Words that have been used to describe me for ceasing vaccinations for my children.
Not based on science.
Can't accept their children for who they are. Unloving.
Phrases used to describe biomedical treatments and the parents who choose them for their children.
These words stick. As much as I'd like them to roll off my back, they sting. Mostly because the people saying them cannot see my heart, or my child. My child is nothing to them. Just an anecdote...that's another one. My child's life is summed up as 'anecdotal' as in "That's just anecdotal you should trust in the science." To me, he is my world. We live the anecdote. And we do have the science to back us up if people would take the time to read it. But that is not what this post is about. I just wanted to give you, dear readers, a glimpse of the weight I have been carrying on my shoulders. All those heavy judgments.
B needed a new primary care doctor. I have been hesitant to take him back to a strictly allopathic practice. To place that trust in somebody again...I can't even tell you how hard that is. I dragged the weight of those judgments into a family practice last week. I wanted to interview a physician to see if she was the right fit for our family...especially for B. I don't know why, but to get this interview, I had to fill out my health history and get weighed and all that other preliminary stuff.
The nurse and I started off on the wrong foot almost immediately. She asked me to step on the scale and I was perplexed. "Is this necessary? I'm only here to speak with the physician to discuss the possibility of primary care." She looked unamused and said, "Yes. You have to do it." Then we went into an exam room. She asked for my health history and asked for any medications and I didn't know the exact doses of my supplements because I didn't think I needed them for the interview. She was short with me about that. Then she asked if I was up to date on my vaccinations and I replied that I wasn't sure. "You aren't sure???" She was irritated. I told her I wasn't going to be vaccinated further. She paused and stared through me. A look that threw those heavy stones of judgement all over again. When she asked for family health history, I couldn't even concentrate anymore. I finally said, "I just spent 15 minutes writing all of this out on the 7 pages the receptionist asked me to fill out. Would it be easier to look there?" I was done. Mentally exhausted and super nervous about talking to the doctor. The nurse took my blood pressure. It was high. It has never been high. I told her it's always been low...sometimes a little too low. She said some people get high blood pressure when they are nervous. Ding! Ding! Ding! I asked for a drink of water. I knew I was about to lose it. When she brought me the water, tears were already stinging my eyes. I didn't know if I could face more judgement. How was I going to talk to this doctor knowing she would disagree with the very way I'm raising my children? Would I have to sit through a lecture on my bad parenting?
I waited...and waited...and prayed. Prayed for God to open the heart of the physician. Prayed that she could see my love for B and know that I have his best interest at heart. Prayed that God would sooth my nerves enough for me to get through it.
In came the physician. I was so nervous, I didn't know where to start, so I pulled out my phone. On it, I saved a video of B having a tic episode. I turned it on and said, "I would like you to see my son." She watched the video quietly. When it was over, I said, "That is so you know I am not a Munchausen mom." I then shared B's medical history with her. From vomiting after his six month vaccines, to the full body rash from the MMR. A rash that I didn't even report because it is so drilled into us that vaccines are safe that I didn't think it was serious. To his waking up around 18 months with the light gone from his eyes. His whole countenance had changed. I'd forgotten to mention his reaction to the HepB vaccine at birth. I told her we will not be vaccinating further and our daughter will not be vaccinated either. She listened. She believed me. She said that while she believes in and promotes vaccination, they do carry a risk and not every child can handle them. She said that I am doing the right thing by protecting my children. I am not selfish. And nobody has the right to make me feel bad about that decision.
I told her about the sensory issues. How they'd practically disappeared with biomed. I told her our biomed physician is a medical doctor with a PhD in biophysics. That we trust him and what he has done for B. That he is not a quack. She listened and did not interrupt. I explained B's health before and after biomedicine and she was not dismissive. She said, "That is amazing." In fact, she told me the story of one of her patients. A mother swore her child's seizures were being caused by his amalgam fillings. Doctors would not believe this mom. They poo pooed the idea. The fillings were removed and the child is seizure free. He was able to cease his seizure medication. She told me that parents know more about their children than their doctors do. I could not believe my ears. Sweet music to my very soul.
I was upfront about B's supplement list. It is long. I told her my husband is a pharmacist and we've researched every supplement and is she okay with that. Could we feel comfortable sharing that list with her? She said her clinic is open to alternative treatments. She even went on to ask me if we'd tried treating PANDAS with silver because it is a natural antibiotic. She is open and even somewhat knowledgeable about natural medicine! I told her my son is very thin and that it is not due to the diet. She said, "Well, you're not big, yourself." She went on to tell me about her grandsons. The eldest is a skinny little thing and the younger one almost outweighs him.
She told me that she blocked off a good chunk of time for our appointment. She said they will continue that practice until insurance companies step in. She said she could conduct a physical in 15 minutes, but it takes a lot longer to find out what is going on in the life of a patient.
We shook hands and as she walked out the door, she paused with a warm smile and said, "You are welcome here."
I felt the weight of the judgment I have been carrying for 2 and a half years slide off. All the worry, the anger, the frustration. You are selfish-----gone. Dangerous-----gone. Crazy-----gone. Ignorant-----gone.
You are welcome here.