Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wishy washy

It's SO tricky. But then my Doctor chastises me, and tells me No, it's really NOT. Which makes me feel stupid and also makes me think that maybe there is something evil about those immunizations, otherwise why would he be so defensive about it?! And then we get hit with the Swine Flu, and I temporarily swear that I will vaccinate my kids for any and every bug for the rest of their lives. Acne- yes. Bad breath- sign me up. PMS- done. There is no ailment that any of us should ever have to feel in this day and age, with modern medicine. We should just vaccinate against everything.

And then I hear some whisper about some kid who got Autism from vaccines...and you know how it's SUPER high with boys...which I just happen to have a baby form of right now, who just happens to be at that crazy immunization age where every month they are jabbing him with some new cocktail, and I walk out of the Pediatrician's office, crying harder than he is, wondering if I just signed his death slip or hand delivered him a hefty dose of Autism...and now I will never know what those moans and grunts he makes mean. And then later that day he seems to be OK, and I am pacified in to a state of ignorant bliss, until the next check up, when we start all over again.

So you see what a blasted, undecided mess I am?! I love that my kids don't have whooping cough. Two weeks of hacking with the Swine Flu gave me only the slightest hint at the pain and anguish that that childhood disease would have caused. Or Polio, or Scarlet Fever, or Measles, Mumps...or even Chicken Pox. Yes, I live in this really comfortable world where my kid gets a fever or an ear infection and I think that there is no one in the world who has a sicker child than I do.

I have friends on all sides of the spectrum. Scientists who swear by vaccines. Friends who swear that they are evil. I even have this friend, whose husband thinks that all the vaccines that we gave to Africa, gave the people there AIDS. I have friends who think that the mercury in the vaccines causes Autism. I feel squeamish about admitting that I think that those friends might be right.

Back in the olden days, you had a case of Smallpox, they just cut you open and spread someones Smallpox puss right in to your body. No Thimerosal. Now adays, it's obviously a lot cleaner, and a lot more sterile, but who does trust the big Pharmaceutical companies?...or the Government? I mean we are just genetically programed to grow up fearing those institutions, and generally distrusting any and everything that comes out of their mouths. So, when my Doc tells me that my friends are idiots for jumping on the Jenny McCarthy bandwagon, I kind of want to tell him to take a hike. But of course, I'll still let him shoot up my kid, and protect him from all of those gosh awful childhood killers.

And then it's so confusing, and maddening that I just stop thinking about all of it. And wish that I didn't have to make hard decisions. And really, I don't make these hard decisions. I just default. And feel guilty. And wish that I were passionate about one side or the other. But instead..I am wishy washy.

** I was just about to publish this, and then I Googled Jenny McCarthy/ Autism, and went to her site and now I am back on the big-pharma-can-not-be-trusted-band-wagon, and I want to protect my child.


Jared and Delia said...

This is such a headache for me too. I can't help but wonder every time I give the nurses the OK for them to shoot my kids up. If we had some autism that ran in our family then I would maybe space the shots out quite a bit but still get all of them eventually say by kindergarten or maybe not get a few that are not as crucial like the chicken pox one. I just have to pray about it for each of my kids and have faith that everything will pan out the way it is supposed to.

suzanne said...

Hi, Ashley! I love your blog! I am a big believer in vaccines. Measles still kilss millions of children in the world, and the only reason we don't see more of it here is because the majority of people DO vaccinate their children. This is called "herd immunity." However, as more and more people choose to not immunize their kids, the risks go up for everyone. There have been a few deaths in young infants from measles and other immunizable diseases in the US because more and more kids aren't immunized which puts young infants at risk.

There have been several very good studies in the past 5 years that show no connection between vaccines and autism.

No matter what you decide do do, please do NOT base your decision on something from Jenny McCarthy! She is a complete moron. She is all about scare tactics and there isn't an ounce of science in anything she says. Hope you guys are feeling better!

cheryl said...

Fabulous post!! You should be a journalist. I am a fence sitter too. I know vaccines are responsible for alleviating horrible illness but one also can't deny that there are reactions and the other problems that have increased since the inception of mass inoculation. I worried every time Samara got a shot too. There is a great book called 'The vaccine book' by Dr. Sears that was very helpful giving the facts about each vaccine, what's in them, how serious the disease is, reactions to each, etc. My doctor in NC was great because even though she was a firm believe in vaccines respected our right as parents to spread them out more. I guess that's my biggest problem--I don't think they need to do so many at a time.