Thursday, March 3, 2011

Update on Ellie & Vaccine Decisions

I was still planning on having my blogging break extended a bit longer, but since we took Ellie to the pediatrician today for a check-up, I'm going to write up a quick (hopefully!) post.

She sees both a pediatrician and a family doctor for routine check-ups. Since she has chronic benign neutropenia, her pediatrician sees her more often. Today, I took her for a check-up, and it went well, other than me having to bribe her with a cookie to stand on the scale. We're trying to work on obedience, but we're not quite there yet :-). He examined her and talked to me about her eating habits, development, etc. He also ordered a complete blood count and reticulocyte count just to see where she's at right now. I was pleasantly surprised that she actually sat fairly still on my lap for the lengthy appointment.

Then, he mentioned one of the topics that always ups my anxiety meter: vaccinations. Depending on her blood test results today, he is going to let us know whether or not he recommends having her vaccinated. Our 18 month old has not yet received her 12 month vaccines, due to her health issues. I realize there is a ton of controversy about vaccinations, and I'll just straight up tell you where I stand on the issue. I'm about 65% for vaccines and about 35% opposed to vaccines. I am apprehensive. I am uncomfortable with the adjuvants in vaccines. I am uncomfortable about some of them being developed from aborted babies. I am uncomfortable with the serious childhood diseases that have virtually been eradicated, due in part, from the development of vaccines. I am also uncomfortable with the fact that since our daughter's immune system is quite low, she is at a higher risk of catching the more serious illness and developing more serious complications.

Although I'm pretty convinced that vaccines are good ways to eradicate serious diseases, I'm not convinced that vaccinating your children does not have the potential for other negative effects on the human body (think allergies, gastro-intestinal issues, perhaps attention deficit problems, etc.). Whether a good thing or a bad thing, the fact remains that a vaccine is an injection of a foreign substance into your body that elicits an immune response. The fact also remains that, although some people argue that there is a link between increased autism and increased vaccinations, the majority of children are still okay after being vaccinated (although I'm not so sure about the other long-term effects such as the aforementioned allergies, etc. which would be pretty difficult to prove one way or the other.)

Most importantly, however, is the absolute fact that God is sovereign. I have a very strong belief in the sovereignty of God, and therefore, my mind is better put at ease, regardless of what we eventually decide. God has the power to prevent any potential negative effects from the vaccines. He also has the power to prevent our daughter from catching any serious illnesses or having serious complications from them if she does not get vaccinated. That is not to say that we should not strive to make an informed decision and educate ourselves about the risks and benefits of vaccinations. I definitely need to do some more research about this whole thing before we make a decision. Although our daughter's immune system is low, because she is not in day-care and we will be homeschooling her, she has very little contact with sick people. This is another thing to consider.

Do any of you have any thoughts about vaccinations? Anyone very opposed or very for them? Anyone else kind of on the fence, like me? I'm curious, so please don't be afraid to share in the comments (in a respectful manner, of course!).

P.S. I didn't quite know how to fit this in to this post, but I wanted to share some of my feelings today about Ellie's health. A strange thing happened after we were driving home from the hospital after she had her blood test. Suddenly I just got all teared up and emotional and couldn't quite figure out why. I think it was probably because it suddenly hit me again -Having her get her blood taken today just brought to mind the fact that although we've been able to live a pretty normal life since Christmas (the last time she was hospitalized), her blood is still not "normal." (at least as far as we know - maybe this test will be different!). Some days it feels as though it was just yesterday that I was crying 90% of the time, unable to eat or sleep, wondering if our daughter had leukemia, being told at first she probably didn't and then being told she probably did. Other days, it feels like that nightmare was just that - a nightmare, a bad dream, and I find myself wondering, "Did that really happen? Did she really have a bone marrow test? Did we really hear that the news was very bad and lived one week believing our child probably had leukemia?" Oh how my heart goes out to those families who are really and truly dealing with a child with a terminal or serious illness. Since Christmas, most days I've been able to "forget" about her neutropenia. The only times I give it much thought is when we go out or I notice sick people. This has been such a blessing - living a pretty normal life for the most part. But today, a teeny-tiny bit of that anxiety has crept up on me again. The anxiety and nervousness of waiting for test results and the phone call from the doctor. The praying for good results, or at the very least, not worse results, feeling like I can't get anything done until I find out the results. It's a strange feeling again, and truthfully, I don't really like it.

1 comment:

Lori Alexander said...

I wrote a post on immunizations awhile ago and I thought you may be interested. I have 4 grown children who were not vaccinated as children. None of them had any allergies, asthma, or learning disabilities. I know that doesn't prove anything but I am just worried about the amount of vaccines they give to children today.

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