Sunday, June 1, 2014

Where We Stand - Vaccinations

This is one of those posts that is a "for what it's worth" post.  You don't have to agree with us, but I just want to share where we stand on vaccinations.

Chris and I actually stand in pretty different camps when it comes to over-the-counter and prescription medicine.  My philosophy comes from my parents (my dad a pediatrician who's been a doctor over 50 years), and I believe that all medicine has side effects and all medicine should be a last resort.  Our family is dabbling in essential oils for healing, rest and fluids are always good for healing, and a little bit of discomfort or pain never killed anyone.  I believe there is a time and place for decongestants and anti-biotics, but they are to be used in moderation.

Hubby's philosophy comes more from his parents and sister (a general practitioner who has been a doctor for about 5 years) and that is, if there is a medicine that can help, go ahead and take it.

I'm sure Hubby and I have some major discussions down the road when it comes to treating our children's fevers, stomach bugs, and more.

All of that being said, we are in complete agreement when it comes to vaccinations.  We are adamantly in favor of vaccinating our children.

I still believe there are always side-effects to any medication, and I have to admit, I occasionally thinking to myself that I survived the chicken pox just fine, why do my kiddos need a vaccine against it... but the truth is, we trust the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, and we want our children vaccinated against diseases.

Tracey Ann had her four-month vaccinations just last week, and we had a rough afternoon when we got home.  Her little leg really hurt as her body was developing anti-bodies against these diseases.  We experienced a full hour of screaming followed by 24 hours of baby Tylenol (yes, there is a time and a place for over-the-counter medicine), and all of this was hard to watch as a parent... but never would we even consider not vaccinating our children.

A little sore leg for an afternoon is NOTHING compared to the ravages of diseases, which the vaccines prevent.  One of the vaccines Tracey Ann received at this appointment was against Polio.  Tracey Ann's Papa, my dad, was responsible for organizing the Polio vaccine drive, which vaccinated his entire county in the 1960s, when the vaccine was discovered and mass-produced.  I have always known that, but Tracey Ann getting this vaccine led me to ask my dad some details about Polio.  I have always known about some effects of Polio, but never the medical details.

Polio is a horrible disease.  It is a disease that attacks a person's central nervous system can causes gradual paralysis.  There was no treatment for Polio, as it was a virus that a patients body could either fight off, or couldn't.  My dad said that there was always an increase of Polio cases in August, which led doctors at the time to wonder if it lived in lakes or pools.  As far as my dad knows, they never did determine how the virus is transferred -- it was not contagious between people, but it was a deadly virus.

As the Polio virus caused paralysis over different parts of a patient's body, eventually the paralysis would take over the patient's diaphragm making it impossible for the patient to breathe.  This is when the patient would be put in a metal tube called a Negative Pressure Ventilator, or Iron Lung, which would force air into the patient's lungs allowing them to continue breathing when their diaphragm was paralyzed.

As soon as I asked my dad about Polio, he immediately shared with me the horrors of this disease that he had to watch attack child after child while he was in medical school and residency.  As teachers, Hubby and I have students who we will remember forever.  As a pediatrician, my daddy has patients he will remember forever, and as soon as he began telling me about Polio, he brought up a thirteen-year-old girl, who had to go into the Iron Lung, and who died from Polio.  Watching child after child suffer from and die from Polio is what motivated my dad to work so hard to get his entire county vaccinated when the vaccine was mass-produced.

I know many parents who refuse vaccines focus more on the measles/mumps/chicken pox variety... but the fact of the matter is, I will try any natural remedy before I run to the pharmacy... but disease prevention through vaccines is a horse of a different color.  I want my daughter to have a strong natural immunity... but I don't need her to be at risk for numerous life-threatening diseases when preventative measures are available.  The world has enough dangers from which I cannot protect her, so the horrors from which I can protect her, I intend to do so.

My baby girl had a really rough afternoon because of her four-month vaccines... but her sore leg was NOTHING compared to a paralyzed diaphragm due to Polio... and believe me, I told myself that many times while she was crying.

We are a household full of natural remedies.
We are also a household that strongly believes in vaccinations.

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