"Naturally, as the two worlds intersect, I got caught up in the biomedical movement, convinced I would “heal” Bobby by “detoxifying” him. The poor kid was on a restrictive diet, given countless supplements, clay baths. Epson salt rubs, you name it. He did make a lot of progress, to the point where he was one of the highest-functioning kids in his school. Arrogantly, I believed it was because I was so dedicated to biomedical treatments. Once he aged-out of his school, I decided to home school Bobby, as our school district had very few accommodations for him. I continued with biomedical treatments, except we were doing a lot less because money was a lot tighter than before. Home schooling was good at first, but gradually it began to take its toll; I was worn out and exhausted dealing with Bobby’s behaviors 24/7.
Then, last December brought the birth of our third child. We had a very serious health scare when I passed group b streptococcus to him during labor. I got the recommended IV antibiotics, but got to the hospital too late to get the full four-hour course before he was born. Obviously, it wasn’t vaccine-related, but it did cause me to re-evaluate my ideas about health care… including vaccines. When I’d go to the NICU to nurse my new baby, I’d look around at these tiny babies, some of them no bigger than a Barbie doll… and I was in awe of how science has advanced to where micro-preemies now actually have a shot at life.
Realizing how wrong I had been, how easily I could have allowed my children to become seriously ill, and how much money I wasted on biomedical scam…I was so angry with myself. Unfortunately, with everything else going on in my struggle to balance my children’s needs, home schooling, and coping with a severely colicky newborn, I cracked. Literally. I had a mental breakdown and needed to be medicated. Money was tight, so the only way we could afford the co-pays for my medication and therapy sessions was to cut out Bobby’s supplements and the specialty foods to keep him on his diet. I was terrified that he would regress and lose all of his progress, but guess what happened: nothing! He got neither better nor worse, which means we had been throwing money down the drain for nearly three years.
I became very angry at the whole anti-vax movement. Angry at the subtle sleight-of-hand and the exploitation of concerned parents. Angry for the desperate parents of autistic children, who are being scammed like I was. Angry at myself for encouraging so many others to stop vaccinating. I’m slowly making amends, though. I am vocal about my change in beliefs and can (and do!) debate circles around any anti-vaxxer. The kids are all up-to-date on their vaccines, and are as happy and healthy as ever.
Yes. It's just an anecdote. Still, it's an anecdote of hope for those who are preyed upon by the anti-vaccine movement.
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