Thursday, April 29, 2010

True Confessions from a Refrigerator Mom

Finally I have come to confess this bit of information that in most conversations about my son's decline into autism I will omit.  I feel responsible.  If you've read this blog before you know how I feel about vaccination and autism.  I strongly believe that the current epidemic on our hands is vaccine induced.  I really have no doubt of it.  I have cloudy memories of a lot of things but I can remember the days my children received their shots.  My oldest son as most of you know is Neuro-typical.  I often attribute this to his childhood illness that required him to hold off on vaccines.  By the time my second child was born my first was already 2 years old and way behind on his vaccine schedule.  We would catch him up in the years to follow but imagine if I had waited until Aydan was 2 to give him most of his vaccines.  Unfortunately this is not the only reason I feel guilty.  I feel responsible because I was warned.  The day before I took my oldest to see the doctor at 2 weeks, an old friend of mine said "make sure the vaccines don't have mercury, my cousin said it caused her daughter's autism".  I asked the doctor if the vaccine had mercury and I'll never forget what she said "that's last year's problem".  I'm sorry, was that a yes or no?  Still not sure.  After he got sick a few months later we were in the hospital for two weeks.  As you can imagine we got to know the hospital staff very well especially the nurses.  A young nurse who had just gotten married and was looking to have children asked me if I was going to have my son vaccinated.  I answered, "yeah, why not? My doctor says it's safe."  She went on to tell me that she believed that vaccines triggered autism in genetically predisposed children and that there was no real way of knowing if you were genetically predisposed.  This was a nurse in Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, people, but nevertheless, I shrugged it off.  Later when my son was 18 months old and far behind on his schedule I took him in for a check up.  The doctor informed me that he was way behind on his schedule and that we needed to do at least 3 different pokes (which was 5 different vaccines).  "I really don't want to do the MMR" I told him, "because I've heard it's connected to autism."  This is when I heard the uniformed version of the Wakefield studies of which I knew nothing at the time so I believed him, "but just one" I said.  So we did the MMR.

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.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Selective Hearing, Brian Deer and the GMC, Dr Andrew Wakefield Autism MMR Film

The lies of Brian Deer - vaccines, autism and the Lancet 12 parents

A complete deconstruction of the BMJ Brian Deer fraud against Dr Wakefield