This afternoon, my husband and I will pick our three children up early from the school and day center they attend. We will drive our children to the health clinic we use, and we will line up, all five of us, and we will get a flu shot. That's right: a flu shot. Probably not the mist, so this will undoubtedly be, gasp, a flu shot with thimerosal in it.
We will go and do this, as we do every year, not because we are sheeple as the vaccines-are-the-end-of-the-world people love to call people who use evidence-based medicine. We will do this knowing that even though we have never had an adverse reaction to a vaccination, one of us could this time. Just as everytime I swallow one of the medications I take each day, I am aware that there could be an adverse reaction. One of the meds I'm on can cause sudden liver failure. Seriously. I know it, and I have to weigh the extremely low chance of that with the condition it helps manage. Anyone who know me well knows that I don't tolerate side effects from meds. If it messes up my taste of soda, well, screw that migraine preventative. I like my diet pepsi. :-) I'm sure you get my point here. I make this decision with my husband regarding vaccination and I don't make it lightly.
No, I am not a sheeple because I choose to vaccinate. I don't accept blindly what doctors say, not for me, not for my children. I look at the available literature on the medication recommended, I look at the illness or disease information I can get my hands on, as well. I ask questions. I go back to the doctor and ask more questions. I remember that doctors are busy people who are often doing too much and who in all likelihood do not have my medical history or my children's in their minds as they make rapid decisions. I believe in making logical, reasoned medical decisions based on the evidence at hand and not on emotionalism.
So, my husband and I will go today with my three autistic children and we will get them vaccinated. Oh noes. With thimerosal. Oh noes. And I'm pretty sure we won't bring back more autistic children as a result of that. Happy meal toys, yes, and happy smiling children. They all understand that the flu shot should help them avoid getting the flu, that it is not a guarantee, and that their momentary discomfort from the shot will be ameliorated with a happy meal. A gluten and casein full happy meal. Double oh noes. And before anyone screams that means I don't love them, I did the GFCF diet for four strict years. Not a damn bit of difference except that I now have much happier children who occasionally get a happy meal.