Life in a Small House: Organic, Green, and on a Budget
Although I do plan to write about how and why we live an organic lifestyle, for now I've been focusing on the progress my middle son, Liam, has been making since his stroke on June 30, 2012. It's interesting to note, some in the medical field consider a stroke to be an "organic brain injury" as opposed to a "traumatic brain injury."
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
He Still Loves Firetrucks
Now that my vaccine post is out of the way, hopefully I'll be getting more regular updates done.
One of my biggest fears right after the stroke was that Liam's personality would change dramatically.
I was wrong. He's still his outgoing, friendly, loving, caring, and sometimes stubborn self. He still loves firemen and wants to be one when he grows up. He still adores his big brother. He still tries to keep up with him. And he's still beyond excited for the arrival of his little brother.
Sure, there are things we struggle with post-stroke, but more and more his personality is making it's appearance and I'm loving it.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Opening the Can
So here we go. I've mentioned before that two unaffiliated doctors believe that the cause of Liam's stroke was the chicken pox vaccine he was given two weeks prior to that unforgettable night.
I've spent nearly every week the past month declining the flu, pertussis, and measles/mumps/rubella vaccines at my obygyn's office. (That's one problem with seeing a group of docs for a pregnancy - I keep finding myself explaining my views over and over.)
We have always been leery of vaccines. We have always done a delayed schedule. All this with doing little to no research. We were just following our gut.
But now we've started the research. We've got a third baby on it's way and to say we're simply leery of vaccines would be a great understatement.
Here's the first thing I've learned that scares me. There is a large fund of monies set aside by the government/vaccine companies that is used to compensate any family that has had a severe vaccine reaction. (To qualify for this, the effects of the reaction need to last for more than six months.)Whether or not Liam will qualify for compensation is not an issue right now. What is, is that there is this fund and it prevents parents from suing the vaccine companies. Not only is there a fund, but they have a table set up with common reactions and the amount of money to be given as compensation. So, they are aware of these reactions and have taken measures to be sure the vaccine companies do not "go under" from lawsuits. Go ahead and take a look at that site. There's links to how much has been spent on compensations, the types, and how to go about claiming an injury.
That's all well and good. Some would argue that those types of reactions are so RARE and that the benefits of vaccines far out weigh the risks.
Here's an an interesting article regarding the flu vaccine that is so widely advertised and publicized you'd think it was running for president or something. It is near impossible to go anywhere without being asked if you'd like a flu shot. As a matter of fact, CVS will offer 20% off your entire purchase if you choose to get the flu shot there. It's obvious that companies will benefit from each flu shot they sell. The article is a very easy read... I suggest you read it yourself, but it shows that people who had the flu shot were MORE likely to get the flu than those who opted not to have the flu shot.
So, what does that mean for the vaccines that are designed to prevent more serious illnesses? According to this very lengthy article, most of the common vaccines are not effective. "While recent outbreaks of pertussis, measles, and mumps have officially been blamed on those who are unvaccinated, published studies into the outbreaks have confirmed that the vast majority of those affected were vaccinated, and place the blame on ineffective vaccines – NOT insufficient vaccination rates."
Here's another link. In this one you can see what the ingredients are for the vaccines. But also, there are charts that show the decline of serious illinesses and when vaccines were introduced into the mix. (Most serious illinesses were already declining before vaccines were introduced. And typhoid fever was totally elminated without vaccines ever being introduced.) This link also has many links to more information - you could spend all day here, but my favorite is the User-Friendly Vaccination Schedule.
Not every thing I've read is totally against vaccines. Dr. Jay Gordan claims to look at each patient as an individual and decide what they might need. A child whose family travels to third world countries needs more protection than that of a child whose family vacations is less exotic places. He has this to say about the Hepatitis B vaccine, which is commonly given within 48 hours of birth.
"Q. What is you opinion of the Hepatitis B vaccine and how do you deal with it in your practice?
A. I try not to give it to any kids. It does a very good job of preventing hepatitis B, no doubt about that, but it also hits the immune system pretty hard and possibly creates autoimmune problems. The French stopped giving this shot for a while because they thought they saw an increase in multiple sclerosis in recipients. Very few experts agree with this finding but the data were not bad. Other relatively reasonable docs think that diabetes or lupus might be on the rise because of the HBV.
Creating the false security that unprotected sex is safer or that drug use is safer just opens people up to the possibilities of Hep C, AIDS or pregnancy.
I also think that there will be a much better shot in the next 5-10 years."
I highly recommend you check out his website and see where he stands on vaccines.
The choice to vaccinate your child should be a very personal decision. However, we all know that certain vaccines are "required" and avoiding those vaccines can become difficult. As of now, parents can claim religious, personal, or medical reasons for not vaccinating their children. Here's a lengthy article about Paul Offit, a vaccine inventor, seeking to put an end to religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions.
It should always remain a personal decision. I've heard some parents who choose to vaccinate on the current schedule are worried about the increasing numbers of those parents choosing not to. I do not understand this. If you truly believe in the power of vaccinations you have no reason to worry that the child sitting next to your child in class may or may not have "up to date" vaccinations.
So... what are we planning on doing? For now - we'll be leaving the hopsital with our baby receiving only a Vitamin K shot (to help with blood clotting). Our baby will not recieve the HepB shot. That will buy us two months at which point we will have to make some decisions that may be difficult to talk with our doctor about, but it's our baby and our choice. We will continue to inform ourselves the best we can. I have a feeling we will postpone starting any vaccinations until at least two years. Here's a great article about other ways to boost your immune system.