Lesson #2: Medical Professionals are Partners in Your Care, Not Dictators

I hesitate to continue to share my experiences, but the truth will set me free… Right?!

When I had my second child, I was already wary of vaccinating because of my firstborn’s reaction. I didn’t understand how something we deem outright “safe” in the medical world would have any downsides. Every single medication I’ve administered comes with risks. I tell my patients the side effects and let them make those choices. Informed consent. My mind thought vaccines didn’t have any side effects… or at least I never looked into it. My pediatrician never talked to me about risks, nor did any nurse who had injected my first child. But WHY?! Isn’t that our job?? We weigh risks and benefits. How are parents not subject to knowing the risks for their children?

I was tormented the months following my second child’s birth. This was cognitive dissonance. I decided that the “combo vaccine” (Pediarix) was too much of a risk to benefit my infant. I would further limit his schedule to DTaP alone. I was most worried about pertussis. Have you seen the videos of those tiny airways struggling for air when a baby has pertussis? It’s frightening.

I searched for a highly-rated pediatrician for his two-month shots. It was an hour drive, but they had great reviews. That day was surprising. We showed up and I declined everything but the DTaP injection. The pediatrician was NOT HAPPY. He was actually pretty pissed off. He wasn’t sad or concerned; he was irate. I didn’t really care about his opinion after he raised his voice and told me my baby “needed them” and he didn’t “understand why A NURSE wouldn’t consent for BASIC medical care.” Uhh… okay. Was that supposed to offend me into consent? All it did was foster more questions.

He definitely didn’t want to understand my reasons. I get it. Medical people are BUSY. They are also pressured by protocols. I do not have time to look up and memorize every risk factor for the medications I administer on an emergent basis. But those are EMERGENT. Those risks are higher than most medication risks, including death or disability. Have you seen drug commercials? Yikes. I worked in a practice that frequently prescribed antibiotics; I knew the indications and risks like the back of my hand. We also gave the same medications over and over. It is easier to educate on treatments and medications you are used to providing, or is it? When I send a patient out with a prescription now, I will give them the indication (and mechanism of action when asked) and advise them to LOOK UP THE RISKS, but common ones included [list of 3-4 symptoms] and maybe how to combat those effects. It is up to them. It’s the patient’s decision to take medications or administer them to their children. We are partners in their health, not dictators. We don’t own their bodies; we simply provide the options. So why was this different with infant vaccine schedules? They are not mandatory (lest we travel back to Hitler era medical practice and war atrocities) they are *recommended* by the CDC.

I went home and did some research and stumbled upon vaccine manufacturer websites and I finally READ THE LABELS of vaccines… They are called “inserts.” No, these are NOT the flyers that are readily available at your doctor’s office. Those pamphlets are basically advertisements; I had a stack from the appointment. I read those flyers and compared them to the manufacturer inserts. Thoughtful omission. I read about DTaP and I was sick with what I had found about pertussis. We still don’t know enough about pertussis to know how to protect from it, and THERE IS NO SEROLOGICAL CORRELATE FOR THE PROTECTION FROM PERTUSSIS. This means that we don’t know how to measure our immunity to pertussis… so, we are giving a medication to do what exactly? We have no idea. What’s more is that it states SIDS can be EXPECTED after a pertussis-containing vaccine. They don’t say it can be expected after diphtheria or tetanus vaccine; they say specifically “pertussis-containing.” This is due to a study that found “more incidence of SIDS” in a small population. They’re calling it a “chance.” That being said, they call these risks rare. Some even say 1 in 100,000… big number (the number is much smaller according to the small study in the insert, see screenshot, you can pull it up yourself direct from the manufacturer’s website, link provided). Maybe it is unlikely, but if my child was that 1… that 1 is my everything. Those risks don’t outweigh the benefits of doing next to nothing. Sorry, not sorry.

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https://www.gsksource.com/pharma/content/dam/GlaxoSmithKline/US/en/Prescribing_Information/Pediarix/pdf/PEDIARIX.PDF

Correlation doesn’t equal causation with reactions (SIDS), according to the insert. But, somehow, correlation absolutely equals causation when it has to do with the decline of disease during vaccine introduction only. Except for the fact that vaccinated kids today are the largest population of children with confirmed Pertussis. The CDC monitors communicable diseases (See the bottom chart about vaccine status in the screenshot below. They merely OMIT the vaccinated population, but I did the math. Link provided below screenshot).

28828762_1704376989652361_1802140648904487719_o.jpghttps://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/surv-reporting.html

There are a whole slew of factors aside from vaccines including sanitation, clean drinking water, epidemiological studies on infectious disease processes, living quarters/quarantine, and readily available medications for acute conditions that destroyed childhood illnesses… but that’s none of our business. Sure, maybe vaccination helped at one point and to a degree (to the detriment of some adults and children), but there is so much more to this story as you will soon see… I wish it were simple and clear. I wish the greater good existed despite monetary drives. I wish you health and wellness without bias.

Shalom, light, and love.

Lesson #1: Listen to Your Motherhood Instincts

When making medical decisions for my firstborn, I spent months while pregnant educating myself about infectious diseases. I looked at transmission (thank you, microbiology), at-risk populations, complications from contagious diseases, and carefully considered the indications for vaccination of an infant. I spent months following his birth looking into immunology and the developing immune system (thank you, physiology). I had already covered a lot in school, but an in-depth focus was invaluable.

I decided on a selective schedule. He was exclusively breastfed, and risk factors were low, as he wouldn’t be in daycare. I wanted to support his underdeveloped immune system in the best way I could reason. We decided to decline rotavirus, Prevnar, and Hib. We were unable to decline the rest due to them being in a combo vaccine. At my firstborn’s 3rd pediatrician visit for vaccines, he got the combo shot and that was it. I knew the following days would be of a sleepy, feverish baby. What I didn’t know is that by day 4, I would be in the worst panic of my life.

Day 4 rolled around and he was absent. He was more awake, but not responding like his usual 6-month self. He didn’t smile. He didn’t giggle. He didn’t react to anything I did. He didn’t want to nurse, but I continued to encourage it. I called our pediatrician and the nurse said his symptoms were “normal.” I called my husband and we agreed to take him in if he got worse. He didn’t get worse, but it took about a week before he started to come around again. What were they going to do, anyways? There wasn’t a reversal for vaccines.

From that day, I promised I would never vaccinate him again. The risks were too high and I didn’t want him to have an even worse reaction the next time. Each child has taught me something further and pushed me to be better and do better. My firstborn scared me into intense research and the controversial dialogue of childhood vaccinations.

Just remember two things going forward as this gets deeper. Cognitive dissonance is real (look it up). What is your life, if people don’t know your heart?

Shalom, light, and love.

Your Clean Routine: Healthy or Harmful?

When I was newly pregnant with my firstborn, we made lots of changes at home. I was also taking microbiology. I learned many valuable things here about cleaning. Let’s be honest, my husband does most of the cleaning in our home… so HE learned lots. I help, I do…

Anyways. We are organisms, duh. But more importantly, we are COVERED in organisms. They live on us and in us. An average of 10lbs of our gut flora is microbiota. Fascinating. I’m sure everyone has heard of being “too clean.” That’s right. You destroy all your natural protections (including your environment, skin, and digestive tract) and you’ll be battling chronic illness. There was a study that showed 60% of contaminants in water when placed on the skin, were absorbed systemically. Skin is your first layer of defense; it’d be wise to protect it!

So what about our homes? I understand sanitizing public areas, ick, but what about our houses? As a general rule, our germs in our own homes won’t kill us, so there is no need to try and sanitize every surface. If you regularly have visitors or someone is sick, sure, take extra cleaning measures. But, there is really no indication for heavy cleaning products (antibacterials, antivirals, antiseptics, you get the point?) and too much in your toilets could kill your septic! That leads to additional maintenance and is toxic to the environment. No septic? You realize that water gets recycled? Help those microorganisms do their job, don’t kill them. We live in this environment, might want to help it flourish. What’s more is: this is about YOU!

You could be contaminating yourself with those cleaners in your immediate environment…
•If you won’t spray it on your skin, why is it on your floors and counters that you touch?
•If you won’t inhale it, why are you spraying it in your air?
•If you won’t pour it on your body, why do you wash your clothes in it?
•If you won’t ingest it, why do you use it to wash dishes? Those soaps and/or detergents touch the foods you consume and liquids you drink.
Think about it.

Those cleaners don’t entirely wash off, does anyone follow their surface cleaning routine with a power rinse? Do you really think detergents are completely washed off of your clothes (ever use scented?) or soap off your dishes? Those are questions you need to think about when you purchase cleaning products and chemicals at the store. READ THOSE LABELS. Google in the aisle if you must!

No, we didn’t immediately pick up recycling, start bicycling everywhere, and go green; but, we threw out so many harsh cleaning chemicals. Baby steps. We changed our detergents, soaps, and my beauty products. A basic (not antibacterial) soap and water is perfect for everyday cleaning of your home! We stopped using fluoridated toothpaste, a confirmed neurotoxin! No, we aren’t perfect and sometimes you unavoidably buy crappy products that look safe. Or, the company you trusted goes rogue to save money. It happens. Know better, do better.

I don’t know why I didn’t share some of this stuff sooner. I hope this helps you on your journey to better health habits. More to come…

Shalom, light, and love.

 

Sites to consider:
https://www.thinkdirtyapp.com/
https://www.ewg.org/

Purpose

I am wife to an awesome and supportive man, mother to three rambunctious boys, and a nurse. I have been burned out in many areas of nursing including Urgent Care, Med/Surg, and Emergency Medicine. Burn-out is a significant factor in today’s nursing shortage. It is hard to find value in our work when our expectations do not align with our daily actions. Reevaluating my goals, I recognized our sickest population were those heavily medicated. I wanted to know what went wrong and how we got here. I did not want to add to the problem any longer.

We define healthcare by treating symptoms with medications; when did we stop curing patients? How are we determining health in our children? Why do we see a rise in chronic childhood illnesses? Why do we predict costs of healthcare to rise when, if effective, we should be curing people and seeing decreased costs? Are children being primed for life-long medications? Why have we reframed health in our children? Why is sickness considered normal? I don’t see my generation as chronically ill, but my children have friends and family that fit that category. These are children. How will that impact their future and society?

I also realize environmental factors and our food supply significantly influence the growth and development of our children and maintenance of adult health. I plan to offer health and immune-boosting tips for your home and kitchen, take them or leave them! They are not MAD, Mainstream American Diet.

After a series of events that occurred over the course of becoming a mother to three, I feared the future of medical care for my children and their generations. I educated myself through formal measures as well as independently, through government websites and databases available publicly and with college-granted access. I fear the loss of informed consent in America. Several states usurp parental rights daily to push corporate interests. When informed consent is lost, medical tyranny is imminent. We must no longer sacrifice our children for a fallacy. I’m glad you’re here.

Shalom, light, and love.

Semmelweis reflex: The tendency to reject new evidence or new knowledge because it contradicts established norms, beliefs, or paradigms. — Ignaz Semmelweis