To vaccinate or not to vaccinate has been a hot topic for some time and like many mommies and daddies out there I struggled with the decision to vaccinate or not to and I still struggle to medicate when the kids are sick. Where I live it’s not uncommon to not vaccinate your child. Many of my friends have actually opted out. I must say when I first became a mom I struggled so much with this. Of course I went online and researched everything I could and talked to as many mommy friends or preggy mommy friends as I had (which were not many at that time). I finally found an amazing book called, drum roll please, “The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child” by Dr. Robert W. Sears. This book at the time I had my kids was everything I needed to help me make a decision. It was not in favor of one side more than the other, it just stated the facts. And with the facts I will say I was profoundly disgusted at the way we make vaccines and could not bare the idea of injecting it into my child’s body. However after much thought and sleepless nights, I ultimately decided that vaccinating was the right thing to do for my kids. Why you ask, well it’s simple because if I don’t vaccinate and my neighbor doesn’t vaccinate and his neighbor doesn’t vaccinate then soon we have these epidemics again (something I learned from the book as well). How soon you may wonder, how about today, right now January of 2015 in the USA we have a Measles outbreak.
For the very first time in 6 years I have never been so glad to have my children vaccinated. This week we all happened to get very sick with what we now think is the flu. It started with my youngest son who out of the blue had a 102.7 fever but no other symptoms. His doctor just told us to keep a look out incase this turned into the flu but otherwise he just needed to go home, rest and drink lots of fluids. Ok fair enough. The next day it was me, I started my day fine by the end something major was up, enough so that I had to cancel attending my morning meeting and make sure my husband could pick up the kids. The day just got progressively worse and you know moms can not afford a sick day. I went to the walk in clinic and to my surprise the first question they asked, “Have you been vaccinated for the measles?” I think so, is that something they did in the ’80s? Then I said “Why?” to which the nurse responded “There has been a Measles outbreak in the area and the symptoms are very much like the flu. It’s hard to differentiate them sometimes and the skin markings don’t come until 10-14 days sometimes after the measles is already in your system.” WHAT?! Are you kidding me? Oh yes that was the moment of relief knowing that my kids were vaccinated. Since I’m the biggest worry wort there is, I can at least sleep a tiny bit more comfortably knowing that my kids are in low risk category. However it still freaks me out just a little. According to my local news 59 people have been affected in California, 7 from my county. I know the numbers seem low but believe me when it’s in your backyard it seems a lot worse and especially when you are me.
Ok so I can’t end it there. It’s important that I say, this post is my personal experience and one that I’m compelled to write about mainly because it’s happening right now and it’s all I hear about on the news. But I do firmly believe that each family should have the right to choose what is wholeheartedly in the best interest of their own children when it comes to vaccines and without judgement. Our family decided to vaccinate on an alternate schedule and we were fortunate enough to have a wonderful provider who had that option for us. Some of my beloved friends opted out, which I respect because I know they battled with the same concerns I did and ultimately made a decision that they found to be the best for their family. I always like try to see the other side because there is always more then one.