Friday, January 07, 2011

A WEE Bit More on Vaccines, But Other Stuff Too

I swear it's only a little bit on the vaccinations, then on to other stuff.

Actually, if you want to blame someone, blame Elizabeth. But while you blame her, I insist that you read her blog as well, which is one of the best on the net and one that is linked to on the right hand side of my blog, always.

It was she who, after ignoring yet another of my blogs about the power and the glory of the NFL, sent me a link to the blog below about vaccines. Oh, John Facenda would turn over in his grave if he knew about her skipping all my NFL stuff, especially if Elizabeth knew some of the richness she was missing out on, like one of these famous quotes from Facenda, who was oft-referred to as the 'Voice of God'...

Pro football is a mirror of early America, reflecting toughness, courage and self-denial. The game is perpetual motion, a swirl of flying bodies and constant collisions. A 2 1/2 hour carnival of color, sound and action.

It's a basic primal confrontation. Man to man.

No excuses are offered.

None accepted.

I just got wood. Seriously. That is AWESOME STUFF.

So about this vaccine thing. Check out this blog, called Sorta Crunchy, which has an article about vaccines and why this blogger, whose name is Megan, talks about why her fear about vaccinations isn't just about a fear of Autism, but also about a fear about a lot of other stuff too.

Interesting the mentioning of Epilepsy, no? Her younger sister was part of a class action lawsuit in the 1990's regarding an MMR vaccine. I am curious about that, though she has so many followers and people leaving comments I'd probably get lost in the shuffle. But I was under the impression that the MMR thing was researched out and there has been a bunch of controversy about what it did and did not do.

And I mean as far as Autism is concerned. I'm not saying it did not cause her sister's epilepsy, I don't know squat about her situation, but I've never heard any anecdote on MMR causing a seizure or Infantile Spasms, only to this point having heard of a DTaP shot causing it. I had only heard MMR in discussions involving Autism. But then again...I am only at the tip of all this. My understanding of all of it is a like a grain of sand or two in the ocean.

In other words? Not very big.

I have wondered though, about filling out the form for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program on the website for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is on my Bookmarks Toolbar. I have at least another year left on the deadline to fill it out.

What am I waiting for? Why do I hesitate?

I really don't know. I have no answer.

I've opened up the web page several times and started to do it, but I have never finished. There's a deep, psychological thing there, isn't there? But what? Do I think I am condemning my son to something, some kind of 'label'? Or is it more than that? Does it relate back to what happened to me on Christmas Eve day, that thing I still haven't had the balls to talk about yet, regarding my feelings of guilt about Bennett?

I don't know.


Those are always hard to come by in this Universe.

Questions you have flying out yer ass. But Answers? Nope...those you gotta wait around a LONG time for. And sometimes they never, EVER come. Or when they do you want to punch them right in the fucking face.

But hey...let's let go of some of the negative as we head into the weekend shall we? Cause things? They ain't ALL bad.

There's been some good of late, I gotta tell you.

Bennett? He's chewing on me a little less. He's slapping me less...and the truth of it? He's making a LOT more effort.


That's it. Just effort. IN EVERYTHING. He's making effort in repeating. He's making effort in learning. In interacting. In processing. In navigating. In understanding. In controlling. In expressing. In reaching out.

The progress is slow. But the effort is RELENTLESS.

I was talking to my friend Richard about it last weekend on the phone. Richard is one of my oldest friends. Known him since I was around...I think 11 or 12-ish or so. He's a Psychologist. Bright guy. He's also the author of his own blog, Daddyspeak, which he rarely ever updates.

He had a very interesting theory.

Based on the behavior I had described here in Blogzilly and also what I had described on the phone, he felt like Bennett had almost regressed over the course of a year, but in that year he believed what was happening WAS a type of re-wiring process, and that his behavior over the past few months especially was almost that of a one year old.

Here we were, comparing him to a sort of 'Terrible Two's' (and into the 3's) type of personality because he is, after all, 3 years old, but Richard thought it made more sense to look at him as if his brain had just been through the process of a year-long re-boot.

For example, look at the separation anxiety he has been experiencing.

The intensity of it is...staggering.

I have a 15 minute video that I shot not a week ago of him just going apeshit (and I started recording 10 minutes in) that I have waffled on whether I should show to you. Now...this is sustained screaming and acting out behavior. But if I think of it in terms of a one year old, it doesn't seem so crazy to me after all.

At that age, a kid might just be wailing for his Mommy in much the same way, I've seen one do it actually.

But Bennett is mobile, a one year old is usually not that mobile. Bennett is strong and can hit things and knows how to bite and throw and manipulate objects. A one year old does not. Bennett has an understanding of his environment and how to navigate through it. A one year old does not.

Bennett also has SOME cognitive abilities and understanding of how things in life work that were NOT affected by his surgery that remained intact that are in conflict with what he lost.

A one year old does not have this CONFLICT going on inside his brain.

I never ONCE looked at it that way before. And suddenly I saw it completely differently, and instantly I felt totally differently about...well, about a lot of things. Like I said...Richard is a smart guy. In one conversation he wiped out about six months of doubt and fear.

OK, maybe not that easily, I still have LOADS of doubt and fear, but he helped to point out something that I had not seen before.

Though I did ask him 'Is this something you arrived at because of your intense study of the human brain, or are you talking completely out of your ass to try to make me feel better?'

'Maybe a little bit of both.' he answered.



  1. Big points to Richard...and bigger points to you for listening to him.

  2. I don't get the whole vaccine thing. I don't read Elizabeth's blog 'cause she makes me wear a mask when I do, but really, isn't it just for the parent to decide? Who cares if the doctor's or others give you shit? I say, you don't want to vaccinate, don't, as long as it is an informed decision. I guess I am missing something ... The biggest issue I assume is when the school says you cannot send your kid without a particular vaccine.

    As for your friend talking out of his ass, hell, have him direct his ass this way. I could use some comforting words on Pearlsky ...

  3. Read Elizabeth faithfully.Have fallen in love with her and her family.They live a hop skip and a jump from us.
    Hoping in the New Year we can connect.As for Richard,he might not update often but when he does,it's a good one.And as far as a friend,you got a good one there but I think you know that.

    I have shared this with someone before,not sure it was you.. In 1987 our oldest received her first set of shots.Within an hour,maybe 2 she proceeded to scream,a high pitched,blood curdling scream,like nothing I have ever,to this day heard,for 4 plus, long,agonizing hours.I called the pediatrician,got an on call one who told me... normal,his child did basically the same,no worries.Flash forward to next set of shots.Our regular ped.asks if she had any reactions to her last shots,nothing had been noted in her file and I, young mom that I was, hesitated saying anything but then decided to mention in passing her "episode".His eyes got big and he said,"We will most definitely be skipping her DTap."she never did receive any subsequent ones ... and to this day,over 20 years later I remain grateful to that doctor.

    Vaccines.Hot topic.I got my Zoey side of it.My oldest side of it and truth be told ... I still vaccinate.Go figure.

    By the way ... loved the smiley bathtub pictures of Bennett.Beautiful.

  4. Some imteresting stuff to ponder:

  5. I love Richard. And vaccines be damned.

    Zoey's Mom: In 1987 there was no DTAP. It was a DPT shot -- the P was for pertussis and it was a live vaccine. It didn't change to an inactive (AP or acellular pertussis) until the late 90s because of so many bad reactions. Your child probably had the whole cell DPT in the late 80s.Sophie got the DPT in early 1995 and it was a "bad batch" -- when she developed infantile spasms, her neurologist put the kabosh on the P. I put the kabosh on the rest of them out of fear. Many years later I saw my own vaccination record from 1963--there were red marks all over it for reactions (screaming, fever, etc.). It was chilling, to say the least and informed my decision not to vaccinate my sons in case there was some sort of genetic proclivity.

  6. First off...the football quote:'s just a game for chrissakes. (I now envision hoardes of football fanatics knocking down my door, all manner of weapons in hand.)
    As for vaccines, I researched them 20 years ago before everyone got their knickers in a knot about it. I myself had a terrible time with them, was only ever given quarter doses of the things, and skipped the smallpox vaccine altogether. of the best indicators of issues with vaccines came in Japan. They noticed trouble with the DPT...the P then live vaccine...changed it to a "dead" form and their incidence of SIDS dropped by 80%. That was a scientific fact for which I had the documentation...20 years ago. In fact, changing the vaccine schedule was a priority and I believe they only started giving them once kids were 2 years old. I agree with Elizabeth that the media presentation of the vaccine "controversy" only ever shows the extremes of both ends. What we need is a new schedule, one that does not overburden an infant's just developing immune system with a zillion diseases at once (who gets all those diseases at once in nature?) Then we need to assure quality in preparation, delivery, and dosage. There are so many errors and variations along the way, potentially (and again, documented), it would scare the crap out of you if you knew. Then...homeopathy can and has provided safe and effective immunization nosodes for ages. There is room for calm debate and nuance. I stayed away from the things in the end. To Single Dad...I think, in some states, people HAVE to give their kids the shots and I think this is where folks run into trouble. There are stories of Social Services taking kids away from parents who chose not to vaccinate their kids. It depends on where you live. Here in Ontario, they try to bully and lie to parents, but a parent can sign a legal document choosing not to vaccinate.

  7. Hooray for that. I have always tried to see Charlie where he is developmentally as opposed to chronologically. That is, of course, a lot easier for me since his development isn't a whole lot greater in some areas than others. Have I told you about the book "The Brain that Changes Itself?" You need to get it and read it.

    My aunt's sister had (I think) a seizure and then went into a coma after receiving the MMR vaccine. She receives government assistance, but they didn't file for it until she was eighteen. I'm not giving Charlie the MMR because of this. I've spent a lot of time, energy, and money getting my kid healthy and somewhat functional. Not risking it because I don't want him to catch the measles.

  8. Thanks Elizabeth.Meant to address the "live" aspect but digressed.As well as the mistype on the DTP,thanks for the clarification for those who need it!


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