Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Bit Disappointed

I'll probably catch all kinds of flak for this, but I'm gonna write it anyway.
I was reading Tony Horton's blog (he's the creator of, among others, P90X.  A program that I tried MANY times, as I believe I've mentioned here, and had to stop because I kept getting injured.)  I LIKE him.  I think he's smart, and I like his goofy sense of humor.  I sometimes do his 10-minute workouts when I'm short on time. Or often before I go off to teach Pilates. 
Lately he's been on a no-caffeine, no-alcohol, ONLY natural substances in the body, no-immunization kick.  And, as this is my blog, and I'm entitled to my opinion (as he is to his, especially on his blog), I'm going to respectfully yet vehemently disagree.
9 babies in this state have died from Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough.  I used to think vaccinations were the prerogative of the parents.  Until I learned that they don't prtotect individuals, but communities.  The fewer people within a population who are vaccinated, the greater the risk to everyone, not just those without vaccinations.
I say this, as you know, as a mother of 2 Autistic children.  Because I would rather have them alive with Autism than dead from a preventable disease.  And many kids with special needs have compromised immune systems.  So coming into contact with a carrier of a disease is REALLY BAD for them!  And a carrier may never develop the disease, but can easily pass it on. 
I'm not going to sit here and demand that parents get their kids vaccinated.  But people my age and younger don't remember a time when everyone was deathly afraid of the water.  Not because they'd just seen or read "Jaws," but because Polio was rampant, and going for a swim could put you in a wheelchair, an iron lung, or a coffin.  This was REAL.  And Polio is making a comeback in other countries of the world.  With all the inter-continental travel that goes on, it is only a matter of time before it shows up here again.
We also don't remember when drinking unpasteurized milk killed people.  Painfully.  (I drink almond milk, so I don't worry too much about it on a personal level, but still...)
Are we, as a society, over-medicated?  Absolutely!  Should we take a close look at vaccines, how they are produced and preserved, and how many we give our kids at a time?  Definitely!  But isn't there a middle ground here?  Can't we protect our kids and ourselves without creating superbugs or leaving ourselves vulnerable to disease?
In all fairness, Mr. Horton (as far as I know) doesn't have children.  He doesn't know the fear a parent feels when their child is sick, or the absolute horror of even imagining the worst happening. I'm sorry, it's one thing in the abstract, something entirely different when it is YOUR child.
Yes, I have stayed awake nights wondering if my kids would have Autism if we'd refused vaccinations.  I have Mom Guilt over it.  But the bottom line is, my kids are alive and in good physical health.  And, with other family members with Autism on BOTH sides of the family, I tend to think it has more to do with genetics than vaccines.  Besides, I have friends who haven't vaccinated their kids, yet those kids have STILL been diagnosed with Autism.  So how did that happen, if vaccines are solely to blame?

As far as alcohol and caffeine, well, I don't drink.  I like my coffee. Sometimes I'll go a few days or even a couple of weeks without.  Do I have withdrawal symptoms?  I don't think so.  I feel fine.  No headaches or lethargy.  Well, no more lethargy than usual, lol!
The point I'm trying to make is that I am done with extremes.  I will no longer take on a behavior or give something up just because someone tells me too. I am done with gurus.  It is my choice.  My drinking coffee doesn't seem to have a negative effect on anyone.  And if it does, then I will stop. If It is conclusively proved that my life will be shortened because of the coffee, I will give it up.
Because my kids need me.
And they are my reason for everything that I do, or don't do.
I am my own guru.
But my kids are the boss of me!


Charlotte said...

Totally agree with you on this one! 100%. I just got in a mostly respectful debate with a friend at the gym over the vaccine issue. Did you see the new study that came out this week? Largest one of it's kind, showing NO correlation between autism and vaccines. None. And yet people will cling to small poorly done studies and conspiracy theories and their innate hatred of sticking needles their kids rather than believe actual science. We had a pertussis outbreak here too last year. It's frightening and it makes me just sick to think about how many otherwise intelligent people refuse vaccinations. Like you said, if it were just an issue of their families being affected I wouldn't care one whit - even now I don't think people should be forced to vaccinate - but it's the whole community that loses, esp. people with naturally weakened immune systems like infants, pregnant women and critically ill people.

azusmom said...