February 16, 2015

Courtesy and Common Sense

So I haven't posted lately for two reasons...A. We got sick shortly after Clayton's catheter came out and are finally on the upswing (first a cold, then sinuses I think). B. the measles.  Yep.  Silly as it may sound, I have remained ridiculously irritated by all of the crap out there about measles and vaccines and what not.  And I hate posting about that so I tried to steer clear, but then I just get consumed.  It's a flaw, I'm working on it.  There are no quick fixes.
Let me point something out...First off, media and propaganda go hand in hand.  Second, the media sensationalizes everything!  We all know this.  But when they play to our sense of paranoia it somehow becomes ok that they do this right? Wrong!  Misrepresentation of facts is misrepresentation of facts.  Thirdly, if my opinion mattered, this would be my solution: states should implement guidelines that if your kid goes to public school they must be vaccinated; then parents maintain their right to opt out by home schooling their children and parents to public school kids can feel safe...er.  It would also offer the opportunity for parents to decide just how passionate they are about the subject if they are willing to make the sacrifices to homeschool.  It says a lot if parents are willing to go from a two income household to a one income household making sacrifices so that they can homeschool their kids to avoid vaccines.  It would be a means of weeding out those trying to be "trendy". The point is that there are options that could satisfy both sides that don't involve robbing people of their freedoms and what should be their God given rights.  All this talk of government having a say over vaccinations makes my blood boil.  If you believe in the right to bear arms, you should believe in the right to medicate yourself and your family as you see fit.  Whatever you believe in, if you believe in the freedoms that built this country, you should believe in parent/person's right to choose their own path medically.  There are always ways to satisfy people's concerns without infringing on that right.
I keep hearing things like oh well people don't remember these diseases, they don't remember what it was like so now they only have the side effects to focus on.  I am sure there are bunches of folks that fall into that category and I am sure there are plenty of trendy parents looking for a cause even when they don't really know what they are fighting for or against and I am sure there are masses of people who don't truly know what it is to have a sick child.  I do not know what it is to have a child suffer from these diseases...BUT...I know what it is to have a child suffer.  I know what it is to have an excruciatingly sick child.  I know what it is to have a bed ridden child and a child who can't walk and a child on a ventilator.  I know what it is to fearfully listen to my child's stridor, praying desperately for it to go away only to wish him off to the ER.  I know what it is to sleep with one eye open on a hospital pull out beside my child waiting for the signs he is about to vomit so I can hurriedly turn him over so he doesn't choke on his own vomit.  I know what it is to have a sick child.  I haven't forgotten.  ALL of my child's suffering is ever present in my mind.  What Clayton has been through isn't any less serious than anything he would go through with any number of these diseases in question.  I have been there and I do not want him to get sick from any of these illnesses for which we have immunizations, any more than I want him to suffer any side effect from a vaccine.  Which is why for me it is all about risk-reward.
And while the media keeps putting the focus on the autism angle, that may or may not have been proven depending on who you talk to, there are real undisputed proven side effects that people have a right to know about in advance and weigh to make their decision.  People should ask themselves what makes their worries about these diseases more important than parents' worries about vaccine side effects? I mean yes, there are always going to be stupid people going with the flow or riding a trend and screwing it up for parents with real concerns, but parents with real concerns about side effects should not have to pay the price for the stupidity of some.  
Funny how people always think what they are worried about in the moment is always more important than the legitimate fears of others to the point that others should be stripped of their rights.  Sad really.  A gunman went on a spree, let's take away everyone's guns, even the good honest american defending their home and their life, it's about keeping people in this country safe; terrorist use the internet, so let's take away everyone's privacy by monitoring everything, it's a matter of national security; someone from OUTSIDE the country brought measles to Disneyland and people both vaccinated and not began contracting the disease, but it's the anti-vaccers fault so let's require everyone get vaccinated, it's a matter of a national health crisis.  It's always going to be a matter of something...criminals will still get guns, terrorists will still communicate and outsiders are still going to come in bringing who-knows-what with them.  We are never going to be 100% safe from anything...ever.  The bubble folks seem to want to live in doesn't exist.
And before anybody throws out the medical exemption angle for parents with legitimate fears such as myself with Clayton's medical history...discussions with doctors and parents like myself seem to show that if Clayton is not currently immunosuppressed doctors will not provide a medical exemption until/unless he has a reaction to a vaccination.  Waiting until the damage is done isn't really my thing.

So as a mother who pain stakingly knows what it is to have a sick child, as a mother who does not wish to see her child sick more that is absolutely necessary, as a mother who has been and will again be in a position where my child is immunosuppressed, I beg you please stop trying to shame one another into seeing things your way.  (Seriously the Facebook shaming over this issue is ri-donk-ulous) Nobody is going to win.  Nobody.  But maybe if people take a minute and step back, people can meet in the middle and come up with a solution that satisfies everyone and still gives parents a choice.

As for an update on Clayton's immunization status, we met with his new pediatrician and they said they are just glad I am not saying no across the board to immunizations.  I appreciate their working with me on this issue to do what seems safest for Clayton with all he has gone through and is going through.  We are definitely not doing polio or hepatitis vaccines.  We are almost positive though that we are doing pertusiss and phneumoccoccol vaccines.  We are planning on those two at our next visit.  Everything else is still up in the air.

1 comment:

  1. I've been thinking about you every time I see a post about this crap! Thank you for so beautifully capturing how the other side feels.
    Thumbs up!