We were on our annual family camping trip, when Ben was walking back from the bathrooms and all of a sudden he couldn’t breath. He tried to call for help, but no one could hear him. He managed to make it back to our campsite, where we scrambled to get his nebulizer up and running. He spent the next few hours doing treatment after treatment, but couldn’t stop his asthma attack from coming back each time his treatment ended. We raced to the ER while he was still on his nebulizer. When we got there, we had a $500 copay. After treating him, the doctor told us to go home immediately. Five minutes down the road on our way home, my Cyborg of a husband, who never shows any sort of extreme emotion, curls up in the fetal position and starts shaking uncontrollably from a full-blown panic attack. He feared for his life. His mother cut her camping trip short, as well, just so she could drive us 6 hours through the night to our house. It took him about a month to recover from just this one asthma attack. Asthma that he got from the hepatitis B shot when he was in his early teens. He was neither sexually active nor doing intravenous drugs when he received the shot, and was in no way at risk of getting hep b. His mother is also vaccine injured. I’ve watched him panic, suffocate and lose consciousness on several occasions. I’ve had many sleepless nights, listening to him struggle to breathe while sucking down rescue inhalers, just from a chest cold. Both Ben and his mom were injured by a single vaccine administered later in life. It isn’t a matter of spacing them out for us. It’s not “too much, too soon” that overloads their bodies. Vaccines cause an autoimmune response in our family. But that in no way guarantees us a medical exemption for our kids. I’m not the selfish one for refusing to vaccinate our kids. The selfish ones are the ones who ask families of the vaccine injured to risk their other children to protect their babies or immunocompromised children. It’s like asking us to set our kids on fire to keep yours warm. Every child has a right to a public education. If your child is immunocompromised, then keep THAT child home until they are healthy again. There are more things out there that can kill a child with a suppressed immune system, than what we vaccinate for. I mean, seriously, how much sense does it make to keep a group of healthy unvaccinated kids out of school so that one unhealthy unvaccinated person can attend? Furthermore, you’re not allowed to criticize me for not understanding how science works, when you haven’t even taken the time to read a single package insert. If you’re a parent and you have not read the package inserts for the vaccines, you have no right to judge my decision regarding vaccination. I believe in science. I understand how vaccines are supposed to work. I understand how natural immunity works, as well. Vaccine acquired immunity is temporary, at best. If you have not been vaccinated according to the current CDC schedule in the last ten years, you’re not immune to DICK! So don’t go pointing fingers at my kids for not being part of the “herd”, when over half the population is walking around without any immunity themselves. Don’t believe me? Go get your titers checked. Until then, stop calling families of vaccine injured people “anti-science conspiracy theorist baby killers”. If my husband had been born with little flipper arms because his mother has taken medication for morning sickness, people would be going out of their way to open doors for him. But because he suffers from an invisible vaccine injury, as many people do, it’s somehow okay to ridicule us for not vaccinating our children. Even though the manufacturer’s insert recommends that we carefully weigh the decision to vaccinate if there is a history of autoimmune disease (check) and vaccine injury (double check) in our family, we are still expected by the government and society to line our children up and sacrifice them for the greater good. They must first be injured for us to obtain a medical exemption, and then their reward will be a lifetime of harassment and ridicule for questioning science. The same science that said cigarettes are healthy and that Vioxx and Risperdal are safe. Thanks, but no thanks. This isn’t to say that we are anti-medicine, or even anti-vaccine. I think that each family has a responsibility to weigh the risks and rewards for their own personal situation. I wouldn’t try to pray away a bladder infection, when antibiotics are very effective at treating it. Nor would I automatically give my kids an antibiotic the second they get a fever because I would be doing a disservice to their immune system by not letting it flex it’s muscles. Each person needs to assess their own risks. Educate yourselves on the risk of vaccination, just as you would any other medical procedure. And for the love of God, stop trying to take away our right as parents to decline vaccines. Nothing that carries the risk of injury and death should ever be mandated. One-size-fits-all medicine is not safe.
I will definitely be posting more on this topic later on, but for now, here are some links for you to peruse at your own leisure.