By Erika Roberg
Back before the days of Jenny McCarthy-ism, my parents said that I used to have febrile seizures as an infant after being vaccinated. My reactions were trivialized by doctors and my mother was told that seizing was a “normal” response to shots. In early adolescence I received the measles/mumps vaccine and went into instant anaphylactic shock. The nurse practitioner had the wisdom to tell me that it could not have possibly have been the vaccine, and that I must have been reacting to something I'd eaten before coming into the office. It didn't matter that I hadn't had breakfast yet. Many years would pass before I realized how life-threatening that reaction was-- which was on the day it happened a second time. While being treated in the emergency room I was finally educated about anaphylaxis.
I am a mother now, and I chose not to vaccinate my children because I am vaccine injured.
After I got the measles/mumps vaccine in 1983, I developed a severe latex allergy and started finding myself constantly short of breath. I would need Albuterol or epinephrine inhalers to be able to breathe, which had never happened prior to getting the measles/mumps shot. It wasn't until I became a young adult that I was diagnosed with asthma. The latex allergy started with tingling and throat swelling each time I ate a "latex family" food, or blew up a balloon. It worsened over time, like allergies can do, and today I will go into anaphylactic shock if I'm exposed to such dangerous hazards as banana, avocado, melon, or kiwi. If I accidentally touch latex, my skin takes on the appearance of ground beef. I can't blow up or tie balloons for my children.
I am not alone. My husband has a plethora of food and environmental allergies-- far more than I do but not as severe. This family history should be important to a doctor, shouldn't it? They should inquire about family allergies and autoimmune disease before administering vaccines. They should be required to ask, but they're not. All they are required to do is hand the parent a Vaccine Information Statement put out by the CDC. Those statements do not contain anywhere near the information that is printed on the vaccine inserts that the manufacturer supplies with their vials of vaccine. Healthcare workers aren't even required to make sure you've read or understand the information in the VIS before they stick needles in your child's legs.
Even when you have a medical basis to skip vaccination for your child, it takes an act of Congress to get a doctor to listen to you. I've tried to talk to many doctors about our family history, and specifically about my vaccine reactions. They didn't want to hear it. They just wanted me to shut my mouth so they could shoot up my babies.
Despite my decision to not vaccinate my children, they were not born unscathed by the damage done to my body. Due to something called "epigenetic inheritance," autoimmune disease genes that were activated in my body after vaccine injury were passed on to my children. My babies did not get the fresh start one might expect a baby to have. Perhaps this is why children of military parents-- the most vaccinated adults in our country-- have double the rate of autism as the civilian world.
My son reacts violently to common household items in his environment. Foods, chemicals, certain clothing, lotions, creams, oils, disposable diapers, soaps, medications. When he was less than a year old, I stood in the ER and watched as a medical team revived him from yet another life-threatening allergic reaction. The doctor looked at me and said, "Wow, you're really lucky that you decided not to vaccinate this one."
In the months that followed, three additional mainstream medical doctors said the exact same thing about my child. To this day I am thankful that I was able to make an educated and informed decision for my son that saved him from further harm, and possibly even death. Luckily, I had the option of making those decisions for him, and I didn't allow any doctors to override my own knowledge and God-driven gut instinct.
Unless a person has walked in another's shoes, no one could possibly know the motivations and reasoning behind the decisions a parent makes. It is not "irresponsible” to not vaccinate. In fact, it may very well be the absolute right choice for a family. With the prevalence of allergies and autoimmune disease on the steep incline, vaccination is not the right choice for many families. Look around your family tree and assess the incidence of allergies, asthma, and other autoimmune diseases before blindly following the advice of people who do not have to deal with the consequences of vaccination.
Want to learn more about epigenetic inheritence? Watch this video and read this study.