The Day I Risked My Daughter’s Life To Save Others

Just thinking about that day makes my stomach turn and my hands go sweaty.

It was an otherwise normal day. The morning was a blur of frenzy as I tried to get ready for work while entertaining a 1-year-old in a plastic, jumpy play thingy. I’ve never liked mornings, and this one was no exception. Two cups of coffee and I knew things would look better.

Baby Hands

Image Credit: Sias van Schalkwyk http://www.seepsteen.co.za

As I buckled my daughter into her car seat, a small thought began to nag at me. Voices of friends, family, and internet strangers started to swirl in my head as I made the 10 minute drive to the building that held my daughter’s fate. By the time we checked in I was frantic, although you would have never known from the outside.  When our name was called, I scooped her up and took her into the room that would make her cry and wail. I knew my heart would break.

When it was over, I watched her carefully. She seemed the same. Over the next few months, I looked for signs of sickness. In the end, we came out the other side unscathed.

That was six years ago, less than a year after Jenny McCarthy became a vocal anti-vaccine spokesperson.

While the rational side of me KNEW that the MMR vaccine did not cause autism, I couldn’t help but be bombarded by her face telling me that I was wrong. The rational side of me did the research to the best of my non-scientific ability and I had concluded that vaccinating my children  was the right decision, but the loud roar of the anti-vaccination movement could not be avoided.

The day that I took my first born to get her MMR vaccination, I was scared. Six years later, I am mad.

I shouldn’t have been scared by a beautiful, eloquent spokesperson that refuted science and held up her beautiful son as evidence. Her son that, according to her, became autistic after receiving vaccines. The son that, according to her, recovered from autism through chelation therapy. The son with autism that, according to her, caused her divorce.  I know all of this because she was EVERYWHERE – on the news, on talk shows, online. I couldn’t escape from her if I tried.

Six years later, a report surfaced that McCarthy admitted her son was misdiagnosed with autism and suffered instead from  Landau–Kleffner syndrome, a common misdiagnosis. A week later she slammed that report refuting it’s truth, and all links to the original reports have been disabled (good job, lawyers). Regardless, it’s too late for me. Personally, I don’t believe her son had autism and was cured by an obscure therapy any more than I believe her claims that the MMR vaccine causes autism.

I do, however, blame her for my fear of vaccines. I also blame the media that gave her airtime.

A few weeks after my son was born in 2010, a newborn died of whooping cough at my hospital during a horrific outbreak in our state. The outbreaks were concentrated in areas that had low vaccination rates. Once again, I was scared. Not of Jenny McCarthy’s dire warnings, but of the thousands of children that were not vaccinated because their parents were afraid; a fear that may have been triggered by Jenny McCarthy.

This fear continues to be propagated by the anti-vaccination community that will sell you thousands of dollars in supplements and call the government and Big Pharma evil money-mongers despite contributing $32 billion of revenue to the US economy in 2012 alone.

That day, six years ago, I was told that I was risking my daughter’s life by vaccinating her but I chose to do it anyway because the evidence told me that these vaccines were more likely to save other children than hurt my own.

Please share this so other parents know that they are not alone in their fear. I applaud the families that vaccinate and thank them from the bottom of my heart for saving the lives of others with their decision.

If you are concerned about vaccinating your children, here are just a few excellent resources to consider. 

**A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccinations & Autism** please read this if nothing else

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Vaccine Education Center

The History of Vaccines

HealthyChildren.org

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You need my Facebook login information? No Problem!

If you are interested in obtaining my Facebook login and password as a condition of my employment, here is a small list of items that I would like to see in return:

Address Book – digital or hardcopy will be fine. I would also like to see how many friends you have, and who they are.

Email Login & Password– for every account. I am particularly interested in the photos and messages being shared with you.  I hope I enjoy your photos from your family vacation and bachelor weekend, as well as the witty banter between you and your friends, as much as you enjoy mine.

2551

Fun Night!

Photo Albums – I understand that many of your earlier photos, spring break and so on, may have been pre-digital age.  This will allow me to see your “timeline”, just as you will enjoy mine.

High School Yearbook – I have very funny, inappropriate friends that like to joke with me on a regular basis on my Facebook wall.  I am sure you have them too…

List of Exes – I know that you will enjoy reviewing my past relationship statuses, as well as all the silly things my friends and I said during and post break-up. I think this will be really important in our future working relationship.

I understand this may seem like an invasion of your privacy, but since you are reviewing my “social” networking information, I hope you are willing to share more than just your professional persona as well.

Ultimately, I just want to make sure that you, and your company, are a good fit for me.

I am sure you understand.

What I can’t stop watching today…

TODAY’S DETOUR: WWW.VBS.TV

Image representing VBS TV as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

In their own words:

VBS is an online broadcast network that streams free original content 24 hours a day. We carry a mix of domestic and international news, pop and underground culture coverage, and the best music in the world. People have used words like eclectic, smart, funny, shocking, and revolutionary to describe VBS, but we prefer to simply think of ourselves as the future of all media. Join us as we fulfill every utopian vision the internet has failed to live up to so far.

In my words:

Cool, random stuff that sucks me in for hours!  I originally discovered this site reading an article about the shooting tragedy in Norway.  The story referenced a documentary about the Norwegian prison system and the fact that they do not currently have a “life sentence” option.  Meaning all criminals, including murderers, rapists, thugs and the like are all placed back into society at some point.  Needless to say, the prison system is hyper-focused on rehabilitation versus punishment.

While the stories on vbs.tv are interesting, they are not as developed as something you will see on main stream news media.  On the other hand, main stream media will generally not be covering most of these topics, so worth a look.

Here is the link to the original piece that got me hooked.

The Vice Guide to Norwegian Prisons

Fences of a Federal Prison in the U.S.

Image via Wikipedia

See the rest at VBS.TV: About | VBS.TV

If you have something interesting you want me to look at – let me know!

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