Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Being Different - How Not Vaccinating Is Affecting Us

Over Memorial Day weekend Mary Kate, Sydney's best friend, was diagnosed with a form of Leukemia. She has no immunity because she can't make healthy blood cells, so she must "live in a plastic bubble" over the next 2 years or so, because any virus can potentially kill her. She must be home-schooled, meaning Sydney and Mary Kate won't be going to 1st grade together. Her exposure must be carefully monitored, and her circle of friends must be small and as risk-free as possible.

I know as an Autism mom what it's like when the life you think you are leading changes. A shot out to the Holland writings. But I can't imagine what it must be like for Mary Kate's mom since this is quite different, her baby's life is at risk.

It's still quite fresh, but not as raw so feel strong enough to write about how this has affected us. I know it's not all about us, it's about a very sick little girl, but this is my blog so I can write about how this has changed our lives.

At first, I thought really the only thing I can do is be a good friend, make my children available as much as possible for support. And of course offer information on alternative treatments to the mom. As the week went on we learned that because we do not vaccinate, Sydney (and Leo) are a risk to Mary Kate. Abruptly pushed to the periphery of their best friend's lives.

The biggest current threat to Mary Kate was an exposure to Chicken Pox. This was the biggest barrier to Sydney and Mary Kate reuniting. An older girl (10 maybe) had it at our school. This girl was vaccinated plus a booster but still got it. 40% of our nation gets this shot, and in our area I'm certain most people get it along with the rest of the vaccine protocol. This vaccine has increased the incidence of Shingles and increased the incidence of adults getting chicken pox even when they had it when they were children. This is because us adults aren't getting occasionally exposed to the virus which "reminds" the antibodies to be on alert. Little boosts in our adult immunity. Since fewer children are getting it in highly vaccinated areas like ours, no one is safe either by having it or getting vaccinated. A giant mess. I also have a friend tell me both of her children got the chicken pox (no biggie) through exposure at school to a recently vaccinated child - on two different occasions. This is because it's a live virus, and the incubation period is 3 weeks from the date of the shot.

In crisis mode, I put on my old Autism Hat. I searched online for hours into the night, learning about this disease. I made an emotional decision to get Sydney the chicken pox vaccine. Nothing else, just that since it was such a high risk thing for Mary Kate. I realized I didn't have the time to special order something or collect any alternative information. Months would be lost. I couldn't even get my ped on the phone to give me some options, if any.

On the good side it was thimerosol free. However it contained: fetal bovine serum, hydrolyzed gelatin, MSG, MRC-5 cells (aborted human embryo's lung cells cultures), neomycin (an antibiotic), and sucrose. Leo held her hand and Sydney held on to her stuffed bunny. So interesting, Sydney had no experience with shots so at 6, it was a different experience. She wasn't afraid and was fine. I think she liked all the attention, as the nurses were moved by the reason we slipped her in to get it done.

Both girls miserable, I knew I had to make that decision - a mental wellness choice or a physical one, in order for them to be reunited. The ONLY thing we could really do to help this little girl get well - visits from her best friend. Her mom tells me every day Mary Kate asks for Sydney, and was crushed when Sydney couldn't be at her birthday party (thankfully, she could be home on her birthday from the hospital and have a party before she started to get really weak and change). Sydney got her shot that day and has to wait 3 weeks incubation period before she can see her.

The sad thing is that Mary Kate's mom may still make a decision to keep them apart. Sydney is considered a high risk exposure, and Leo is as well with playing with her big brother. Her doctors tell her to cut us out of her life.

This news prays upon all my weak spots - because I have "foundation" issues due to being raised with no real family and adopted later, I easily succumb to feeling "abandoned" as they say in psychology. I feel like I'm different and judged for our lifestyle. Suddenly we really stand out. The moms ask me why we don't vaccinate, something that just doesn't come up. They know how "granola" we are, but we never broadcasted that we didn't vaccinate because I thought it sounded like I would be judging them. After all, they haven't studied environmental toxins, developmental disabilities, and the food supply like I have. All this information I've collected in my mind.

And the irony is no one knows WHY we live the way we do, because of Autism. Another frustration added to the list of our double identity. I considered telling the mom, but I just can't. She's not someone that keeps secrets well, and she's understandibly very emotional and unstable, for now. We'll have to see.

My daughter Sydney and Mary Kate have been inseparable since they were 3. They met in preschool. Ballet classes. Recitals. Birthday parties. And a wonderful uneventful Kindergarten shared experience. Mary Kate has always been a given. We never thought for a moment that she wouldn't be around. It was a relief to know that Sydney had a good friend that has a great mom and big brother, which also happens to be Leo's best friend. A double pleasure. Now it's a double challenge. I'm strong today, and hope we'll all adjust to their absence, to hearing about them from others. All we can do is hope, and keep in contact through writing and drawing.

Another wake up call for us. Life is short and very vulnerable. Anything can turn it upside down, even if it doesn't happen directly to you. Any info about natural alternative treatments would be greatly appreciated!


Anonymous said...

You would take a risk with this vaccine (which has proven very ineffective)for this reason?

Makes me cringe thinking about her being vaccinated. The ironic thing here is that vaccines are also one of the causes for the increase in childhood cancers. Who would risk their child's health for a childhood friend? I am quite surprised!

AshleyLeo said...

I know. The last thing I thought I'd be doing. My daughter's mental wellness at that time became priority. I am STILL cringing, trust me! Not an easy decision and it wasn't a clear cut one.

The good news is that I got supplements and IMT treatment done afterwards to assist Sydney's body in processing it. I felt fortunate that my sister, an IMT practitioner, was in town and could do it.

I didn't know that vaccines are also a culprit in childhood cancers. I am still learning about cancer and I'd love to see a link explaining this so I could give it to the Mom.

I also thought the number of cancer cases has been steady the last 20 something years, in spite of Western Medicine's "efforts"? I read The China Study recently which mentioned something like that. Unfortunately there isn't any data on children in that comprehensive research.

Steve said...

What an incredibly sad story... my heart goes out to both families.

Just a thought, how about a webcam for both Sydney and Mary Kate so they can still talk to each other / see each other even though they can't be "together"?

AshleyLeo said...

Hi Steve. thanks for your thoughts. I'm asking everyone to add her to their prayer list as well, so hopefully you can too. Thanks!

Great minds think alike. We'll be doing that soon - Mary Kate has a camera and we're just waiting for her dad to set it up. She's been pretty weak, unable to walk around, so I think sitting and talking through the computer will be a big picker-upper.

Laura said...

That is so sad! I'm so sorry about Mary Kate, and that you're feeling cut out because of vaccines. Vaccines add a weird vibe to my relationship with my best friend. She knows I hold them partly responsible for Hutton's autism, and that I stopped vaxxing Harrison at 2 months, but she still vaxxes her kids, and right now everything is fine. I think if there were something like leukemia thrown in though -- all bets are off!

Anonymous said...

The chicken pox vaccine is just such a poor one. I turned this vaccine down for my child even before we realized that he was autistic. It was just a vaccine that made no sense even before I knew how bad ALL vaccines were.

I could never allow, no matter what, another vaccine to enter my child particularly after researching the ingredients in vaccines (besides the aluminum, formaldehyde, etc.)

I have read many testimonials from parents who directly link their child's cancer (particularly brain cancer)to vaccines. I believe it. Vaccines seem to be a contributing factor in many other issues. The increase in juvenille diabetes, increase in childhood asthma and many other immune issues seem to be related to vaccines.

Anonymous said...

See if this link works.


(those last three letters are htm typed together obviously)

AshleyLeo said...

Hi Anonymous. Thanks for the link - I look forward to taking a look.

I agree with your sentiments. The entire vaccine protocol is a giant mess that must be seriously evaluated, and not just for autism.