Separating Education from Indoctrination

I don’t know about you, but I did not want this.

I did not devote years of my life to health, science, healing, and wellness to be attacked, ridiculed, judged, and labeled.

I did not spend thousands of hours studying health sciences to graduate at the top of my class THREE TIMES to be discredited for my experiences and knowledge about these topics.

I did not dedicate countless hours of my time reading government websites, pharmaceutical documents, peer-reviewed studies, and systematic reviews to be ignored, silenced, rejected, and censored.

I did not want this, but my conscience will not let me ignore my experiences.

I was once indoctrinated. I was taught the vaccine schedule and what infections were covered in those vaccines. I was briefly shown herd immunity. I was informed that “vaccines [were] safe and effective.” I had no reason to question otherwise, and if others did so, they lacked the capacity to understand “the science.” That is what I was, and many others are, indoctrinated to believe.

I was not taught about vaccine efficacy rates or failure. Vaccines were not a focus in immunology, though some processes signaled theories of their supposed actions. Vaccine-targeted bacteria and viruses were not thoroughly explored in microbiology alike other microbes. Vaccines were not covered in pharmacology, where adverse events were always attached to studied drugs. Vaccines did not come with adverse events. There was no mention of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and I was not familiar with this passive avenue of compiling population data through post-marketing surveillance as clinical trials are of short duration (some only FOUR days… e.g., Hep B vaccine).

As a foundation, colleges require you to learn concepts without challenging the information. As you dive deeper into the sciences, you find that challenging theory is vital to the fluid nature of science. We still discover new things about the evolving biome/virome and what humans have done to help or hinder the health of populations (e.g., the implications of antibiotic overuse, tobacco science, and the low-fat/high sugar “heart health” diet in light of the obesity crisis… just to name a few). We see changes in human health and must consider contributing factors to find solutions. Current research in epigenetics, the gut-brain connection, and functional medicine are challenging long-held theories surrounding health and wellness.

I have made up for gaps in school. I have explored the evidence-based practice, how to read scientific studies, how to check for bias, and have challenged mainstream ideas in the classroom with success. I have pulled the studies from databases and notice a trend. Glowing reports of vaccine efficacy always contain a bias as they are usually funded by vaccine manufacturers and government agencies that promote them. Those researchers that challenge the data and ask the hard questions rarely have a government funding source, are never tied to the pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines, and declare no conflicts of interest. Funny how that works, eh?

That being said, we all have biases that need worked through. Our experiences, including formal education, can create these biases. We can be taught to hold certain entities in high regard, but we must be careful not to be blinded to their failures or misrepresentation of data. We must hold them accountable.

I do not think that there is a conspiracy surrounding the childhood vaccination program. I do not believe vaccine manufacturers intended to injure children. At the same time, we have got to recognize that vaccine manufacturers are the same companies that create other pharmaceuticals. If you know anything about FDA regulation and drug testing, you know that there is a price, harm still occurs after the screening of new drugs, and there are regular recalls. You know that medical journals are filled with shady science promoting new medications that are funded by the companies producing those drugs. The clinical trials involved in the manufacturing of vaccines are lesser than those demanded of the FDA for prescribed medications. Fact-Check this; clinical trials are included in manufacturing inserts for vaccines that are required by law.

My take on these issues is that an unintentional loophole was created with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that freed manufacturers from liability and guaranteed a market for vaccines that are recommended for the U. S. Vaccine Schedule. When your vaccine is approved for the schedule, you have secured revenue. The fiscal incentive for more vaccines is high in a developed country.

In 1983, there were seven total vaccine doses. In 2019, there are over 70 throughout childhood, with 22 doses concentrated in the first 12-15 months of life in the U.S. We also have an embarrassing infant (0-12 month) mortality rate as compared to other developed AND developing nations (we rank in the 50s)!

InfantMortalityCountries
List of countries that have LOWER infant death rates than the U. S.

According to the most recent data, the 4th leading cause of death in the first year is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is unexplained death that is not the result of congenital anomalies, maternal/pregnancy complications, or gestation-related causes. If we remove congenital, maternal, pregnancy, gestation from the death table, SIDS will rank #1! Sadly, we spend next to nothing on SIDS research as compared to vaccine spending. On top of that, spending on SIDS research was slashed by almost half from 2017 to 2018! Governments are the largest funding source for R&D, and the largest investment category worldwide is Vaccine Research and Development. The CDC claims vaccines aren’t the cause of SIDS; however, SIDS has no explained cause so that statement is a fallacy. Why would the CDC go against their own vaccine recommendations? They wouldn’t. That is why all their supporting SIDS studies contain glaring conflicts of interest (as they are generated internally), not to mention: outdated.

CDC SIDS Articles

Where your money goes, there lie your interests. Infant mortality in the U.S. is not the result of infectious diseases, yet that is where the money is spent. We have “no idea” why infants suddenly die, yet we aren’t interested in finding out why? Every year, roughly 2,500 babies born in the U.S. die before age one for unknown causes when you remove strangulation/suffocation from the data. Scientific processes allow people to find out the cause of death for a mummy buried over 4,000 years ago, but we cannot do the same for a baby that dies today. Let that sink in.

I do not think there is a conspiracy, but I do believe that these health agencies feel they have gone too far to turn back. They have sold us to their dogma of “vaccines are safe and effective” that is slathered all over government websites. If the childhood vaccine program fails, several people lose trust in government programs that seek to do some good. The challenge is identifying when data is misrepresented due to strong biases. It takes a level of commitment and discomfort (cognitive dissonance) when you seek education and put your biases aside. There is a lot on the line when you challenge the science of vaccines, but without conflict there cannot be progress. We have conflict because we demand progress. Never stop demanding progress.

Shalom, light, and love.

 

Sites to Consider:
https://www.congress.gov/bill/99th-congress/house-bill/5546
http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/package_inserts.htm
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html
https://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx
https://www.who.int/research-observatory/monitoring/inputs/neglected_diseases_source/en/
https://www.cdc.gov/sids/data.htm

This One Is for the Nurses, Everyday

As Nurses Week rolls around each year, we always come upon those inspirational quotes that show the heart of nursing or the altruistic values that (we hope) drives all nurses into the career. We pat each other on the back and administration provides gifts and food to the staff. For that week, we get a passing “Happy Nurses Week!” or “Thank you for what you do!” from staff and even the patients and their families. For that week, we get recognition for the care we provide to our patients and their families. This week is not enough.

No, I don’t think we often deserve praise. I think of this week quite differently. I believe this week is when nurses look for meaning in their careers. They are grounded again. Nurses need to remember their intentions more than once a year. In a career of burn-out, we need to be reminded of the spirit of nursing frequently. How is your attitude? Do you check it regularly? Is your mentality affecting patient care? Does your mood influence your team? Are you impacting them positively or negatively? What do you do to ground yourself again? Is burn-out rampant in your facility? What are you doing to avoid burn-out in yourself?

Sometimes I catch myself sighing at a patient’s chief complaint or thinking “You’re fine. Go home.” What I do when this happens is: I imagine this is a family member of mine. How would I want them to be treated? I want to be sure nothing is wrong, so I work hard to gather all the necessary information for the doctor to diagnose the patient promptly. I don’t wait. I get it done. Time can wreak havoc on nerves and delaying care can be detrimental to outcomes.

Next, I make the patient comfortable. I remind myself that the emergency department can be a scary place. Sometimes, we think it is their favorite place to be. Maybe that is true for a few, but we still provide the same care. We do it with a smile even when the patient is berating, pushy, or rude. We do it with a genuine smile when the patient is scared, good-intentioned, and kind. We do it for everyone, including family members. We sit and explain what is happening to calm fears or worries. We remove ourselves emotionally when things don’t work out.

During tragic events, we put on a mask so that we can still provide care to others. We protect patient privacy and guard our hearts. I remind myself of those situations when I find myself low in the compassion tank. Nurses have funny ways of coping, don’t mistake these ways as the core of their being. We have inside jokes and try to make each other laugh. We get annoyed with each other and drown ourselves in work. We are still people.

We are people who put our children in the care of strangers to go and care for strangers. We are people who leave our families to comfort yours. We are strong for patients when our personal lives fall apart. Some of the best people I’ve met are nurses, and for all that we experience, I believe nurses must be reminded of their core values more than once a year.

I will close with my nursing philosophy that I drafted over eight years ago… It is a bit wordy, but I still read it from time to time. I have since changed my philosophy, as I am continually growing. Take care of yourself and remind yourself of what placed you in this role! Inspire yourself regularly and seek to inspire others.

20180508_122940.jpg
Previous (left) vs Present (right). A perpetual work-in-progress.

 

Shalom, light, and love.

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.

00021.jpg0003.jpg

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.

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