Vaccinations. I have some acquaintances that refuse to get their kids vaccinated. You know what? That is fine. I work in the medical field and know all too well what some of these vaccines can do. But, I also work in the medical field and know all too well what some of these diseases can do. There are some diseases that we really do need vaccines for. Smallpox is one. Yes it has been eradicated since the 1970's. The last recorded case in the U.S. was in 1949. The disease was certified eradicated in 1980 by the WHO. Awesome. It is also the ONLY human disease to ever be eradicated. Polio - ok. I get that one too. Hepatitis B - get it. I am in the healthcare business. I got my vaccination in order to protect myself. I am glad my children also received the vaccination as no one who leaves the lab will ever go home free of some type of possibly infectious material on them. Think you do? Check the bottom of your shoes. Short of completely showering down, changing clothes, and remaining sterile until you get home...it does not happen. I mean really you can walk to the local store and step in something someone hocked up and track it into your house. Diphtheria, Tetanus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella -still tracking. Pertussis - meh. Ok. No major issues with this one. Meningococcal (Meningitis vaccine) - I am still not 100% on this one. Big'K was not able to get this vaccine. The Texas State Health Department nurse (RN) would not give it to her, for the reason I am about to get into (which is the main point of this rant). Now I am not one of those mothers that believes that vaccines give kids autism. I do believe that introducing certain ones together may push the body into a state that it cannot handle, therefore opening up a propensity for autism that may have been laying dormant. Big'K was a semi-normal kid. Progressing as she should have, until age two vaccines. And all of that changed. Now? Aspie. Read into it what you want.
Chicken Pox - Now I have a problem. Yes, if a pregnant woman gets the chicken pox it can be harmful/fatal to her fetus. I understand that. In most cases, chicken pox is not fatal. It can be fatal in immuno compromised people and older patients. I get that too. I do understand that it causes parents to be off work. Single mom here...totally understand. I am talking about a healthy child. Things are ok. Itching, burning, spots, sores, scars...yeah I had em all. I had a very severe case of the chicken pox. Horrible. The people at Dairy Queen in Lumberton would not serve me because they thought I had HIV due to the severity of my lesions. It. was. bad. people. But I lived and short of the scars made it through. Yes it lasted over two weeks. Yes I had to be taken to the doctor a few times because it got down into my throat. I get it. My poor mother. The hell she must have gone through. But I also remember all the neighborhood kids coming over and playing. To 'get it over with' for the other parents. It was like a party. "Oh...Little Suzy has the pox? Great! We will be over for playtime in half an hour!" Parents did that because it could be dangerous and deadly to catch it as an adult. So parents everywhere made sure their kids got it out of their systems early. I do understand that at that time most families had a stay at home parent. Schools also were not as asinine about truancy.
Here is my issue with the Chicken Pox Vaccination. This is my opinion. And mine only. This is based on what I know as a mother and as a healthcare professional.
The shingles. An old people disease. Right? Wrong. You can only contract the shingles if you have had the chicken pox. It was considered an old people disease. When their body was stressed out or immuno compromised they would come down with the shingles. Which was left over virus from the Chicken Pox that had 'gone to sleep' in a root nerve somewhere in your body, usually the spine. Now. We are vaccinating our children against the Chicken Pox. Which puts the virus in their bodies. Our bodies cannot fight off all of the virus, so little pieces parts 'go to sleep' in a nerve somewhere. Are you tracking? Now enter adolescence. you are exposed to tons of stress. Athletics, school work, other kids and their illness', deploying parents, new sisters and brothers, etc. Stress is everywhere.
Big'K got the shingles at age seven. Yes. I said seven! When her new little not yet vaccinated sister was only six weeks old. She spent over a month wrapped in gauze, coban, and double layered with long sleeve shirts and hoodies. She could not touch her sister or anything I would touch and then touch her sister. Shingles in itself is not contagious. But coming in contact with the blisters can cause a case of the Chicken Pox. And in an infant it can be dangerous. So I did my best to keep the two of them apart. It was horrible. She had to be out of public, for fear someone else (at this time) was walking around with a child that had not been vaccinated. Did I mention that it is painful? And can be for years. She still hurts. Her root nerve was up at the base of her neck, so it spread down her right arm. She still has shooting pain down her right arm and in the back of her neck. When we visited the hospital, because I could not believe I was seeing what I was seeing on my seven year old, we had to see five (count them five) doctors before Thank Big G an infectious disease doctor happened to be on call and was called into our E.R. room, and confirmed that it was definitely the shingles. Here's the kicker...he said there were upwards of seven children that had been in that week alone for the shingles. Ranging from eighteen months to fourteen years old. I was floored. But this is an old peoples disease?!? How can my seven year old, as well as all these other children, have it?!?
Fast forward to the week before school. I find out Big'K is missing a few vaccinations. The booster for the Chicken Pox, DTaP, and her Meningococcal. Because she had the shingles I could exempt her from the booster for the CP. Easy enough. Although trying to convince everyone I came in contact with that she actually did have the shingles was a different matter all together. We head to her semi-regular doctor. They give her the DTaP and are out of the Meningococcal. Awesome. This means a trip to the health department. Understandably, one of my most favorite places. Insert sarcasm here. After sitting there for over half an hour, which makes it now closing time for them, we get back to see the nurse. As we are going over her medical history I bring up the fact that she had the shingles. This is the conversation:
Me - Oh yeah, she had the shingles at age seven.
RN - You mean the chicken pox. (Not a question, a statement)