Sunday, November 11, 2007

A shot in the dark

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I am starting to get worried about the shots. Very worried. I stopped giving bubs the shots at his 12 month checkup. All along I was pressured by the peds, pressure pressure and more pressure. At bubs' 12 month checkup, my well baby insurance ran out, and just like that, the pressure stopped, at least for a little while. I had successfully managed to avoid them until somewhere around bubs' third birthday. At that point, bubs was entering his center based preschool. Ironically, I had written a somewhat bizarre letter expressing my sincere religious beliefs about not getting the shots and I just needed a letter from my peds office further reiterating that I had indeed, refused the shots. Well, when I called up the docs, they got really nasty with me and told me I was no longer invited to their party. Yeah, I got kicked out of the peds office. So, I found another ped (there is always another ped) and he was somewhat tolerant of my beliefs, although I feel as though any day now he is going to tell me that our presence is no longer welcomed at his lovely office.

So, now bubs is four and he will be going to district kindergarten next September. In the wonderful state where I live, you are only allowed a religious exemption for vaccinations, medical ones are extremely hard to come by, and even those are on a 'shot by shot' basis. The religious exemptions are becoming increasingly difficult to get, and in our case it looks really bad because I started vaccinating and suddenly stopped. So I am starting panic mode early, in the hopes that I can start constructing my fabulous, earth stopping, error proof testimony to the fact that my religious beliefs do not allow me to continue with vaccinating. The way I truly feel about it, if there is in fact a God, I know that He would want me to keep my son healthy, and He would want me, as a mother to move heaven and earth to make that so. I haven't been to Church in at least 15 years, and my son isn't baptised, but I am firm in my beliefs that there is some higher power guiding this whole production. I am also firm in my beliefs that things happen for a reason, and that fateful day my insurance ran out, perhaps contributed to how amazingly well my son is doing now. I don't want to do the wrong thing, and I don't really trust our medical establishment.

I am just not sure I am up on the 'legalese'. I have been looking into hiring a lawyer, even though I can barely afford to pay my electric bill these days. And lets just lay it on the table now that I am NOT cut out for homeschooling.
It's so interesting to me how these standards vary by state. Some enlightened states allow for a philosophical exemption. How great would that be for me? It just baffles me how there can be so much discrepancies between states, hell , it's even different from one school district to another around here. Where is the logic in that?


John Elder Robison said...

Can't you get mercury free vaccine out there?

bonbon momma said...

You can get shots without mercury, in fact I don't think my son had any mercury in his shots. It's the actual shot I am afraid of. I was told by the d.a.n.!. dr. I went to that the mmr would wreak havoc on his intestinal system and cause all kinds of problems. I am under the impression that the viral load to the system from the vaccines (and all the crap they contain) can be detrimental to the immune system. I am not sure what to think, it's very confusing, and there is a lot of pressure to conform. I only wish I had started an alternative schedule when he was born, and then I might not be in this predicament.

John Elder Robison said...

Well, I am no medical expert. I understand your worry, but you could just well worry about the risks of witholding vaccine and possibly contracting something bad. It's worry either way. I wish there were good answers.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

I myself get vaccinated, but that's just me. I've been bit by rabid animals, travelled to disease ridden places, and all - and I am alive (possibly thanks to my shots.) What's the risk to a child in a home here? Who knows?

bonbon momma said...

I do go back and forth on it all the time. I don't know what the lesser of the evils are at this point, although I am terrified, in a big way of him regressing. I am really trying to make an informed decision but it's hard when there is so much fear and anxiety tied up in this. There isn't really any easy answer to it.

Kim Stagliano said...

John, but what about the aluminum, antifreeze, monkey kidney cells, antibiotic, and on and on? And it's not just the mercury parents worry about, it's the sheer number of vaccines injected into kids in a short span. Oh dear, now I'm on my soapbox. Hi, BonBon. Trust your gut. Start praying. There. Now you're religious. Read Dr. Stephanie Cave's book on childhood vaccinations - it has slower schedule that might feel more "right" to you. Never act out of fear. Ask your doc which vaccines are for truly fatal diseases that are in the US and which are more convenience or long term. Hep B is a sexually or IV needle transmitted disease. I'm assuming your child is neither a prostitute or drug addict. Chicken pox rarely kills US children but is a pain in the ass for Mom who has to take time off from work and uncomfortable for the poor child who itches like hell. But then she's DONE with the disease and doesn't need a booster every few year or catch it as an adult. Polio is always a very bad thing, assuming you don't get the version of the vaccine that occasionally causes polio, like the one in Africa. Flu vaccine is about 709% effective for last year's virus and has 25 mcg of mercury unless your ped uses the ped version, which is darn hard to find and more expensive to order. Ask your doc.

Which ever way you decide to go. Act in the way that let's you sleep at night so you are satisfied with your decision.

You're smart to give it a lot of thought. Informed consent is critical in making medical decisions for your child.

Kim Stagliano said...

70% not 709%. D'oh!

bonbon momma said...

I don't want to get him the shots. I worked really really hard on the whole biomed thing, and he is just doing so well. I might consider that 'good' polio shot but at this point I cannot pick and choose,it's all or nothing. I am just so afraid of fouling up the 'battle' with the school district. I don't want to have to argue with them. At this point though, I should start getting used to it.
Monkey kidney cells? I knew there was all kinds of crap in those shots, but good god!

John Elder Robison said...

I really have no argument with the ideas in Kim's response . . . but the chemicals are everywhere, not just in vaccine.

One concern I have is that by focusing on vaccine we may be overlooking other possible sources of chemical poisioning, the food chain being just one example. The chemistry of the products around us is just so complex I would not even know where to begin looking.

My other concern is that vaccination has provided substantial public health benefits and I'd be reluctant to throw those benefits away without case by case review.

I don't feel I know enough to offer a more meaningful opinion, but I do have an intuitive sense that our overall environment is becoming toxic in unpredictable ways and that's scary. Because, how do you defend yourself if you don't even understand the threat?

If I were raising a kid today, I think I'd look at the vaccinations offered 50 years ago, and consider just those in mercury free form because they addressed most of the more lethal conditions of our past century, and I have not heard of people my age being harmed.

But I really don't know - I've not studied it and have no small kids.

It's really the combinations that scare me. Manufacturers (be they drug makers or toy makers or food makers) test their own products to see if the chemicals they contain will hurt us. And that's wrong often enough! What about the way in which chemicals from different products may combine into dangerous new forms? How can anyone test for that? And indeed no one does.

bonbon momma said...

I agree that there are other toxic elements in our world separate from vaccines and I do agree that they have saved millions of lives. I am not against vaccinations as a theory, but I can honestly say that I have no faith in the medical community in regards to how safe they actually are at this point. The pharmaceutical companies are in it to make money, and while I risk sounding like a conspiracy theorist loony bird, I do believe that money is their main operative here, not public safety. I think that they have created a need for some of these vaccines, just like they have created a need for various medicines (restless leg syndrome, anyone?). I have to follow my gut with this one. It's almost impossible for me as one individual to change what kind of crap we put into our environment, I cannot control that. I just cannot willingly inject something into my child that I might have even the slightest fear that it could cause harm, and at this point, I have more than a slight fear.
It's just such a conundrum to me. Vaccines have eradicated many deadly diseases. If I could pick the ones that I think are critical I would, but at this point, as far as the school district goes, it's all or nothing. The 'nothing' is not going to happen without a huge battle.
I do agree with you John, that our environment has been overloaded with toxins. I also agree that there is no easy answer to this.

bonbon momma said...

I can't edit my post but I wanted to add that I don't believe toxic elements have saved countless lives, it's the vaccines I am referring to.