Saturday, April 4, 2009

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, I suppose that's a question.

I'm not sure I understand all the hubbub about vaccinating kids. I mean, I understand both sides of the argument. I did my research before my son was born, and I had an idea of what I wanted to do before I ever held him in my arms. I've read articles from just about every news source you can imagine, and some that probably weren't too kosher to start with. I've had discussions with friends and family. And when I made my choice, I felt comfortable in my decision.

The boy has been vaccinated. And vaccinated to the hilt. I know a lot of people don't agree with me on this. That's fine, I don't mind. My mother is a nurse, and when we were young she worked in a speciality that exposed her (and through her, us kids) to some very, very nasty things. She had all of us vaccinated with everything she could because she was so scared of bringing something home. I don't blame her. I've inherited my 'mama bear' insane over-protective streak from her, so I get now where she was coming from.

And like I said, I'm very glad with the choice I made. For instance, one of the vaccines I questioned getting for my son was the Chicken Pox vaccine. I remembered getting the chicken pox in grade school, and didn't think it was that bad. When I asked my grandmother about it (My parents had unknowingly shipped me off to Northern CA for the summer, and I sprouted them while I was with her) as I only have vague memories of ice cream and cool baths.

Turns out the reason I remember eating all the ice cream I wanted was because my fever was so high that even with the A/C as high as possible (this is July mind you) I was in serious danger of having seizures. The doctor advised ice cream to help, same with the 'cool baths' I recall. They were actually full on stick-the-kid-in-a-bathtub-full-of-ice-cubes. I guess at one point my grandmother tried to count my pox and stopped at about 800. Luckily my family had just about all had chicken pox before, so my grandma just had to suffer me.

I swallowed hard and got the Boy the vaccine whether or not people deemed it necessary. I took some crap for it, and was actually a little worried I'd over-reacted. When the Boy was about 18 months I took him to Montana to visit the in-laws. Ex-Hole was deployed at the time, and his family does a huge Fourth of July. We stayed about 10 days, and not 4 days after we arrived back the Boy gets an odd spot in the bottom of his foot. At first I thought it might be a flea bite, and brushed it off. Then came another, and another, then came the fever. I called my mom (who hasn't called their mommy in times of crisis?) and sent her a few pictures from my phone, which was enough for her to tell me to "Get off the damn phone, and call the Doctor".

I called the doctor, who said "Yep, sure sounds to me like chicken pox". I was livid! I got him the vaccine! This is why I got the vaccine! The doctor talked me down, and actual ending up doing a great job explaining it to me. That particular vaccine isn't a end-all cure-all, but it is designed to fight the most dangerous of the strains of the virus. The Boy didn't just have chicken pox, he had one of the nasty strains that was strong enough to overcome the precautions. I did some more research on my own, and found that had the Boy not been vaccinated, he might have had to be hospitalized, and possibly had long lasting effects.

We never found out where he got them. We drove instead of flying, and none of his cousins had any signs of anything despite some of them not having had chicken pox before. A few people have told me they either purposely avoided, or exposed, their kid to chicken pox. I didn't have that option. I never ever saw it coming, it just showed up and camped at my house for 2 weeks.

Yes, I got my son vaccinated. With all the shots they recommend, at the times they recommend them. Is it the choice for everyone? Probably not. But I did my research, weighed my options, and made the choice I felt was best for my son and my family.


  1. When you see the list of the "Top 10 biggest innovations in Public Health" vaccination is always present. It may not be perfect but it is better then a bunch of kids getting Polio.

  2. Hee-hee, ya I caught the Ex-hole too. It's a keeper.

    My kids are fully immunized too. I am going to get the HPV for my daughter soon and when it comes out for boys, yep, him too. All the naysayers on immunizing amaze me. Yes, bad things can happen--but do these *ahem* people actually think that contracting a live, strong dose of the disease from contact with a person who has said disease sounds less dangerous? I can get an MMR innoculation OR I can contract measles (had them--they were unbelievable!) mumps (had 'em too), and Rubella (ditto). I am late 30's my parents were too lazy to get me immunized--they were even dumb enough to say "those shots don't work", and let me tell you--I fully believe the lupus I have now could be linked to such diseases in childhood and poor medical attention as a kid. My kids have been lucky--no major communicable illesses other than colds or flu--I fully thank good health care and immunizations for that--thank you scientists.


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