Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Looking for a new Ped: Vaccination and the Right to Choose

*Recognizing this may raise the ire of some, but that's ok. We are all entitled to our own opinions. Please remember, if you have something to say and it's not kind, post it on your own page. Thank you!

Last June, my son stepped on a rose thorn while gardening at the front of the house. I got to him immediately and removed it; making sure there were no additional thorns or anything left behind. Either Tuesday or Wednesday(can't remember for sure which!) after his bath I noticed the bottom of that foot had an odd bruisey-rashy thing going on. We soaked it in some hydrogen peroxide and that seemed to reduce the redness some.

By Friday it wasn't better so I called our Ped to ask if we ought to come in. They didn't seem to think so unless it changed any. By Monday the bottom of his foot was swollen so we opted to take him in and double check what was going on. They looked it over and stated just to watch it more and not be too concerned.(Before I get rolling on another subject, let me conclude this part with- it was a common spore that irritated his system and all was well after a couple weeks.)

Then they dropped the bomb on us. Back in Feb. of last year, they opted to revamp their policy on vaccinations and require families that had been allowed to do delayed/selective or no vaccination, to catch up with the recommended schedule or leave. This was never officially communicated to their patients. It was just an 'as they come in' type setup. Which I found odd seeing as we had been in a couple times after that policy change and no one said anything.

We'd been going to this group for over 3 years, having switched from our first Ped due in part to their unwillingness to delay vaccinations until 6 months but even more so due to their inability to keep an appointment. Initially, delaying to 6 months was all I wanted. Then as I read more and discussed it further with my husband, we opted to wait until the 18 months. Which became 3 years. We're at almost 5 now and still don't feel comfortable having them done given many different reasons.

I know many feel it's irresponsible not to give a child vaccinations. And I appreciate those sentiments. I think it's irresponsible to just go along with it all and not do our own due diligence. Thankfully it's still my right as a parent to choose for my child. While our pediatrician was quick to point out that he was 'trained to make these decisions, ' I'm also trained in common sense, the ability to read, and comprehend my own family history regarding vaccine reactions. His immediate, condescending assumption was that my concern was over thimerosal. Then he suggested I go home and 'talk it over' with my husband before making a decision as to how to proceed.

Ha. Sure, Doc. I'll be a good little wifey and get a permission slip from my husband.

At no time did he ask me on what grounds had I come to this decision. No questions as to previous reactions in my family history, nothing. And that's wherein my beef lies(condescension aside). Vaccinations aren't a One-Size Fits All bag. Yes, we should be questioning what's being injected directly into our kids' bodies. Yes, we should be provided full disclosure on every vaccination prior to the wellness visit. Yes, our family history should be taken into account and No, my concerns should not be brushed off because the Doctor was 'trained to make these decisions.' I could poke a million easy holes into that last argument.

So anyways, thankfully we found a new Ped willing to discuss everything I was concerned about and give me room to make the final decision. Even learned from him that lemon breaks down the proteins in mucus. Cool, huh?

Talk to your doctor if you have questions. Do not just go along with something if you are concerned. In the case of vaccinations, they can't be removed once injected. Please read as many unbiased, level sources of information you can find. It is difficult as everyone obviously has a strong opinion. The NVIC is one I like as it also give you tips on things to do if you choose to vaccinate. Obviously the actual vaccination labels are great, too. And if you'd rather read information to back up the opinion you already hold, well there's plenty of that you can find via google search for either side.

Blessings and the best of health to you and your family, regardless of your personal decisions.


Krysta said...

Agreed and very well stated!

Momarabbit said...

Wow, lemons? interesting and I will try to remember this for later.
We delay vaccinate although my children have not received Varicella (chicken pox) vaccination at our request. I think making an informed decision is a fantastic idea and glad to hear of more parents making the decisions for themselves.
Thanks for the post!

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

Thanks, ladies! There are all sorts of interesting things I'm trying to learn about natural ways to stay healthy- the lemon is pretty cool.

And yes, informed decisions. That's all I want! Well, that and the right to still choose accordingly.

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