Thursday, April 29, 2010
True Confessions from a Refrigerator Mom
Later when Aydan was born, I stopped worrying about the vaccines. I figured if it didn't happen to Avery my very vulnerable first born, it wouldn't happen to Aydan my healthy robust second born. After all he was 9lbs., 9oz., 22 inches tall at birth, big boy, never sick, always hit his milestones a couple months early... all that. When I took Aydan for shots around 15 months he had been sick. He had a cold a few days earlier and was still having a running nose. My husband who did not believe in vaccination and who had always told me not to vaccinate the kids asked me to stay home and not go to the doctor. I assured him what the doctors' had said to me and that there was definitely no connection between vaccines and autism, "I know for a fact it won't happen to Aydan" I said (or something like that). Not entirely convinced my husband persisted and urged me just to wait until his runny nose was gone and he was completely better but I didn't wait. I wanted to do it while my husband was home from work so that I didn't have drag my older son to the doctor with us. The nurse did the vitals and he had no fever but he still had that runny nose. "He's due for some shots, do you want to wait for the runny nose to go away?" she asked. "No, he's o.k." I said. That's right, two times in one day and the numerous times before that I had been warned. Why did I make such a thoughtless decision? I had been such a cautious mom. I breast fed both my kids until they were 2, I gave them cloth diapers, I bought organic fruit... all that stuff. So why here did I drop the ball so royally? Part of me thinks it was laziness, not wanting to have to reschedule our appointment, the other hidden agenda I had was that I thought the kids needed to be current on their shots in order to go to school and I wanted to go back to work. (The irony is that I never did go back to work outside the home due to the rigors of having a special needs child. The hours I put into autism are far greater than any full time job I know of.) I also think that I truly believed that this would not happen to my son. Whatever reason I tell myself it doesn't add up to an excuse. I think about that day often and the doctor's appointments to follow that would inevitably lead to my son's autism. Am I angry at the system, the deception, the misinformation, the incompetence, the lies, the doctors who are too lazy to read the list of vaccine side effects? Absolutely.. but that could never add up to the anger I have for myself. All the times that I have been pissed at my husband for not being as involved in my son's treatment I have really been pissed at myself. Maybe if I had listened to my husband in the first place we wouldn't be talking about treatments. Obviously there's no certainty in life and it doesn't serve my family in anyway for me to hold onto self-hatred. So, I go on. I fight for my boy and the thousands like him. I play with him, advocate for him, research for him, wait for him, want for him, prayer for him, remediate him, teach him, adore him and most importantly love him. I still don't have a time machine though. What do you know? I'm a refrigerator mom after all.