Tuesday, June 03, 2008

To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate

I am pro vaccination. I did hold off on the MMR with K since he had a severe food allergy to eggs and the MMR is grown on egg culture. Nevertheless, he eventually got it and did fine.

Since there is a lot of stuff on the internet and literature about vaccination and autism, I've always been nervous about my kids being hurt by vaccinations or having a bad reaction. However, both K and L have done fine and are up to date.

However, after A's 4 month shots, he became very irritable, stopped smiling, began to arch his back when nursing, and was fussy to say the least. His trademark of being left in a room and forgotten because of his natural tendency to be content, became no more. The usual box of toys he would play with happily, he would pick up and shake and then scream. The best phrase to describe what happened to him is that he went autistic on me. I remember thinking, wow, my wrists hurt so much trying to nurse him in a weird position. Something's not right.

He was really bad for a week. I was soooooooo sad and stressed out about it. I took him for a really long walk on a sling against my chest. He seemed to calm down. It took a month for him to get back to his normal, happy, self meaning that when I walked into his room to get him from a nap, he would be there ready and smiling.

I did a lot of research, talked to doctors, blah, blah, blah. Since I am a person that relies a lot on my intuition, I have felt strongly that his reaction was due to certain vaccines he received that day. He has yet to get those ones again but has received others such as the chicken pox, Hep A and Hep B.

Had I been too busy or not putting two and two together, I would of passed what was happening to him as a phase. However, A was not a fussy baby at all. In fact, he was the most pleasant little baby I've had so far.

I think so much more research needs to be done. This might be far fetched but I think that a small portion of children aren't able to handle certain vaccines. Instead of it protecting a child, the vaccine inflames the brain and continuing to give them the vaccinations may end up causing permanent brain damage.

As a parent we all want the best for our kids. We want them to have the best chance in life. So for now, I am holding off on certain vaccines for A. It doesn't mean I am against vaccinations. It just means that I understand that each person is an individual with different needs. Some kids don't handle them well and I wish more research was being done to know what type of kids those are and act accordingly.

As a note, both A and K had their well appointments 1 1/2 weeks ago. Poor K had 5 shots and four or five warts burned off, one of which became a bloody blister the size of a penny. We ended up at urgent care because of the pinkness around it and the pink streak going to his wrist. Red flag. The doctor cut it out (nasty BTW) and he's currently on antibiotics. As for getting five shots.....it hurt but he's not autistic. The next day after getting his shots, A got a fever, threw up, became croupy, and was a mess. Go figure!

My advice........Be careful. Be observant. Follow your gut feelings! Make your own decision and stick to it.


Lettie said...

Is this post for me since I sent you the link about the importance of vaccinations?

lucy said...

haha, no. I've been wanting to write about our experience.

Marisa said...

This is an especially interesting subject for me since most of my family displays some autistic behaviors, and my brother has been diagnosed with a mild form of autism. I know that there definitely are documented problems linked to vaccines, but the benefit vs. risk ratio is so large that I and most others choose to vaccinate in spite of them. But, while I have noticed many of those behaviors in all of my children from time to time, I have never noticed a change directly related to vaccinations (beside fever and crankiness); if I had, I would consider delaying future vaccinations for that child. There was a girl in my ward growing up who had some serious social/emotional problems and it was supposed to have been caused by her childhood vaccinations, and she had a sister was institutionalized because she was reportedly 10 times worse. I would love to see some good research on the subject, and on any cause of autism, whether genetic or external.

lucy said...

Thanks for the comments. I'm holding off for a while. I don't want to take chances right now with A. I'm hoping some research comes out that will help me know for sure. And once A learns to communicate he will be able to let us know how he feels after getting them. There's a risk that I'm taking as well with him being vulnerable to the diseases. It's a real dillema.

Cody said...

The medical research that I have read shows NO CORRELATION between vaccinations and autism. There are many, many, many studies that have looked into this. Specifically, they have looked at whether or not the mercury based preservative thimerosol is what has been causing this. Some of the studies have been so large (a Danish one) that they studied 500,000 children to see if there were links. Again, the science does not show a link at all. In fact, the state of California outlawed the use of thimerosol in vaccines, and they have still seen a rise in the incidence of autism. Some of the studies I have read do suggest however that the reason for the rise in reports of autism around the time of vaccines is because that is the same time/age that autism is manifest in children. Children that don't receive any vaccines still manifest autism and other developmental disorders at the same age as those who do receive them.
My personal belief as to why we are seeing so many more cases of autism, cancer, and other health problems is simple. 50+ years ago we didn't have anywhere near the same technology to save most every child that is born. We didn't have the same capabilities to prolong life as we do now. And most importantly, we did not have the awareness to spot and diagnose the health problems as we do now. Yes, I'm positive that certain industrial products can aggravate the situation and cause people to develop these problems too.
I have personal experience dealing with these kind of patients from a medical stnadpoint. I have seen way too many patients of mine that the parents claim have autism who in reality do not. It is the current disease d' jour. Much as ADHD was in the 90's, autism is now the go-to self diagnosis for parents that struggle with their children. It is so over-used it is sad. But, back to the vaccines, the benefits FAR outweigh the risks (that aren't even documented).

lucy said...

I love you Cody but Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Lettie said...

I already sent this to you, Nancy, but maybe others might want to see it too.

lucy said...

I actually didn't realize there were several pages to this article so I barely read it all. It's pretty good. It seems to address all the sides of the dilemma.

"In rare instances, there could be some gene-vs.-exposure interaction that in theory could lead from the vaccine to autism," says Dr. Tracy Lieu, director of the center for child-health-care studies at Harvard Medical School. "The future of vaccine-safety research lies in trying to answer questions of genomic contributions to responses to vaccines." Screening for genetic profiles that are most commonly associated with immune disorders, for example, would be a good place to start."

I agree with this 100%. I hope to see this happen.

Cody said...

That is a good point Dr. Lieu makes, and a great place for the research to focus. I personally feel that this is a leading cause for the development of autism and aspergers. If we narrowed it down to the genetic markers, we could then approach it the same we do other prenatal tests.