Saturday, February 18, 2012

To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate?

Boy, that is the question!

Seems like there are two extremely zealous sides to the debate. Problem is, I have seen both sides of the coin.

On the hand of the Pro-vaccinators: my Western medicine education, a friend whose baby had pertussis, a family member whose 4-month old baby died of bacterial meningitis (The most heart-wrenching and horrific tragedy imaginable. Of note, they were intending to immunize.)

On the hand of the Anti-vaccinators: my experience with Western medicine not being able to adequately recognize and treat my own problems (and believe me, it's not for lack of trying different doctors and such), my success with the GAPS diet and further research on Leaky Gut Syndrome (and its association with autism), and the fact that I have a genetically-linked auto-immune disease that could be passed to my daughter and activated by an immune system insult

So you may be able to see my dilemma. And, of course, as soon as you bring up the subject, your most meek friend is pounding her fist and stomping her soapbox. Or writing flaming insults in the comment section of whatever webpage you've happened upon, searching desperately for some relevant and unbiased information.


I decided at first to try a more relaxed approach, only doing two vaccines at a time and doing only the ones for the most risky diseases. I thought I felt comfortable with this, and soon realized that I was just trying to convince myself that I was comfortable with it. In fact, I was panicked. Like not sleeping at all, paranoid. Like I had any sleep to lose at that point...

So after her second set of two, when she just wasn't herself for WEEKS afterward, and we seemed to regress on any progress we had made in the gut department, I decided that we just weren't going to do any vaccines at her 4 month visit.

Yes, I'm THAT MOM.

(Ask me a few years ago if this would have happened, and I would have laughed. Of course not! Vaccinate everyone for everything!)

I don't go along with all the conspiracy theorists on either side. No, I don't think drug companies are evil brainwashers. I also don't think that vaccination is without known risk, nor is it appropriate for every child. No, vaccines have not been shown in any study to cause autism.

But how many FACTS do we really know about the environmental factors associated with autism development? We DO know that it is associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome and that it is a genetically-linked disorder, likely activated by a set of unknown environmental factors.

Sound familiar?? (Like Celiac? or the other, related issues I've had in the past?)

That said, I am not comfortable vaccinating my specific child. It it not being selfish. In fact, I think that is a horrifically selfish argument, to say that choosing not to vaccinate is selfish.

If I and my child were completely healthy, with no known health issues, I would probably continue to vaccinate.

I know what I know. I've experienced what I've experienced. And I am not comfortable screwing with my child's immune system more than I already have. It is too susceptible to damage, given our history.

(Have I ever mentioned that my Celiac was triggered around the time that I had to get a bunch of vaccinations to continue in pharmacy school? I didn't even realize this until I started researching vaccinations for lil K. Correlation is not causation, but boy, does it make you wonder...)

No comments: