Monday, December 17, 2007

children and vaccines

These two words don't go together in our family. After much research before our son was born, we decided that we would selectively vaccinate our children. After our son was born, and much more research, we decided that we would delay all vaccinations until such time as our son could decide for himself. Why, you ask?

Besides the ongoing vaccine recalls, the questionable ingredients in vaccines (including mercury and other harmful toxins), the debate about whether vaccines truly work as well as reported, and the massive numbers of people with reactions to vaccines, some including irreversible damage or death... my son has a healthy immune system; he was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of his life and will continue to be breastfed until the benefits are no longer sustainable or he decides to wean; and on top of all that, he is not likely to contract any disease that there is a vaccine for that is life threatening.

Right now, in the USA, the choice to vaccinate children is left solely up to the parents. This means that parents have an obligation to educate themselves about this choice and not to blindly accept the advice or pressures from outside sources, including healthcare professionals, the school district or other parents... This education should cover some specific bases... one mother I know said this:

"I wrote down all my questions in a Word doc. Made a list, something like this:
What is the disease?
Who is most at risk?
What percentage of people who get the disease die?
Who do those people tend to be? (old, children, etc.)
Is there a geographical component?
What are the known risks of the vaccine?

Go on from there. then under each question I went to the CDC site and gathered data until I felt like I could answer that question.

If you choose to vaccinate your children, you DO have options and you DO NOT have to follow any schedule set forth by any organization, you may choose to follow the CDC schedule, or an alternate schedule agreed to by your doctor, or one that you decide on yourself. Two things that you should always do, if you choose to vaccinate are
1. always break up combination vaccines, such as the MMR and the DTaP. Yes they can do this, although you may have to insist on it before your doctor admits it. Because it is more hassle for them to order them separately, they cannot bill you for the cost above what the insurance company pays them, and insurance companies do not compensate them for the added expense.
2. do not get more than one vaccine per healthcare visit. By doing this, you are better able to watch for side effects and to report any reaction to your doctor or healthcare professional immediately.

If you decide that you do not want to vaccinate your children, you cannot be forced by any authority to do so. People often say that " fill in the blank said it was a law to vaccinate my children, I had no choice!" this is not true. THERE IS NO LAW REQUIRING A PARENT TO VACCINATE THEIR CHILDREN.

For more information, check out these links: - The CDC's database of reported adverse reactions to vaccines. A doctor told me that this database only contains about 10% of the actual reactions to vaccines because doctors often fail to report, death is attributed to other causes, or parents don't see a connection and don't report to the doctor. - The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report - Questions every parent should ask about vaccines. - A website about the flu shot and other vaccines. Contains information questioning the efficacy of vaccines in general. - A website dedicated to the research of the link between vaccines and Autism in children. The link listed goes to a page on this site that lists things every parent should know before vaccinating their children on the CDC schedule. - Package Inserts and Manufacturers for some US Licensed Vaccines - A doctor's take on vaccinations - WASHINGTON STATE - IMMUNIZATION EXEMPTION INFORMATION

I hope that the above information can help someone come to a decision regarding vaccinations and the children in their family.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Christmas is all about... for me

Christmas gifts are sometimes the hardest to come up with on a tight budget like ours, but we seem to manage very nicely year after year... Last year we made fudge for everyone...

This year I am making crocheted and knitted gifts for all the people on my list. As I make each thing, I think about the person that I am crafting for and I put all my heart and soul into making the best thing I can... I have discovered that this is a very selfish thing to do, because, as I make each stitch, I feel such a warmth wash over me that I never felt when combing through Wal-mart for a gift that fits each person, while trying hard not to exceed my tiny budget, feeling bad about having to cut corners or go to the dollar store to finish shopping....

It may seem a bit cliche-ish, but sometimes I wish that people would take the time to think about what Christmas is really all about. I sometimes cringe when I hear Christmas carols on the radio talking about how many presents a child will receive. When I see so many people shopping for the perfect gift for that special someone, they often they overlook the most precious gift of all: the gift of love.

Having a child of our own this year, my husband and I have been looking at things a little different... do we want to spread commercialism and make Christmas about Santa and presents, or do we want to focus on the spirit of Christmas as it was meant to be? For us, that means a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. A celebration of the fact that, although we are not perfect, because of Him, we can hope for a better life.

This year, we wont be setting up a Christmas tree or stringing lights all over our home, we will set up our Nativity and read the Christmas story, and spend time with loved ones and focus on what Christ did for us and what we can do for others...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bad weather

The weather has been, to say the least, HORRIBLE! It snowed, then it rained, then it snowed, then we got wind... all of which are wreaking havoc across the area!

some of the effects of the storm:

Kitsap county declared a state of emergency
at least 2 deaths
massive flooding of roads AND homes
road closures / washouts
downed trees
power outages
bridge, school, and business closures

I know that there are masses of people out there working to fix the problems, I have family who work in the flagger business and who are probably going to be pulling double or triple shifts making sure that roads are cleared and people are safe...

These people who are working round the clock to fix these problems while we sleep need our prayers and well wishes to make it safely through the night, I pray that all will be safe and these hard working people can make it home to family soon....

I also want to pray for those who have lost loved ones in this storm, or who have lost homes... may you find shelter from the cold and may your lives be set right soon.