I am the 80’s child of the typical American family. My mother was a registered nurse and my sisters and I were vaccinated (on what was then a much lesser schedule). I was brought up like any normal American girl. I was the product of a natural birth and I went to all of my well-checks (plus some). I didn’t eat a lot of sugar growing up and my mom always made sure there was a vegetable on my plate. Once in a while we splurged and got Schwann’s or take-out Chinese. It was a real treat.
I was an active child. I played basketball, took dance and gymnastics, ran track, and was in the marching band where I walked for endless hours and twirled a stick around my wrist while I daydreamed of boys and training bras. I also lived an outdoor lifestyle, as I am part of a huge agricultural family. We had hundreds of rabbits, goats, chicken, geese, cows, horses, and cats – I could list their names for you, but who really cares?
My mom never packed my lunch for school, but she never let me eat Lunchables either. My teeth were always brushed, my clothes washed, and I had to take a bath…every single night. After bath I was forced to get a full night’s sleep. We ate a mostly local diet, which is bound to happen when your father deer hunts, your cousins raise pigs and cows, and you dress your own rabbits. My mama never made us smoothies but she never let us drink soda either. I still feel deprived.
Despite my normal American upbringing, I was a sick child. No, I didn’t get the temporary, common childhood illnesses like measles, mumps, rubella, whooping-cough, or chicken pox, but I was plagued with constant sinus infections, ear infections, respiratory issues, pneumonia, and gastrointestinal problems – all very possible adverse reactions listed on the vaccine package inserts. My mother always took the doctor’s advice and I was placed on antibiotics for 10 months to prevent the ear infections I always got after receiving my vaccinations.
We now know that antibiotics wipe out the gut flora that is essential to a properly functioning immune system and makes one more susceptible to contracting illnesses whether they are vaccinated or not. So, if you have a “crunchy” unvaccinated friend who regularly takes an antibiotic and can’t figure out why they get sick all the time...this could be it.
Luckily, my ear infections went away after I moved past the prime of the CDC’s vaccination schedule but I continued to get boosters against diseases I no longer have immunity to. Instead of enjoying chicken pox as a child and getting lifetime immunity, I get the privilege of being exposed to it as an adult (where side-effects are much more severe) either through children who have chicken pox or children who are vaccinated with a live varicella vaccine, which sheds for up to six weeks. This I’ve been told isn’t good for the immunocompromised or those with autoimmune diseases.
Oh yeah, an autoimmune disease – just a little somethin’ I picked up after my last vaccination. Crohn’s disease is a debilitating, chronic disease for which there is no “medical” cure. A person with Crohn’s is plagued with bowel obstructions, abscesses, fistulas, excessive bleeding, excessive pooping, inflammation, a significantly increased risk of colon cancer (if you’re lucky enough to keep your colon), and a 75% chance of getting a first-class trip to the operating room. People with Crohn’s disease are placed on immunosuppressive drugs and they get their guts cut out piece meal until there’s nothing left but a poop bag hanging from their waist. Yes, this is every teenage girl’s dream…a poop bag.
It turns out that I had the gene associated with Crohn’s disease and that this gene can be “turned on” by vaccinations. (It’s called epigenetics and using nutrition to turn it off is known as nutrigenomics.) Genetic testing is not routinely done when a child is taken in for their routine shots and it was not done for me. I was lucky though; other children got severe neurological damage and polio from their vaccinations.
I would love to give you the play-by-play of my stint with Crohn’s disease – the times I spent in the hospital, the woes of losing complete bowel function, having to learn how to do an enema every two days at the age of 19, my love/hate relationship with the toilet, the other health problems I got as a result, the procedures, the miscarriages, and the vast amount of time I spent lying on the floor wishing I could die, but that seems a bit anecdotal don’t you think?
Let’s face the facts, those of us who have chosen not to vaccinate did so on the basis of an informed decision after a thorough evaluation of the science (or lack thereof), common sense, and reasoning…not anecdotal evidence. This is the reason why emotional arguments are not effective in convincing us to vaccinate.
So the persistent fear mongering over common childhood illnesses and the continual downplay of the chronic diseases that result from getting vaccinated with a vaccine that provides temporary immunity at best, just doesn’t cut it for me. My mom did everything she was supposed to do. She listened to her doctor and vaccinated her children on schedule, and I got sick.
My mom wasn’t crunchy but lets face it, crunchy isn’t the majority. The “typical American family” is and that’s exactly what we were. I was forced to embrace a crunchy lifestyle as a result of getting a chronic disease. It just so happens that we chose to continue that crunchy lifestyle and not to vaccinate our children.
Our unvaccinated children are never sick. They’ve never needed antibiotics and have never taken a medication of any kind. The physician at the one well-child check we took them to told us not to come back because they didn’t need to see “healthy children.” My other two children were vaccinated before we adopted them and they are always sick. I just hope that the accumulation of toxic ingredients and the effects of mutated viruses attacking their immune systems don’t affect them down the road like it did me.
Let’s get real though, whether you live a crunchy lifestyle or not, whether you vaccinate or opt out, your children will at some point experience sickness. Some believe this isn’t a bad thing when it occurs naturally. These simple childhood illnesses challenge and prime the immune system giving one protection against more serious diseases as adults. This doesn’t mean you should go looking for measles, it just means you shouldn’t be terrified of it. Others feel that sickness is a huge deal, unless it’s the sickness caused by injecting something unnatural into the body in an unnatural way…that kind of sickness is perfectly okay. Wait, vaccinated children don’t get sick right? Wrong.
I often find myself wondering why adverse reactions to vaccines are so common, yet the complications of these common childhood diseases are so rare, and then I thought back to middle school when we learned about the industrial revolution and how our living conditions changed and improved – better housing, hygiene, and improved access to clean water, food, and indoor plumbing. My grandmother, who is 100-years-old, has seen this first-hand. We no longer use the outhouse…but it’s still there sitting on that same old mound of poop. You can faintly get a whiff on a windy day.
I am young, so I only hear “stories” about infectious diseases and the propaganda used to get people to sign on but I have a hunch that the same tactics used against us today were used back then. Unfortunately, this generation has the privilege of witnessing first hand, the insanity of the CDC’s vaccination schedule (now 49+ vaccines by age six) and the rise in chronic disease in this country, now affecting almost 50% of our population. I am a statistic of this “real” epidemic.
I have several friends whose children have suffered severe neurological damage due to Dtap. I know someone who became blind after getting the MMR vaccine. Babies have died after Hep B, Dtap, and MMR. I know warrior mammas that dedicate every waking minute to their children who have autism because of a vaccine. Their children will never grow up to live a normal life and will never be able to do the things we all take for granted like wearing underwear, holding a conversation, or having coffee with friends. I know a mama whose child suffered from brain encephalitis, eczema, and acquired a deadly peanut allergy post-vaccination. Her child could die because your child ate a peanut butter sandwich last night and forgot to brush his teeth.
I don’t know of anyone who has died from meningitis but I do know that meningitis is something I don’t want my child to get and is a listed possible adverse reaction of several vaccines. I don’t want my children to get any of the diseases for which we vaccinate for but I do know that the vaccines can cause the very diseases they are designed to prevent, are largely ineffective (whooping cough, mumps, and tetanus, to name a few), increase my child’s risk of getting more serious diseases as an adult, do not provide lifetime immunity, and have absolutely not been proven safe.
I may be stating the obvious here, but if a child’s immune system is not strong enough to fight off a common childhood illness like chicken pox, then why would it be strong enough to fight off the live viruses combined with neurotoxins, hazardous wastes, carcinogens, animal goodies, and aborted baby proteins, DNA, and cells in multiple vaccines? Has the CDC’s vaccinations schedule even been tested? Let me save you some time. NO.
If anecdotal evidence (non-factual information based on someone’s experience) is nothing to base our decisions on, then the mainstream media should stop reporting one-sided propaganda…like yesterday; and you should throw out “Growing up Unvaccinated“ right now as it too is based entirely on “personal experience” and anecdotal evidence. Oh wait, anecdotal evidence can be used, but only if supports the pro-vaccine agenda. Bring on the tear-jerkers and the stories of the extremely rare side-effects of contracting chicken pox and let’s see some more pictures of a kid who actually didn’t have polio in and iron lung and that measles rash. Just don’t mention SIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, or (a-u-t-i-s-m).
I know, there are immunocompromised children in our country that we need to consider, but according to the CDC, the immunocompromised can be vaccinated and those who can’t, shouldn’t be around vaccinated children either. I would love to tell you the story about how my husband wasn’t able to get live vaccines because his father had leukemia but that’s more of that anecdotal evidence we don’t want to hear about if it doesn’t support a pro-vaccine point of view. Regardless, at the end of the day, I’m going to make the decision that is best for my child, not someone else’s…and let’s be straight, so are you.
I understand, to a point, where those with pro-vaccine advocates are coming from. Back in the year 2010 when I was a concerned 22-year-old mother I almost believed the propaganda too. I actually thought the herd immunity A.W Hedrich observed in populations exposed to wild measles applied to the artificial immunity (if any) given by vaccines. I was perfectly comfortable basking in my ignorance of hazardous wastes and carcinogens.
My mom was a nurse. My husband was in medical school. None of us had reason to question. I still, to this day, have no agenda; but I just so happened to have an obsession with needing to validate the decisions I was going to make for my child, so I read the scientific papers, pored over the data, and thankfully, my husband did too. I also had a background in law and political science so I could understand the politics behind big pharma and big government (they’re married). I would like to say God factored into our decision, but we weren’t really tight then. Our family made a decision not to vaccinate based on data and common sense. That’s it.
Whoever told you that Christians don’t vaccinate because they think they are blessed with personal healing abilities was wrong…wrong…wrong. Please, don’t insult my people. Here’s why I, a Christian, do not vaccinate.
Whoever told you people who believe in natural medicine automatically believe in witchcraft was lying or had a serious misunderstanding of all things natural health. Yes, I was studying nutrition, herbology, homeopathy, and aromatherapy, but my husband was studying immunology, toxicology, microbiology, epidemiology, and pharmacology, and neither of us ever bought into that new agey woo woo stuff like crop circles, aliens, and witchcraft. I’ve never even had my palm read.
But go ahead, call me a cruel parent for playing Russian Roulette with my children. I personally think it’s completely disrespectful, inappropriate, unprofessional, and out of line to judge someone’s parenting based on their child’s vaccination status, but that’s just me. Are we not all weighing the risks and benefits and tossing the ball in the direction we think will give our kids the best outcome? Have we forgotten that those who are dealing with vaccine-injured children made the “right” choice to vaccinate?
You should know that you are potentially exposing your child to an illness if you don’t vaccinate. It’s rare but there is a chance your child could get measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough, or any of the rest. However, you could also be exposing your child to an illness if you do vaccinate. These illnesses include but are not limited to:
Meningitis, chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, SIDS, gastrointestinal disease, brain encephalopathy (which can cause autism), gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, panniculitis, fever, headache, dizziness, malaise, irritability, vasculitis, pancreatitis, diarrhea, vomiting, parotitis, nausea, thrombocytopenia, purpura, regional lymphadenopathy, leukocytosis, anaphylaxis, arthritis, arthralgia, myalgia, encephalitis, measles inclusion body encephalitis, subacute sclerosing pan encephalitis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, seizures, convulsions, polyneuritis, polyneuropathy, ocular palsies, paresthesia, aseptic meningitis, pneumonia, pneumonitis, sore throat, cough, rhinitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme, urticaria, measles-like rash, nerve deafness, otitis media (i.e. ear infections), retinitis, optic neuritis (i.e. blindness), papillitis, retrobulbar neuritis, conjunctivitis, epididymitis, orchitis, and death. (Read the inserts for more possible adverse reactions.)
It may not be pleasant to experience the itch associated with chicken pox or the rash that accompanies measles, but judging by that list above, I highly doubt that any of those adverse reactions are a walk in the park either. Just ask the parent of a vaccine-injured child. Unlike the beliefs of some, I think the stories of vaccine-injured children are important and I have chosen not to ignore them. It’s these stories that prompt us to do our own research in the first place.
As educated parents, we made the informed decision not to vaccinate our children because vaccines have not been proven to be safe or effective and we will not utilize any method of disease prevention that could put our children at risk. That’s not cruel. That’s smart parenting.
Photo Credit: JoeysPhotos via Morgue Files