You read it right. My child got chicken pox. Gasp! A “vaccine preventable” disease? Yes, and she survived. In fact, it was everything the media said it wasn’t.
I know, you were led to believe it was a deadly disease and saw the story of a child who died 13 years ago from chicken pox who didn’t have a spleen, couldn’t be vaccinated with varicella, couldn’t be around kids who were recently vaccinated with varicella (read 5.4 and 12.2 of this insert and 5.8 of this insert), or vaccinated children whose immunity to chicken pox had worn off, or vaccinated adults who no longer had immunity, or really anyone who had any kind of sickness. I’m not sure what is more tragic, the death of a child or the fact that the death of a child was used to emotionally manipulate us into vaccinating our children.
As a parent, I never take kindly to emotional manipulation techniques so I decided to do my research instead. Here’s why we didn’t vaccinate against chicken pox, and following is the natural protocol we used to manage our child’s symptoms at home.
Chicken pox is not a life threatening disease. Never has been. Never will be. Then again, I don’t consider my life when I reach for a glass of water, walk across a street, open my window, or take the stairs either (as more people die each year walking across the street and falling down their stairs than those who died from chicken pox prior to the vaccine).
“Chickenpox is a mild and common childhood illness that most children catch at some point. […] In fact, chickenpox is so common in childhood that over 90% of adults are immune to the condition because they’ve had it before. (A definition from the UK, a country that does not recommend routine chicken pox vaccination of children.)
The chicken pox vaccine has never been proven safe or effective. Pre-licensure studies were done using other vaccines as controls or adjuvants also contained in the vaccine being tested. No inert placebos were used and no placebo-controlled trials were carried out using the current vaccine. It states this explicitly in the vaccine package insert.
The combo MMR/Varicella vaccine is even worse. There were no proper safety studies done and post-marketing reports include side effects ranging from candida, psychiatric disorders, reproductive damage, respiratory infections, aseptic meningitis, arthritis, and numerous diseases that would have been called “polio” prior to the change in polio diagnostic criteria, to brain damage, nerve damage, gastrointestinal disorders, and death.
As a parent, I require proper safety and efficacy studies that meet the standards of evidenced based medicine and at this point, using bacon grease as a placebo would yield more accurate data.
The safety of the vaccine ingredients are more of a question mark than the ingredients in McDonald’s mystery meat. Here are the ingredients in the varicella vaccine:
“[Ingredients include] sucrose, phosphate, glutamate, gelatin, monosodium L-glutamate, sodium phosphate dibasic, potassium phosphate monobasic, potassium chloride, sodium phosphate monobasic, EDTA, residual components of MRC-5 cells including DNA and protein, neomycin, fetal bovine serum, human diploid cell cultures (WI-38), embryonic guinea pig cell cultures, [and] human embryonic lung cultures.”
So we’ve got GMO sugar, an ingredient that compromises kidney function (especially in children under two who do not have fully functioning kidneys), an ingredient associated with immune system dysfunction and neurological damage, an ingredient associated with anaphylaxis and food allergies, a known endocrine disruptor, an ingredient classified as a hazardous waste and fungicide/herbicide, another fungicide, an ingredient that can cause hyperkalemia, heart, and kidney problems, a hazardous waste associated with intoxication and death, a chelator (dangerous for treating autism but supposedly okay to inject into your kid), aborted baby cells, DNA, and protein, an antibiotic, cow serum, cells, DNA, and protein from a different aborted baby, guinea pig goodies, and dead baby lung cultures.
Not a single one of these ingredients are proven safe to inject into a child. Not a single one of these ingredients are without the potential for adverse reaction. Think I’m going to sign my kid up for this? No.
Let’s pretend the chicken pox vaccine and it’s ingredients are 100% safe. (I know…Aladdin is outside my window right now with his magic carpet). I still wouldn’t give it to my child because the chicken pox vaccine does not provide lifetime immunity (if any) to chicken pox, only gives up to 10 years of “protection,” shifts the risk of exposure to an age group where symptoms are more severe, and increases my child’s risk of getting shingles as an adult. But don’t worry, we developed another vaccine to “fix” the little problem we caused when we started mass vaccinating against chicken pox.
Reduction of childhood varicella by vaccination might lead to increased incidence of adult zoster [shingles]. Vaccination of the elderly (if effective) should be considered in countries with childhood varicella vaccination programmes. – The Lancet
If there is less chickenpox in children then there will be no boosting of immunity by exposure to chickenpox for middle and older aged people and thus there will be more shingles, at least until all the elderly have been vaccinated as children but this assumes that immunity conferred by vaccination is lifelong. – The Postgraduate Medical Journal
The chicken pox vaccine is not effective (unless you’re gauging its effectiveness at giving your child rheumatoid arthritis). My definition of “effective” is,
“a vaccine that yields something even remotely close to the lifetime immunity that exposure to the wild virus would provide and does not cause severe adverse events (including death) and the very disease it is designed to prevent.”
How does the Varivax vaccine measure up? Fail.
The chicken pox vaccine sheds, but I didn’t tell this to my daughter because I’d prefer not to pass on the sentiments of intolerance, immaturity, bullying, and bigotry I see going on around me because that’s just not cool. It was after all, our decision not to vaccinate and I’m not crude enough to require a list from other parents of what vaccines were given and whether said children are past the post-vaccine, should be quarantined, 6-week viral shedding window. (Read a really interesting article here.)
Really though, it all boils down to this:
Do I really want my daughter to be worried about contracting chicken pox if she decides to get pregnant someday? No.
Do I want her infant to be at risk for contracting chicken pox from both unvaccinated and vaccinated alike because my daughter didn’t have protective antibodies to give her? No.
Do I want her to have to live with the fact that at any time, her artificial vaccine-immunity could wear off? No.
Do I want her to have to continuously get vaccinated throughout her life, exposing her to both immediate and accumulative risks of the vaccine? No.
Do I want her to have a higher chance of contracting chicken pox as an adult, when the disease is more severe? No.
Do I want to increase her risk of contracting shingles? No. It is an unarguable fact that getting chicken pox as a child and being exposed to children who have chicken pox throughout your life is protective against shingles. (See here, here, here, here, and here.)
We know that exposure to chickenpox can significantly prevent or delay shingles (by exogenous boosting of immunity).
[Likewise] Having a child in the household reduced the risk of shingles for about 20 years, the more contact with children the better, and general practitioners and pediatricians have a statistically significant lowering of risk.
Oh snap! You mean my child could get protection against more serious diseases by being exposed to chicken pox? Call me crazy, but I sided with the research and experience of everyone who has had chicken pox and decided that the risks of a mild, childhood illness and the benefits of lifetime immunity (and protection against shingles as an adult) far outweighed the risks of an ineffective chicken pox vaccine, the temporary (if any) immunity it gives, and the side affects, which include all of the side effects that could accompany the rare case of severe chicken pox, plus brain encephalitis, cerebrovascular accident, transverse myelitis, Guillain-Barré, Bell’s palsy, seizures, aseptic meningitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, shingles, and chicken pox.
So, what was the chicken pox really like? It’s a few days of a rash, itching, and “Sid the Science Kid.”
It all started one cold day in December. I noticed what appeared to be a zit on the back of my daughter’s neck. I even tried to pop it. (Gross, I know. But who can resist a good zit?) This wasn’t acting like your normal zit and I wondered if maybe we had something serious on our hands. Despite being deemed incapable of using my brain as a mother, I decided to take a quick glance at my daughter’s back to see if Mr. Zit had some friends. Sure enough, they were faint but they were there and I diagnosed our child with chicken pox.
What does chicken pox look like? This.
Wait, that picture isn’t scary enough.
Did we take her to a doctor? Of course not.
Chicken pox is contagious. If your child were recently vaccinated, you would (should) avoid public places, like schools, stores, hospitals, and amusement parks. Since my unvaccinated child had chicken pox, we avoided public places, including doctor’s offices. (For the sake of full disclosure, we did go to Grandma’s house. She said, “bring her over!” and big girl wanted to show off her chicken pops.)
How did we treat it? With pure quackery of course.
It’s thanks to this common sense quack medicine that we’ve never had to take our children to a doctor or give them any type of medication. It’s great. You should try it.
The Natural Protocol for Chicken Pox
What you’ll need:
1. Footie pajamas
2. Oats or epsom salts
3. Essential Oils
5. Fort building supplies
1. Put your child in footie pajamas so that they can’t scratch themselves. (If you think your child is good at wiping, forget this step like I did and you’ll find out otherwise.)
2. Bathe as needed and use 1/2 cup of oats and a few drops of lavender or thieves (or equivalent) essential oil. I don’t know if oats work but it’s an old folk remedy and my nurse mama told me to do it, so what could it hurt?
3. For itching (this is golden), put your kid in an epsom salt bath. I only did this one time (on day 3) when my daughter complained of itching. I used 1/2 cup of epsom salt and a few drops of essential oil in the tub right before bed. It dried out her pox and she fell asleep.
4. Distract. Make a giant fort, stuff your faces with healthy snacks, and watch “Sid the Science Kid.”
People have told me that I would change my stance on vaccines if my child got a “vaccine preventable” disease. Well, she did but my stance hasn’t changed because an informed decision isn’t based on emotional circumstances and the bad science vaccines are founded upon and supported by hasn’t changed. I would never risk the effects of a vaccine, for this.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This post is my personal opinion based off of my personal research and experience. If your child has symptoms you cannot manage at home, go to your super awesome, open-minded doctor.
Photo Credits: Self and (featured image) Morgue File