Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pain for a good purpose?

I admit it. My daughter has not yet received her one year needles. Neither has she had the flu, chicken pox, or the meningitis vaccines. Up until now she has had all her shots about a month or two behind schedule but these next ones I'm really reluctant about. For one, most of them are now live vaccines so whereas before I was injecting her with nothing that could actually give her the disease...now I am.
This is terrifying to me as I had two cousins die because nobody knew they had an immune deficiency and after receiving all their shots....they caught every single disease and it killed them. I am haunted by this and no matter how many times my daughters pediatrician assures me he see's no signs of deficiency in her...I am still scarred.
For another thing...the link to acquiring autism is enough to make me say a firm and final "no". I realize that the link is contested and there is no concrete evidence to clarify if autism can definitely be linked to the vaccine....but I've read and listened to reports on enough cases to make me very cautious.
On top of this I've seen cousins and even my own brother have severe negative reactions to these vaccines. For example, a cousin of mine had horrible tantrums following the vaccine that left her head bloody from bashing it into the floor. Before hand she had no developmental or behavioral issues. My brother would not walk for a week after his shot and became seriously ill. I personally only had my MMR vaccine just before I got married and still got very sick. I was an ADULT for goodness sakes. It even messed with my menstrual cycle. What kind of havoc will happen in the body of a baby?
Even the thought of holding my daughter down so someone can stab her with droplets of a disease seems morally wrong and very sci-fi. Kind of like the scene from that movie with the clones...can't remember the name now...where they inject the clones to kill them but tell them they're sending them to a better place. I find it agonizing to pin my daughter down while they poke this massive needle into her tender flesh.
But I just don't know. Am I subjecting her to a worse fate by failing to vaccinate? Will she suffer more serious damage if by chance she would acquire these diseases?
What's your take? Did you/will you vaccinate? Why?

Editor's Update: I was just reading Wisconsin Mommy's blog and her post today is perfect for this topic. Head on over and check her out.

8 comments:

Diane said...

That is a tough question, before reading the article you linked to I would have definately said "yes of course". Now you have me thinking. I am still more likely to get my little girl vaccinated than not because her life has probably already been saved by a vaccine. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Whooping Cough (Pertussis)about 2 months ago and my baby girl has been her contact with her frequently while she had this disease. Whooping Cough is very rare, with only a few hundred cases in Canada, and so I'm happy I didn't take a chance with that vaccine. I hope my thought on the subject help. Thanks for your blog, I really enjoy reading it.

LeRoy, Faith, and Brooklyn said...

Hey Carissa, yes we gave brooklyn the needles. I never really thought of the autism aspect until after the fact. It's been on my mind a little lately, but I'm trying not to think of it too much. I think we as parents need to make a decision, what we feel is best for our kids, and pray for the best. Either way there are pros and cons. Good luck with the decision.

My Life As It Is said...

This isn't to scare you, but...
My son was given the rotovirus vaccine when he was an infant. He had the first 2 of 3 and then they recalled it right before the 3rd (due to too many infants having stomach issues because of it) After the 2nd dose he came down with his first ear infection and got a round of antibiotics. Then he came down with c-diff.

At age 7 we got the diagnosis of Aspergers (he already had ADHD and Sensory Integration, but that wasn't explaining everything).

At age 8 I read research that linked autism with gastro issues. I looked back at his medical records. All those vacinations and 14 rounds of antibiotics before he was 24 months old... we put him on the GFCF diet. To the everyday person he really, truly does not look Asp anymore (however, take away his ADHD meds and the diet and it all does come back).

I do not think vaccinations and antibiotics directly cause autism spectrum disorders. I do, however, believe some people have a genetic predispositon and throw in some environmental issues (or vaccinations/antiobotics) and it sets the stage for some other stuff to develop. In my son's case, I think he has the predispostion for Aspergers and leaky gut syndrome and the vaccinations/antibiotics pushed it over the edge.

Now, I of course and not a doctor. This is just my opinion for my son only.

He needs updated shots when he goes into 6th grade and I'm dreading the decision we will have to make.

Vaccinations are a truly wonderful development. So are antiobiotics. I just wish there was a way to test the kids to find out who will have side effects/predispostions that will grow because of them.

That all said, the chances for the average child are very low. But with the family history you have, maybe there is some immunity testing that can be done first? And if you decide to give them to her, make sure she does not have a cold or anything - the healthier the body, the healthier the reaction would be (that's just my theory - no science to back that up either). Good luck with your decision.

Evan and Mel said...

I am with Faith on this one. We gave all of Emmanuel is needles before hearing about it being tied to autism.
With Micah we had no choice, We were still thinking surgery for her until 2 months ago and her surgeon wouldn't perform the surgery without her vaccines being up to date. If we have a third child I have some research, praying and thinking to do.

Stephanie said...

We have given our one-year-old daughter all of the recommended vaccines thus far. At her one-year check-up, we had to endure three needles. I say "we" because it was so hard to watch my precious little girl subjected to the pain - and it's even scarier to consider the "what ifs."

That said, vaccinations have eliminated or decreased dozens of life-threatening diseases to date. I would much rather my daughter experience short-term pain than contract a much more serious disease like measles, polio, or hepatitis. And that's why we choose to vaccinate.

But I have my doubts and fears. I wish more information was available about the pros and cons...

Amanda said...

This role of mom is so very tough. I appreciated the candor of this post. I wish it were easier to decide, but there is so much uncertainty and so much judgement.

Blogversary said...

I am right with you. I think the one size fits all to vaccines is scary.

We waited until our first 18 months until we started the dreaded routine.

I think our parental instincts don't get enough credit.

Damselfly said...

If it runs in the family, I think that's a great reason to delay the shots or not go for them at all. Yikes.