. He was paid by a company to FIND something wrong with the vaccine, he used a very small group of children for his study and had no control group. Dozens of studies have since been done in more correct patterns and the findings have never once been duplicated or even neared.

You can read more about this Here and even watch a video Here.

Many parents blame the Thermosil (mercury) in the vaccine for causing their child's Autism. BUT, mercury hasn't been used in vaccines since 2004. (It IS still prevalent in flu shots, though, just for a heads up.)

The problem with all the parents who see their child "contract" autism after getting that round of shots is that Autism is one of those things that manifests and is diagnosed at about the same time that a child is given shots. It doesn't mean there's a cause or even correlation.


The thing about Autism is that it's such a broad spectrum. There are so many different types of Autism that range from high functioning to low functioning to behavioral problems.

So many parents are concerned that Autism is on the rise. Well, it is. But not because of vaccinations, it's because of MEDICATION.

Truly. Thirty years ago, a child with Autism would have simply been labeled "socially inappropriate" or "anti social" and "outcast". Now a days, there is such a deeper understanding of the disorder (though, there is still a LONG way to go) and more and more people are being diagnosed with it than would have been before. Furthermore, there are medications and therapies and treatments that parents and doctors can use to help these diagnosed individuals to reach further, more full potential. Thirty years ago, those people would not have been able to hold a normal relationship with a person, much less marry or procreate. Now, though, many of them have EVERY possibility of doing so. Thus, they go on in life, marry, and have children, passing on that Autistic tendency.

My conclusion? Autism is genetic. Not contracted. Perhaps there ARE outside sources that can, as they say, flip the switch. But a person who has Autism was already hard wired for it.


One of the biggest problems I have (though, the absolute biggest is coming up next.) is that so many parents have this idea in their head that if they don't vaccinate their child, it's okay, because everyone else has their children vaccinated, and that will protect their child from illness, and if everyone else's child is vaccinated, then IF their kid DOES get sick, no one else will catch it.

I really fail to see how this argument is valid.

Okay. For the most part, my older two children have me worry free. Lilly has had her 5 year old shots and for the most part- until she needs boosters in Junior High, is done and done. My 4 year old is up to date and will have the rest of his shots next year before he goes to Kindergarten. Scarlet is only 2, however. And she has fewer shots than my older two just because of her age. And I will be having a baby in January, who will be fresh from the womb without any protection at all.

Well, my older kids, I'm sure, won't get sick. And probably not Scarlet, as she's almost 3 and her shots are kind of winding down.

But my new baby? Well, Lilly goes to school. And there are probably parents there who feel that their child is above the responsibility we all have to protect each other's health. It's very likely that that child may get sick. Maybe not with measles, or polio, because those really ARE well controlled. But Pertussis kills over 50,000 infants per year and that number is rising DUE TO THE NUMBER OF UNVACCINATED CHILDREN THAT RISES EACH YEAR AS WELL!

Lilly doesn't have to CATCH the illness to bring it home. Did you know that? She does not have to CATCH it to have it on her hands, or on her backpack, or on her clothes. All she has to do is be within close proximity of someone who can cough into their hand, or wipe their nose on their sleeve, rub up againt my daughter, and viola! She brings it home and my helpless infant, who WOULD have been vaccinated as soon as s/he was old enough, because I am that kind of responsible parent, lands in the hospital, fighting for life.

Any parent can talk to me until they're blue in the face about how this is slim and will likely never happen. But it DOES happen. It has happened to many people I know personally as well as this beautiful, strong blogger whose 4 month old son died of Pertussis last year.

And it's also happened to one of my own children. Luckily, my son didn't die, but he caught Rubella from a friend of ours whose child was not vaccinated. SHE swore up and down that his rash (very light at the time as it was disappearing from his illness having run it's course) was just a reaction to a weed he was allergic to in their back yard. I cautiously believed her until about a week and a half later, a fever of 102 and rising, our poor not-yet-one-year-old looked like this:

It took an ER visit to confirm that my son had Rubella.


Now we come to my biggest pet peeve. People who think that it's so much better to let their child get sick and "build their own immune system".

(Due to my topic already being a stinking novel, I'll put up this video, which, I think explains it very well.)

In short, there is absolutely NO REASON to think that because a child is given a vaccination that their body isn't making it's own immune system. As a matter of fact, it is being trained to do that very thing. A person can inject a dead virus (what most vaccines are made of) into a person, and if their body responds and makes the antibodies it needs to have to safely encounter that disease, then it IS IN FACT building it's own immune system- never mind that they don't get sick because the virus isn't live or that they weren't exposed to it "naturally". I also don't think that many non vaxers understand the kind of harm that these preventable diseases can cause their children AFTER they get better:

Heart problems

Hearing problems

Lung problems





The list really can go on.

Really quickly before I end, I want to address the topic of the chickenpox vaccine.

Many parents- even those who are otherwise pro-vaccine- are against the chickenpox vaccine because they feel that it is a mild disease that their children should be able to handle.

On the subject of it being a mild disease that a child should handle, I agree. However, I am a person who contracted chickenpox when I was 14 years old. I was very sick for over a month with such a terrible case that it caused me to vomit for 3 of those 4 weeks. I lost hair. My tongue turned white and swelled until I could barely breathe due to the dehydration I suffered from when the vomiting prevented me from keeping anything down, including liquids. I lost a degree of my hearing for a temporary time, though I still have ear issues from it. I suffered from hallucinations due to the high fever I was fighting.

All the while, my sister (age5) and my brother (age 3) came through their chickenpox at the same time I did with a mild fever, and my mom telling them for around a week not to scratch. They ate popsicles in oatmeal baths and had hydrocortisone cream rubbed on their pox. Mine were too painful to rub anything on them.

All of this was due to my older age. The older a person gets, the worse the disease is.

Do I feel that it is important to vaccinate your children against chickenpox? Yes. I do. If ONLY because everyone else is doing it.

No, I'm not talking about jumping off bridges here.

The fact is, your child very well should be able to handle a chickenpox virus easily. However, with so many children being given the vaccine now, they are not likely to be exposed to it any time soon. If they are, then you can rest easy. If not, then they risk catching the virus when they are older. I was still a young girl when I had my complications and a person older than I was would have it much worse. A woman who contracts chickenpox in pregnancy is likely to deliver a still born baby, or miscarry.

The effects can be devastating.

In conclusion, of course, I have to add an exception.

I am well aware that there ARE children out there who have had bad reactions. There are possibilities for seizures and high fevers. There are children out there who have neurological disorders. There ARE children who are at risk for having complications with vaccines. While I think that the likelihood of those things happening are very slim in comparison, they DO happen. And if I were a parent of a child with a neurological issue, then I would likely keep that child away from vaccinations too. As it stands, none of my children have suffered from so much as a fever from their vaccines and so I will continue. While I admit that I do feel some resentment for parents who have no reason to deny their child and my child the help their immune systems deserve, and harbor an idea that they are somewhat irresponsible for not vaccinating their children, I truly am okay with those moms who have a GOOD, REAL REASON for choosing not to vaccinate.

In that case, I dearly hope that MY children's healthy immune systems CAN sustain your child's too.




Missy said...

I totally agree with you! My kids are also current on all their vaccinations.
I think that Jenny McCarthy has scared so many moms into thinking that their kids will become autisic if they get them vaccinated. I think when parents chose not to vaccinate they are doing what they think is best, but they often don't think about the effect it will have on others around them. Perfect example is what happened to your little boy.

side note: I just realized I forgot to add your button when I changed my Lily Puff site around...I just added it back :)

Lourie said...

My kids are current. And yes our church leaders would definitely tell us if we needed to refrain from vaccines. There is a gal in my own ward who actually said she would rather risk the disease. No joke. Does she even realize what she is saying. That picture of your sweet baby speaks absolute volumes. It broke my heart. Poor poor thing. Great post. Novel and all! ;) When are you due again?

Oh and the ones who say "they need to build up their own immunity" are the ones who send their kids to school when are they sick. Just saying.

laughwithusblog said...

Very interesting/thought provoking! I suppose I am a middle of the roader as much as that is possible. I do and have had my kids vaccinated, but I'm sure they are not up to date. My cousin's baby died the day of his six month shots so that is always in the back of my mind. The day of my second child's six month shots she wheezed half the day so I am apprehensive. I also see the other side. There are some things here I have never thought about. Thank you! :)

*Jess* said...

I believe in the idea and science behind vaccines. But have you done the research on vaccine ingredients? Have you ever requested and read the package insert that comes from the pharmaceutical company that manufactures a particular vaccine? Until vaccines are safe, I'd rather my child have the measles than die from a vaccine related injury. And for the record, I have one child who is fully vaccinated, one child that has only had a handful. My latter child has autism. I do not believe its from the vaccines because I do believe it has a genetic component, but I firmly believe that some children's bodies cannot shed the toxins that are present in vaccines. Its not just about thimerasol, either. Its about aluminum, formaldahyde, fetal embryos as well. None of that belongs in vaccines. I also do not believe in the "herd mentality" that is necessary for vaccines to work. I will not sacrifice my one child's health just to make sure the population stays protected. If a vaccine is not reliable on building a child's immunity on its own, then what good is it?

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Jess- yes, as a matter of fact, I have read the ingredients. Have YOU read the ingredients on a package of frozen pizzas? Or what's in the packaged ANYTHING we feed our kids? Yes, I've read them. Yes, there are occasions where a child has risks. But obviously, if you'd rather your kid have measles, you don't know what it can do. As for my son- well, if he grows up to be infertile, we'll know it was probably due to the Rubella he suffered from.

I don't believe that you watched the video. A vaccine DOES make a child's body create it's own immune system. A child that is a newborn and doesn't have the shot and is so very little that exposure to a vaccine preventable disease could kill them should not have to die because a mother thinks her child is so far above the idea that we all need to watch out for each other. If your child does not get sick, it's because of those of us who have taken the steps to protect our children AND yours.

I really find it mind blowing that people cannot understand the concept of a vaccine or how they can argue that the body isn't making it's own immune system.

Tara said...

My ex husband got Pertussis the week afte I had my youngest immunized. Talk about scary. What would have happened had it been the week before?? The dr still told us to have him stay away from the kids for a while. The best part? He worked at a daycare with preschool aged children. Imagine if that had been your kid's daycare provider. I have another friend who conrated Scarlet Fever. Not something I want my kids picking up at school.

I am totally for the chickenpox vaccine as I, as a young child, contracted a mild form of the disease with no problems. Later in life, however, I came down with Shingles because of the chickenpox I had as a kid. It threatened to make me blind as I got it on my face. Anyone who had chickenpox can get shingles. And, sadly, although I have had shingles, I can still get it again.

I cannot understand how our society has become so complacent that we would rather our kids get diseases that our grandparents were terrified of having or their children contracting.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Tara- My brother who has diabetes gets shingles all the time because of his compromised immune system (the one who was 3 when he had chickenpox.) and my great grandmother died of complications from shingles. THat's another very misunderstood disease. The dormant chickenpox is just waiting to attack a compromised immune system, and those who have it bad enough, particularly the elderly, die of it all the time.

The chickenpox vaccine is quite new. None of the elderly today have the vaccine, as most of them have had chickenpox itself. However, my hypothesis on the subject is that when our children are elders, shingles is a disease that will be a rare cause of death. Just one more way I can help my children live as long as possible.

PartlySunny said...

My kids are vaccinated. And I never had chickenpox, so I lived in fear of getting them for years. I was the happiest person on the planet when they came out with the vaccine. That said, I can empathize with families who have autistic children and are fearful of having their other children immunized. I know what the research shows (I'm very science oriented, just like you), but I can still understand their apprehension. There are a lot of blanks to fill in.

As for the autism thing, I think you've missed the mark slightly in that the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder hasn't really ramped up within a sufficient amount of time to create an entire new generation of autistic kids from autistic parents. I don't doubt that it's genetic. We have a high-functioning autistic son, and by looking at our family tree, you can see "signs" of social awkwardness. What I do doubt is that 30 years ago, it was diagnosed with as much aggressiveness as it is today. So that's one of the reasons for the upswing. And, 30 years ago, you'd be written off as an "odd kid." Which, to be frank, I think is still correct and people are being overly diagnosed (my son, quite possibly, included).

trydefyinggravity said...

I echo Partly Sunny's comments about autism. I believe it's partly genetic as well, and I'm pretty sure it's just being diagnosed differently than it was in the past.
That being said, my kids - all three of them including my high functioning autistic son - are all caught up on their vaccines. I had no hesitation when vaccinating my youngest, even after my middle son's diagnosis.
While I am steadfast in my belief that vaccines were not the cause of my child's autism (because I believe the science), I have to respect the opinions of those who believe that their child was harmed by a vaccine. I'm not talking about believing the fake science of "doctors" like Andrew Wakefield, but more feeling sympathy for parents searching for any answer to help their child.
Thanks for visiting my blog today! I look forward to reading more from you.

Rachel said...

Thanks for the respectful dialogue :)

My son is up-to-date on all vacs, except varicella.

I lost my hearing due to repeated bouts of chickepox. Because of my compromised immune system issues, I am one of those for whom the vaccine is not recommended. My son inherited some of the same health issues as I did.

Partially, I'm concerned about the rise in adult shingles that has been linked to the zoster vax, but also have concerns about the fetus cells that were used to develop it.

All in all, I feel like my husband and I have done our research and balanced the risks of both. And for me, I'd rather have some Acyclovir on hand in case my son ever catches it "naturally".

I don't ever criticize others who choose to vaccinate (as I said, our son has all his other vaccinations); I just think this is right for our particular mix of family medical history.

Thanks again for the open and respectful post :)

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